Sunset at Gowanus Bay

Sunset at Gowanus Bay
Sunset at Gowanus Bay, Henry Gritten, 1851

Monday, December 14, 2015

Continuing the Search in Early 17th Century Cologne Church Records

Family History Library film #187151 has the baptism (1602-1721) and marriage (1593-1803) records for the German Reformed Church of Cologne (Hoch-deutsche Reformierte Kirche Cölne). This was the second film I viewed and the results were the same as with the Cologne Dutch Reformed Church records (see the post of December 13, 2015). That is, no baptism record for an Adam Brouwer, and no records pointing to a family to which Adam Brouwer might belong.* Here is an image of one of the pages from this film:

FHL film #187151 Baptisms, 1619-1620, German Reformed Church, Cologne
The above image includes the records from the end of 1619 and most of those of 1620. In total there were 18 baptisms for the year 1620. There were 16 in 1619, and 20 in 1621. It is probable that the German church had a slightly larger congregation than the Dutch church, but would still have to be considered small in context of the overall population of Cologne in 1620.**

This film has been indexed by FamilySearch. It can now be searched online. I did so using the name BROUWER, and restricted the search to film #187151 by using the film number filter provided. The results bring up three records for the family name BRAUWER(S). Two are for a couple Wilhelm and Helena Brauwer who had two children (Johan and Margareta) baptized in May 1608. And a third record is for a couple Herman and Adriana Brauwers, who had a daughter Catrina baptized 26 January 1609. Searching with the name BROWER gives the same results. Searching with BREWER yields a daughter Bieltgen of Christoffel BREWER and Entgen Wiehsweilers baptized on 4 July 1594. Using BRUER, gives this same result. Searching with BERCKHOVEN finds two baptisms for a couple named Johan and Anna BACHOFEN. Son Caspar was baptized on 26 March 1620 and son Abraham Balthasar was baptized on 24 March 1622. All in all, nothing here provides a worthwhile lead in searching for Adam Brouwer.

FHL film #187153 covers the Cologne French Reformed Church records (Französisch Reformierte Kirche Cöln), which include baptisms and marriages (1600-1802), and burials (tote) for 1740-1802. As of this post, this film has not been indexed by FamilySearch. My search of the film back in 2008 came up empty for anything that might resemble a record pertaining to Adam Brouwer. Cor Snabel has transcribed and placed online baptisms for the "Walloon Church in Cologne," which I would assume to be the same church that Genealogical Society of Utah called the French Reformed Church. Again, nothing is found here that would constitute a reasonable lead. While for the earlier years we find some years in which there was between ten and twenty baptisms, after 1618, there is generally ten or fewer baptisms per year. I did not bother to take an image of a page from this film.

The three Reformed Churches of Cologne provided no records or leads that could be associated with Adam Brouwer.

As mentioned the Genealogical Society of Utah has filmed baptism, marriage and in some cases burial records for eighteen Roman Catholic churches in Cologne. I do not know if this is all of them. It is possible that there were others that were not filmed. Renting and viewing eighteen films of records that may or may not have been indexed, was just not practical from the standpoint of both time and money. I did however, look at two films.

FHL film #187108 is baptism and marriage records for the period 1595-1753 for St. Kunibert's Roman Catholic Church (Katholische Kirche. Kunibertkirche Cöln). The handwritten records are in Latin, and so easier (at least for me) to understand. Here is a sample page, the first page for the year 1620:

FHL film #187108 St. Kunibert's Catholic Church, Baptisms, 1620
While for the Reformed Churches we often had less than ten baptisms per year, in comparison, this Catholic church had eight pages of baptisms just for the year 1620. I did not find BROUWER (or variations within the 1600-1625 time range. This film has now been indexed by FamilySearch and using the "Germany Births and Baptisms, 1588-1898," searching with the variations of the Brouwer surname, and restricting to film #187108, I get back nothing in the 1600-1625 period, however, there is an Elffen Bruer, daughter of Hynderich Bruer baptized on 19 November 1595, and there is a group of BREWERs with baptisms dated in the late 1620s and 1630s through 1650s, and a group of BROUWER/BRAUWERs in the late 1620s, 1630s and 1640s. There are some familiar given names in these two groups. Searching with the given names Adam and Adolf/Adolph did not result in any leads.

The second Roman Catholic church film I looked at was FHL film #187139, baptisms, 1591-1750 in St. Mauritus Church (Katholische Kirche. Mauritiuskirche Cöln). This film has also been indexed and is searchable online at FamilySearch. While a search with the name BROUWER comes up empty, a search using BREWER brings up two records - Hermanus. son of Jacobus Brewer and Mergs Von Cappellenn on 6 December 1620; and Jacobus, son of Johan Brewer and Margareta on 31 January 1621. Searching with BRUER adds a couple of additional records but from too late a time period. One is for Adamus, son of Casparus Bruer and Catharina Von Kurten, baptized 14 September 1666 (obviously not our Adam Brouwer).

Of the remaining sixteen Catholic churches, it appears that all but two have been indexed and included in the "Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898" database at FamilySearch. The two that do not appear to have been indexed (at this time) are FHL film #187126, Sankt Lupus Catholic Church, and FHL film #187264, the Deutz Catholic Church.

To be continued.

*Just to cover all bases, I also searched for the name Berckhoven (and various possible spellings of the name) in each search. Although I'm of the belief that this was not the name of a family that Adam Brouwer was born into (see Origins of Adam Brouwer), in the interest of searching thoroughly, I kept an eye out for the name.

**I've seen estimates of a population of 40,000 for Cologne in 1600. Prof. Willem Frijhoff had suggested to me a population of about 30,000 for the time of these records.

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