Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Bruere Links

As the new year begins we're conducting some house cleaning here. As I go through files that have been accumulated over the past 16 years or so of research I will be placing and making available online any documents, records, reports, etc., that I can. Here are some links to files regarding the Bruere family of Upper Freehold, Monmouth County, New Jersey.

The "Bruere Family" are descendants of  the immigrant Peter Bruere who came to the New York City area in the 1690s as a youth with his widowed mother and apparently two sisters. He settled in Upper Freehold (specifically Allentown which is now a separate borough) where he became a rather large land holder. His descendants are found there as well as in Burlington and Mercer Counties, New Jersey. Although the surname is most usually recorded as BRUERE, we do at times see it recorded as BRUER or BREWER. The family resided in Monmouth County, New Jersey at the same time as descendants of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, and Jan Brouwer of Flatlands did. The descendants of Adam Brouwer and Jan Brouwer often are found with their surname recorded as either BREWER or BROWER, but also as BRUER in New Jersey records.

For a published account of the Bruere family see  Jacque Bruyere, A French Huguenot and Descendants, by Mary Emma Burt and Robert Eugene Burt (Gateway Press, 1997). does have a digital version available online, however it is only accessible through computers at subscribing institutions and local Family History Library Centers.

I have a very rough register format report on the family online which largely follows the published work of the Burts. This PDF includes sources and my suggestion is that users use it as a guide for further research. The same info can be found online at the Brouwer Genealogy Database, and through a search of this website using the term Bruere in the search engine to the right.

Online posted to RootsWeb Free Pages:

Descendants of Jacques Bruyere

John Bruere will 1875 Monmouth Co., Vol. O, p. 41

John Bruere will 1875 Monmouth Co., Vol. O, p. 42

John H. Bruere will 1862 Monmouth Co., Vol. H, p. 204

John H. Bruere will 1862 Monmouth Co., Vol H, p. 205

Also see the following Brouwer Genealogy Blog (BGB) posts regarding the Bruere family, online as a PDF:

BGB 410 Brewere Deed

BGB 414 James Bruere Estate

BGB 473 Brouwer, Brower, Brewer, Bruere in Monmouth County Wills

There are more posts on this website regarding Bruere family that have not (yet) been converted into PDF format. Hopefully they will be converted but one never knows, so no promises. Until then please use the Search feature available on this website.

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Monday, December 19, 2016

New Y-DNA Matches for Henry Brewer (Henrich Brauer) of Bedford County, Pennsylvania

The current edition of the Brouwer Genealogy Database (created April 6, 2016) includes a Y-DNA Analysis page for Henry Brewer, a.k.a. Henrich Brauer, of Bedford County, Pennsylvania. The information presented on this page was formulated based upon the Y-DNA test results of one confirmed direct male descendant of Henry Brewer whose test was completed in 2011. At that time we were unable to match the descendant with any other Y-DNA tetsed members of the Brewer DNA Project. Over the past year that has changed. We now have Y-DNA test results from a second confirmed direct male descendant of Henry Brewer and have identified genetic matches between the two descendants and three participants whose ancestry is traced to the Brower families of Randolph County, North Carolina, and to a direct male descendant of Abraham Brower (1758-1828) of Berks County, Pennsylvania who is a son of John Brower/Johannes Brauer, and has long been believed to be a grandson of Hubert Brower, the immigrant to Pennsylvania in 1726. This last belief is now questioned.

The Brewer DNA Project has organized and grouped the six matching members under the subgroup "Under Consideration A," which can be seen on the Project's Y-DNA Results page. The subgroup is color coded green and the name is temporary until we can identify a common ancestor for the matching members. Of the six members in the group two (#197800 and #524302) are direct male descendants of Henry Brewer//Henrich Brauer of Bedford County, Pennsylvania. Three others (#67624, #67877 and #82980) are descendants of the Randolph County, North Carolina Browers. The sixth member (#554763) is a descendant of John Brower/Johannes Brauer who is found in the records of the Trinity Reformed Church in York County, Pennsylvania and who emigrated to Randolph County, North Carolina with at least five of his sons. One son, Abraham Brower (1758-1828) remained in Berks County, Pennsylvania and is mentioned in the will of Abraham Wenger/Wanger. Our tested descendant (#554763) is a descendant of this Abraham Brower and his test therefore links Abraham Brower (1758-1828) and his father John not only with the Randolph County Browers, but also with the descendants of Henry Brewer/Henrich Brauer of Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

A summery with tentative conclusions regarding the relationships between those mentioned above can be found online: Brewer DNA Project, Subgroup Under Consideration A. Based upon what is known as of this writing, my current suspicion is that Henry Brewer/Henrich Brauer and John Brower/Johannes Brauer are brothers and that the three Randolph County Browers are descendants of Jacob Brower who was a son of John Brower/Johannes Brauer. Please see the summery for details.

An incomplete database is found on Here is a link to the unidentified ancestor "?Brauer/BrowerBrewer," who was very likely born by 1710. Sorry, but a subscription to will be needed to view this database.

The Brewer DNA Project, and especially the members of this subgroup of related Browers, still seek known direct male descendants of the Coventry, Chester County, Pennsylvania Brower families descended from Henry Brower (1720-1784), Christian Brower (d. 1771) and John Brower (d. 1777). The three are said to be sons of Hubert Brower, who immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1726, and we do suspect that those mentioned in this post are related to the Coventry, PA Browers. We do, however, need the participation of direct male descendants (Y-Chromosome DNA testing) to test this theory. Interested descendants should contact us via the e-mail links found on the Brewer DNA Project website.

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Update to Cemetery and Gravestone Inscriptions from the William B. Bogardus Collection (Part V)

The following additional information to the post of August 21, 2013, "Cemetery and Gravestone Inscriptions from the William B. Bogardus Collection (Part V)" was received from John Wright. The information pertains to the ninth paragraph, Quaker Cemetery on Amawalk Hills near Amawalk Railway Station, Westchester County, N. Y.

"Regarding your post of August 21, 2013, titled Cemetery and Gravestone Inscriptions from the William B. Bogardus Collection (Part V). Quaker cemetery on Amwalk Hills.

I may have some answers to the uncertainties you noted in your post. You mentioned a few unknown Browers in the Armwalk Cemetery, and I can identify them.  James H. Brower and Mary A. Brower were my great, great grandparents. They were both born in Wastchester County, N.Y. In 1827, they were married in Westchester in 1847. The Bedford 1850 census lists Jas H. Brower, 23, Mary Brower, 23, and a daughter, Louisa, 4 months. The 1860 Somers County (next to Bedford) Federal Census, which is a sloppy mess, lists the family as James H. Brown. 33, Mary, 33, “Laura” (Mary Louisa), 10, Sarah E, 9, Annie A, 9, and James H. Jr., 4.
After his father, John Brower, died in 1864, James H. and family moved to Rockland County. The 1865 Clarkstown NY census shows James H., 38, Mary A, 38 with children, Mary L., 15, Anna A, 11, James H, 4, William H., 4, and Harriet H, 2 3/12.

The 1875 Clarkstown NY Census includes the county of birth. It shows James H., Mary A, William and Harriet were born in Westchester County.

In the 1880’s, the family used a last name of Brewer. My grandfather, Earl J. Brower (b. 1888), told me that his Victorian, biddy aunts decided that Brewer sounded too much like brewery, and changed the name back to Brower.

James A and Mary A are buried in Germonds Cenetery in New City, Rockland County. 

The Katonah Cemetery in Westchester County was taken in the 1890’s to make way for the Croton Aquaduct and reservoir. The graves were moved to various nearby cemeteries. The Browers were moved to Amawalk Hills Cemetery. The following is a link to a document prepared in 1907. It is an alphabetical list of the graves moved: Cemeteries, Katonah, Westchester Co., N. Y. Brooklyn N. Y., unknown, 1907.  

If you look at line 30, you see Brower: Sarah E ——, April 13, 1863 aged 11, 4, 17 of James H and Mary, and See 12A: Tuttle 389

Line 389 shows: Tuttle: Louisa wife of J— A—

Sarah E Brewer (or Brower) daughter of James H (owner)

Line 390 shows John Brewer (or Brower) his stone is right next to Sarah’s.

Louisa Tuttle is James H’s daughter, born in 1850. She married James A Tuttle (b. 1841 d. 1919).
I have not been able to prove that John was the father of James H., but I think it's a strong possibility. The inscription on the stone gives the dod, February 4, 1864, 83 years."

Thanks John for the contribution. 

View Above the Croton Dam, Croton Histories & Mysteries

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Will of Abraham Wenger of Berks County, Pennsylvania, 1792

Abraham Wenger of Union Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania wrote his will on 2 September 1792. It was proved 7 May 1794 and can be found in Berks County Wills, Volume B, page 343. I have also placed a transcript online. The will is of importance to those researching the Brower families of Berks and Chester Counties, Pennsylvania, and Randolph County, North Carolina.

Abraham Wenger, whose name also appears as Wanger, Wagner, Wenghert and other variations, died 3 May 1794 and is buried in the East Coventry Mennonite Cemetery in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Abraham's age at death was 64 years, 1 month and 4 days, which gives him a calculated date of birth as 29 March 1730. He was married twice. His first wife was named Anna, who is said to have been Anna Brower, a daughter of Christian Brower (d. 1771) of Coventry, Chester County, Pennsylvania. Anna died 11 March 1792, age 59 years. Proof that she was in fact a daughter of Christian Brower is sought. Abraham Wenger's second wife was Barbara Brower, nee High (Hoch), the widow of Henry Brower (1720-1784) who is said to be a brother of the mentioned Christian Brower. Barbara (High) (Brower) Wenger died 17 January 1797, age 69 years, 9 months and 16 days, so born 1 April 1727 (her Find-A-Grave page then being in error). Barbara had written her own will 24 January 1791 (Berks Co. Wills, Vol. B, pp. 472-473). It was proved 2 February 1797. At the time he wrote is will, Abraham Wenger was a widower and had not yet married Barbara. A codicil to his will dated 3 May 1794 addresses his marriage to "Barbara Brower, the widow of Henry Brower."

Abraham Wenger does not mention any children or grandchildren of his own in his will and it is therefore assumed that he either never fathered children, or if he did, they died prior to 1792 and left no heirs of their own. As no burial records for children have been located, it may be that he never had children of his own.

Abraham Wenger leaves his house in Union Township and his plantation and tenements to Abraham Brower, who is described as "my beloved Friend," and as the son of "John Brower in Carolina." Abraham Brower is required to pay five hundred pounds to various named legacies, and so the transaction was not so much a bequeathment from Abraham Wenger to Abraham Brower as much as it was a sale. Five hundred pounds was a fair sum of money in 1792. However, Abraham Brower also received Wenger's riding horse, working sleigh, hogsheads, vessels, half of his smith tools, anvil and more.

The second legatee mentioned in the will is "John Brower Junr a son of John Brower Senr which Livith in Carolina." John Brower, Jr. received fifty pounds in silver or gold and Wenger's silver watch.

Also receiving legacies is Annah Brower, a daughter of the above named Abraham Brower, and Benjamin Bennit of Coventry Township, Chester County, who received the other half of Wenger's smith tools. And finally, Abraham Brower's young son Abraham, is to receive "my new hat."

It is important to note that all of the mentioned legatees of Abraham Wenger are not referred to by the testator with any familial qualifier. In other words, with the exception of the widow Barbara Brower, there is no stated relationship, either by blood or marriage, between Abraham Wenger and Abraham Brower, John Brower Jr., John Brower Sr., Annah Brower, Abraham Brower's son Abraham or Benjamin Bennit.

After leaving property to the above individuals, Abraham Wenger then goes on to list family members who are to receive money, including shares of the five hundred pounds that Abraham Brower is to pay for Wenger's real estate. He names brothers and sisters, and nieces and nephews, and in that regard this will is a very valuable document for reconstructing the extended Wenger family. I would refer you to the online transcript for the complete list.

The Abraham Brower mentioned in this will was a son of John Brower and Hannah Echelbaur. According to the record of his baptism at the Trinity Reformed Church in York County, Pennsylvania, Abraham was born 10 June 1758 and was baptized 24 June 1762 as Abraham, son of Johannes Brauer and Hannah (nee Echelbauer)*. His brother's Christian (b. 17 May 1756) and David (b. 18 Oct 1760) were baptized the same day. Abraham Brower remained in Berks County, Pennsylvania, married Mary Bunn and had eight children whose descendants are well documented. Just recently a direct male descendant has taken a Y-DNA test with the Brewer DNA Project (Family Tree DNA).+ To date it has generally been believed that Abraham was a son of John Brower and his wife Susanna, who some refer to as Susanna Wanger/Wenger (we seek proof of this identification), and was a grandson of Hubert Brower who immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1726. The descendants Y-DNA matches and the above mentioned baptism record, requires us to reconsider this generally believed account of Abraham Brower's parents and ancestry. This will be examined further in future posts.

*Henry James Young, Register of the First Reformed Church, York, Pennsylvania and of Trinity Reformed Church, Vol. 1. Typescript, 1935. Online at, "Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985" database), page 19.

+The Brewer DNA Project is presently seeking direct male descendants of Christian Brower (d. 1771) and of Henry Brower (1720-1784) both of Coventry Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. Interested participants should contact the administrators of the Brewer DNA Project for additional info.

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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Brower Findings in the Orphan Court Records of Chester County, Pennsylvania

Digital images of the Orphan Court Records of Chester County, Pennsylvania can be viewed online at Pennsylvania Probate Records, 1683-1994, Chester County.

Format: Year, Volume, Page - Text or Transcription. Link

1786, Vol. 9, p. 47 - (566) Upon the petition of John Brower son of Henry Brower late of Coventry Township decd. who is a minor under twenty one though above fourteen years of age Daniel Brower is by this Court admitted and appointed his guardian. Image 473.

1798, Vol. 10, p. 89 - (159) Upon the petition of Susannah Brower a minor over the age of fourteen years the Court appoints Susannah Brower Guardian over said Minors person and Estate. Image 634.

1798, Vol. 10, p. 89 - (160) Upon the petition of Jacob and Elizabeth Brower Minors over the age of fourteen years for a guardian the Court appoints Susannah Brower Guardian for said Minors. Image 634.

1807, Vol. 11, p. 219 - Upon the petition of Abraham Brower and Mary Brower, Minors above the age of 14 years, children of Abraham Brower late of the Township of Coventry deceased Daniel Brower of Montgomery County is appointed guardian for the said minors. Image 890.

1809, Vol. 12, p. 5 - Upon the petition of Abraham Brower son of Abraham Brower late of the Township of Coventry deceased Abraham Brower was admitted and appointed guardian of the person and estate of said minor. Image 6.

1861, Vol. 23, p. 593 - Petition of Henry Brower and Lewis W. Brower. Oct. 30, 1861. Minors, children of Henry Brower late of West Fallowfield Township deceased, by their mother Elizabeth Brower said minors being under the age of fourteen years after mature deliberation W. B. Reynolds was appointed guardian of the said persons and estates of said minors. Image 308.

1862, Vol. 24, p. 56 - Petition of Sarah Brower. Sept. 8, 1862. Upon the petition of said minor under the age of fourteen years by her father Gilbert Brower after mature deliberation Henry Hunsberger was appointed guardian of the estate of said minor. Image 375.

1878, Vol. 29, p. 330 - Milton Brower's and Elizabeth Brower's Estate. Feb. 25, 1878. Upon the petition of Milton Brower and Eliza Brower by their mother Annie Brower minor children of Harrison Brower late of East Coventry Township, Chester Co., Pa, deceased, under the age of 14 years...Whereupon the Court appointed Isaac W. Brower as aforesaid he to enter into bond to the Commonwealth in the sum of $3200 with W. Brower, Gilbert Brower as sureties who are approved. Image 178.

Here is a digital image of the index page used to locate the above records.

Chester County Estate index 1717-1880 (
And a link to the same image online at FamilySearch.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Hubert Brauer/Brower "Pass"

Hubert Brauer (see the post of September 11, 2016) came to Philadelphia from Germany in 1726. The one and only record that survives to present times that tells us of Hubert Brauer (or Brower) is known as "The Pass," a document that granted Hubert Brauer and his family permission to emigrate to the American colonies. The original document is in possession of the Brethren Historical Library and Archives (BHLA) in Elgin, Illinois. "The Pass," along with two other documents were given to the BHLA by Dr. David H. Otto and his wife Elizabeth. The BHLA has made a low resolution image of the original available online. A translation and transcription, however, are not found at the BHLA website.

The short overview of Hubert Brauer's family found on the BHLA website has pretty much been the long accepted picture of Hubert's family. The family is generally assumed to be comprised of Hubert, his wife Anna, and there sons, John, Christian and Henry. Although Anna and the three sons can be found in a few records in Pennsylvania, there is no other record of Hubert. We have no record of when he was born or when he died, where exactly he lived in Pennsylvania, or if he even survived the voyage. The first question that came to my mind once I began to look at the family of Hubert Brauer was, is there information in the "Pass" that specifically tells us that Hubert in fact had a wife named Anna, and three sons named John, Christian and Henry? To answer this question I contacted the BHLA and for a small fee obtained from them digital copies of the original "Pass" and two translations.

The translations, which were said to have been made in the 19th century, but by whom was not known, do confirm Hubert Brauer's name (spelled as BRAUER as opposed to the more commonly seen BROWER) and that of his wife, Anna. However, with regards to Hubert's children, the two translations are different. I have placed the translations online as a PDF. You will have to download the document and use your Adobe Reader Rotate view to rotate the pages to the vertical. Common to both translations is the fact that neither gives the names of Hubert's sons. The "Pass" does not confirm the generally accepted belief that Hubert's sons were named John, Christian and Henry. The two translations differ in that the first states, "Hubert Brauer, a citizen of Fuss-Yonnheim*, and his lawful wife Anna, besides three children (a son and two daughters) have today made their appearance," while the second states, "Hubert Brauer, a citizen of Fuss-Yonnheim and his lawful wife Anna, besides three children [3 sons and two (written over with 1) daughters] have today made their appearance." This discrepancy of course leaves us with the ambiguity of whether or not Hubert even had three sons. Checking the two translations against the original does not settle which of the two is correct. It appears to me, that in the original says "3 sons and 2 daughters" with both numbers 3 and 2 either written over with a 1 or smudged. Unfortunately the file of the original is too large to be shared online. It is suggested to anyone interested in seeing the original that they contact the head librarian at the BHLA. They will send digital images for a fee. The end result of this inquiry is that we still do not have strong evidence that Hubert Brauer in fact had three sons named John, Christian and Henry.

The three assumed sons of Hubert Brower did have in common the fact that all lived in Coventry Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. We have a date of birth of 1720 for Henry Brower that is calculated from his age at death as engraved on his grave marker (an image is available at Find-A-Grave, memorial #38589109). Dates, or even years of birth for John Brower and Christian Brower are not known, but it appears that John was deceased by 30 May 1777 when administration was granted on his estate. Christian Brower died in 1771 while leaving a will dated 3 June 1771 that was probated in November 1771. More on the individual sons may follow in future posts. However, I have yet to find a record that specifically states that the three, John, Christian and Henry, are in fact brothers. Ideally we would like to have more certain evidence to that claim.

Hubert's wife Anna is said to have remarried Johannes Roth and died in 1780. This according to a Find-A-Grave memorial (#136204824) from 2014. However, specific sources for this are not provided and I'm afraid to say that the reliability of info provided on Find-A-Grave memorial pages, especially with regards to persons who lived during the colonial period, is often speculative, can be misleading and too often is false. While the statements made for Anna may well be correct, we do need further evidence for them.

Fortunately we do have the modern tool of Y-Chromosome DNA testing to help us determine whether or not John, Christian and Henry Brower are brothers. The Brewer DNA Project is seeking direct male descendants of John Brower, Christian Brower and Henry Brower, all of Coventry, Pennsylvania, to sign up with the Project and take a Y-DNA test. Ideally we would like to have at least two direct male descendants from each of the three supposed brothers, with each of the two descended from different sons of each brother. Any descendants interested in helping should contact the administrators at the Brewer DNA Project.

*"Fess-Yonnheim" in the document is generally accepted as Fess Gonnheim, in modern German Feßgönheim, a present day municipality in Rhein-Pfalz-Kreis, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

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Monday, October 31, 2016

The Will of John Brower of Randolph County, North Carolina, 1814

The will of John Brower, who is also referred to as Col. John Brower, of Randolph County, North Carolina, is found in Randolph County Wills, vol. 4, pp. 79-80. Digital images of the will can be found online at in "North Carolina Probate Records, 1735-1970", under Randolph County. Here is a direct link to page 79.

The will is dated 15 April 1814 and begins, "I John Brower of the County of Randolph and State of North Carolina being of sound and perfect mind and memory..." He leaves to his wife Catharine, one third of his land including his dwelling and out houses. Also "one waggon, two horses, four milch cows four caves (calves), all the kitchen furniture with the kitchen, all the household furniture, also my negro fellow Jep (during her widowhood in my name)." To his daughter Sarah he leaves one negro girl named Hannah, one horse saddle and bridle. His son Daniel receives his negro boy Lewis, one horse saddle and bridle. Daughter Elizabeth receives a negro girl named Willy, and a horse saddle and bridle. The children are to receive the residue of his land to be equally divided among them. He also leaves to Lucy Onlly(?) one hundred dollars and a bed and furniture. He appoints his "worthy friends," Danl. Albright, Danl. C. Clap and John Long, Jun. as executors. The witnesses are Nicholas Brower and Eli Brower.

The will was proven by Nicholas Brower and Eli Brower at the August 1814 term of the Randolph County Superior Court.

John Brower is most likely a son of John Brower, who with his wife Hannah Echelbaur had five sons baptized at the Trinity Reformed Church in York County, Pennsylvania between 1762 and 1765. The five sons of John Brower and Hannah Echelbaur were Christian (b. 17 May 1756), Abraham (b. 10 June 1758) and David (b. 18 Oct 1760) who were baptized together on 24 June 1762, followed by Adam (b. 4 Feb 1763) baptized as Johan Adam on 20 March 1763, and Jacob (b. 14 October 1765) baptized on 3 November 1765*. A baptism record for the younger John Brower, testator of this will, has not been found, but he is likely the son of John Brower, Snr. named in the will of Abraham Wanger of Union Twp., Berks County, Pennsylvania, dated 2 September 1792 (Berks Co., PA Wills vol. B2, p. 373). In his will, Abraham Wanger (also spelled Wenger) devises property to his "friends" Abraham Brower of Berks Co., Pennsylvania and John Brower, Jnr., living in Carolina, both described as sons of "John Brower, Snr. in Carolina." The elder John Brower's sons Christian, Adam, David and Jacob also settled in Randolph County, North Carolina which saw a migration of English Quaker and German Baptist families from eastern Pennsylvania in the early 1770s. Randolph County was created out of Guilford County in 1779. The elder John Brower's son, Abraham Brower, remained in Berks County, Pennsylvania.

The estate file for Col. John Brower can also be located online at in their searchable North Carolina Estate Files 1663-1979 collection. See the post of October 29, 2016 for a page by page synopsis of this file. In the file we find instructions regarding the widow Catharine's legacy, and petitions from John Brower's three children, Sarah (Sally), Daniel and Elizabeth signed by their guardian Jacob Brower. Although a family relationship between the children and Jacob Brower is not stated, there is no reason not to believe that Jacob was John's brother and an uncle of the children. In 1816 the children were all under the age of 21.

*Lineages, Inc., comp.. York County, Pennsylvania, 1745-1800: First Reformed (Trinity) Church [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000.
Original data: Records transcribed from Family History Library microfilm copies of church records for this locality. For more information, see the Family History Library Catalog (FHLC) for FHL #20356. Online at (subscription required). The elder John Brower is recorded as Johannes Brauer in the records. His wife Hannah is recorded as Hanna (nee Echelbaur) in the 1762 record (three baptisms), as Hanna (nee Eychelpeyer) in the record of son Johan Adam, and as Hanna in the record of son Jacob.

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Brower in the Index to Randolph County, North Carolina Wills

Digital images of the will books for Randolph County, North Carolina can be found online at They are found under the database titled "North Carolina Probate Records, 1735-1970," which is then arranged by county. There is no search tool for this database and so individuals of interest must be searched for by browsing through each page. The links below lead to the page in the volume titled "Wills Cross Index, 1793-1902, vol. 1." The entries in the index are arranged alphabetically by only the first letter if the surname and then (for the most part) chronologically by year. The left side of each image is arranged by the name of the "Devisor" (testator) and the right side by the "Devisees".

Mary Brewer (Devisee), (John Coble, Devisor) 1801 vol.2, p.86 (image 10)

John Brower (Devisor) 1814 vol.4, p.79 (image 14)

Christian Brower (Devisor) 1819 vol.4, p.693 (image 15)

Margaret Brower (Devisor) 1857 vol.11, p.141 (image 19)

Eli Brower (Devisor) 1863 vol.12, p.414 (image 20)

Alfred Brower (Devisor) 1887 vol.16, p.46 (image 20 right side)

Sallie Brower (Devisee), (Thomas Golston, Devisor) 1840 vol.7, p.336 (image 21)

Elizabeth Brower (Devisee), (Andrew McMaster, Devisor) 1833 vol.6, p.307 (image 22)

Robert Brower, Olympia Brower (Devisees), (Wiley Staley, Devisor) 1885 vol.15, p.529 (image 22)

Alfred Brower (Devisor) 1887 vol.16, p.46 (image 24) same as above

Alfred M. Brower (Devisor) 1902 vol.17, p.225 (image 25) with Devisors Jno. F., Jas. S., and W. A. on the right side of the page

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Estate of Col. John Brower, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1815

The estate file of Col. John Brower of Randolph County, North Carolina can be viewed online at It is found in their North Carolina Estate Files, 1663-1979 database. The file is 34 pages and an image by image overview follows.

Image 1 - File cover. Brower, Col. John 1815

Image 2- John Long, executor of the estate of Col. John Brower dec'd made oath that Rubin Wood, dec'd is charged in the books of John Brower dec'd... Dated 3 May 1815.

Image 3 - Cover page. Brower Bond

Image 4 - Bond of David Brower, Adam Brower and Jacob Brower. Dated 10 April 1817.

Image 5 - John Long, executor of John Brower, v. David Brower and Adam Brower. May 1817.

Image 6 - Order to the sheriff of Randolph County to deliver David Brower and Adam Brower to the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions on 1 May next to answer to John Long. Dated 8 July 1817.

Image 7 - Cover page. David Brower.

Image 8 - Promissory Note dated 18 Apr 1814. Signed by David Brower and Adam Brower, promising to pay John Brower six hundred fifty nine dollars and twenty two cents.

Image 9 - Cover page. Writ to lay off one third of the land of John Brower to his widow.

Image 10 -  Order to the sheriff of Randolph County to lay off and allot to Catharine Brower, widow of Col. John Brower, dec'd, one third of all land, etc. that John Brower was possessed of at his decease. August 1816.

Image 11 - Cover page. Jacob Brower.

Image 12 - By order of the August 1816 term, an account of the land of John Brower, dec'd. By the guardian of minors Sarah, Daniel and Betsey Brower - Jacob Brower gdn.

Image 13 - Inventory of the estate of Col. John Brower. Arranged by the name of the buyer of items from the estate. Includes "John Brower of Cris(tian)", "David Brower of Jacob," and others.

Image 14 - Second page of the inventory of the estate of Col. John Brower. Eli Brower and Adam Brower are listed.

Image 15 - Same as image 14. Another copy of the second page of the inventory of the estate of Col. John Brower.

Image 16 - Third page of the inventory of the estate of Col. John Brower. Sarah Brower, Nicholas Brower, and "John Brower of Nicholas," are listed.

Image 17 - Fourth page of the inventory.

Image 18 - Same as image 17, fourth page of inventory.

Image 19 - Fifth page of the inventory. "David Brower of Adam," Abraham Brower, Catharine Brower and Jacob Brower are listed.

Image 20 - Inventory totals.

Image 21 - List of notes and accounts due the estate of John Brower at time of his death. Includes notes upon Nicholas Brower (3), David and Adam Brower, Jacob Brower, and John Brower.

Image 22 - Continuation of list of notes. X'd out.

Image 23 - Blank page

Image 24 - Petition of Sally Brower, Daniel Brower and Betsey Brower, infant children of Col. John Brower dec'd. Jacob Brower, guardian of the petitioners, ordered to offer at public sale the remaining two thirds of the lands of John Brower, and the petitioner's interest in the remaining one third after the death of John Brower's widow.

Image 25 - Cover page of petition with date August 1816.

Image 26 - August term 1816. Petition of Sally Brower, Daniel Brower and Betsey Brower, children of John Brower late of Randolph County deceased, infants under the age of twenty one years...Jacob Brower, guardian. Mentions that John Brower died in 1814. Mentions a last will and testament naming John Long as executor.

Image 27 - Continuation of petition. Mentions that John Brower's lands adjoined those of Thomas Jones, Isaiah Pickett and Christian Kime. Signed by Jacob Brower, guardian.

Image 28 - Last page of the petition.

Image 29 - Cover page. Cathrine Brower's Dower.

Image 30 - Dated 31 October 1816. Order for the laying off of one third of the land of John Brower dec'd to his widow Catharine Brower. The land is described as 627 acres more or less on Sandy Creek in Randolph County.

Image 31 - Second page of order. Property bounds are described.

Image 32 - Third page of order. Signed by those instructed to lay out the land.

Image 33 - Account of John Long, administrator of John Brower, dec'd.

Image 34 - Order for the sheriff of Randolph County to collect from the estate of John Brower, twenty dollars for a debt from 2 January 1802. Issued 5 September 1816.

The property of Col. John Brower is mentioned on this web page, "Abram Brower House, Liberty."

Items from the sale of Col. John Brower's estate are mentioned in this post at Notes on the History of Randolph County, N. C. (tenth paragraph down).

More on Col. John Brower and the Browers of Randolph County, North Carolina to come in future posts.

PDF version of this post

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Links to Brewer DNA Project Haplogroups on the YFull YTree

Links to individual pages on YFull's Y-Tree, leading to the haplogroup branches represented by participants in the Brewer DNA Project have been added in the column of links on the right of this page under the heading Brewer Y-DNA Project.

As of this date there are eight haplogroup branches on the Y-Tree that have been determined by members of the Project who have taken Family Tree DNA's Big-Y test and followed with analysis of the test results by YFull (a company not commercially affiliated with FTDNA).

To date the following subgroups of the Brewer DNA Project are represented:

Adam Brouwer, Gowanus, L. I. (three members)
Ambrose Brewer (two members)
Arthur Brewer (two members)
Brewer of Essex, England (one member)
Brewer of Gloucestershire, England (one member)
Brewer-Lanier (a.k.a. Lanier-Brewer, nine members)
Jan Brouwer/Hermans (four members)
John Brewer of Sudbury, Massachusetts (one member)

All subgroups of the Brewer DNA Project can be found on the Project's Y-DNA Results page. This page includes STR testing data for tests ranging from 12 markers to 111 markers. The subgroup headings are determined by the earliest known (or suspected to be earliest known) ancestor common to members of the group. "Brewer-Lanier" or "Lanier-Brewer" refers to those believed to be descendants of George Brewer of Brunswick Co., Virginia (whose first wife was Sarah Lanier). The sole members of the subgroups labeled "Brewer of Essex, England," and "Brewer of Gloucestershire, England" are currently found within the subgroup labeled "Ungouped" on the Y-DNA Results Page.

The links found on the right lead to the current haplogroup designations as determined by YFull. They may be changed and updated as more data is analyzed and as YFull updates their YTree. The version of the YTree as of this writing in v4.09. The "Brewer-Lanier" haplogroup branch is identified by I-Y15031, and includes two sub-branches identified by I-Y21524 and I-Y23708.

Members of the Brewer DNA Project interested in identifying their own branch on the YTree can do so by ordering the Big-Y test through their account at Family Tree DNA. The Big-Y test (a SNP test) is only available to those who have previously taken one of FTDNA's STR marker tests. Those new to Y-Chromosome testing will first have to take one of the available Y-DNA tests prior to ordering a Big-Y test. Questions should be addressed to the administrators of the Brewer DNA Project through e-mail links found on the Project's main page.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Update for George Brewer Descendants on YTree v4.08

YFull has updated their YTree. Current version is now v4.08. This new update brings changes to the branch of the YTree represented by descendants of George Brewer of Brunswick County, Virginia. The branch is identified by SNP I-Y15031, and there are now two sub-branches identified by SNP I-Y21524 and SNP I-Y23708. View the current branch here.

Earliest known ancestors for this new configuration is as follows:

    id:YF03764 - George Brewer through his son William Brewer
    id:YF03577 - George Brewer through his son Henry Brewer
    id:YF03395 - George Brewer through his son William Brewer
    id:YF03277 - Wilson Brewer (1801 Chatham Co. NC - 1883 Rome Co.TN)

    id:YF05626 - William Brewer (ca.1780 NC - 1853 Fayette Co. AL)
    id:YF04443 - Briant Brewer (1799 VA, probable son of Thomas Brewer)

    id:YF06846 - Jacob White (ca.1772 NC - ca.1861 GA)
    id:YF06678 - Nimrod Brewer (1793-1875, suspected son of Howell Brewer)
    id:YF05926 - Samuel Brewer (b.1770)

Names of the earliest known ancestors (EKAs) provided by the tested descendants. Although not all can complete their paternal ancestry back to George Brewer using traditional research methods, genetic testing demonstrates that all are most likely descended from George Brewer.

Y-DNA testing is through Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) using their Big-Y test, with advanced analysis by YFull. Also see The Brewer DNA Project main page.

There have no changes made to any of our other Brewer sub-groups on the new YTree.

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Seeking Descendants of Hubert Brower, Immigrant to Pennsylvania in 1726

The Brewer DNA Project is seeking direct male descendants of Hubert Brower who would be interested in participating in the Brewer DNA Project by taking a Y-DNA test. The Project currently has 268 members, and although we suspect that as many as five of those members may be descendants of Hubert Brower, none of them can yet prove this ancestry through traditional genealogical research. This is an example of how genetic genealogy has the potential to fill in or at least augment the gaps left open by the lack of documents, records and surviving family history. It is hoped that in this case, Y-DNA test results from male descendants of Hubert Brower who can prove their lineage, will tell those who cannot, whether or not they in fact are descendants of Hubert Brower.

All that is known about Hubert Brower is that he came to America by virtue of a "pass" dated May 1, 1726. In this document his name is rendered as "Hubert Brauer." Information on "The Pass" can be found online at the website of the Church of the Brethren on their Historical Library and Archives page. Although there is a small photo of the "Pass," there is no complete transcription and a high quality downloadable image of the document is not provided. I have not seen the "pass" myself and am not aware of what exactly is stated in it regarding Hubert and his family. The explanation on the page pretty much follows what has been known, or more accurately, what is believed to be known, regarding Hubert Brower's family. What if any of this information can be found specifically on the "pass" is not known (I have not seen the original myself). As stated on the web page, Hubert Brower had three sons, John, Christian and Henry, who initially settled in Chester County, Pennsylvania. However, although records can be found of all three either in Chester County or the immediate surrounding area from the mid to late 1700s, to my knowledge, there is no surviving record that actually names Hubert Brower as the father of any one of them. In fact, there is no record of Hubert Brower himself in America. And it is a bit unusual that despite the fact that all three (believed to be) brothers had children, none of the three gave the name Hubert to any of their sons.* Does the pass specifically record his three sons by name?

We do not know when Hubert Brower was born. Since it never has been reported, I take it that his age is not given on "The Pass." We also do not know when Hubert died, or where he was buried. Did he actually make it to America? Or did he die during the voyage? The general belief is that Hubert died shortly after his arrival and that his widow, Ann, son remarried a man named Johannes Roth who himself died in 1740. A Find-A-Grave page for "Anna Brauer Roth," mentions "recent research reveals..." but does not point to specifics and does not provide a photo of Anna's grave marker. The bottom line however, is that none of what has been stated regarding Hubert and his sons has been proved through the use of modern accepted genealogical research methods. Perhaps Y-DNA testing can provide supporting evidence.

What is known about the three sons, John, Christian and Henry, is that they left numerous descendants. The current edition of the Brouwer Genealogy Database has information on some who can be accessed individually through this chart. Be forewarned that this chart and the descendant included on the database website is very much incomplete, and contains errors. I have in the past few months created a "tree" on titled "Hubert Brower, Immigrant to Pennsylvania, 1726," which currently includes 5544 reviewed records for 2976 individuals with another 9785 record hints still to be reviewed. If you have an active subscription to you can view this database. If you are a direct male descendant of Hubert Brower who joins the Brewer DNA Project and takes a Y-DNA test (or a female who can recruit a close male Brower relation to do so) I will send you an "invitation" to this database which will allow you access it without a subscription. There is much more information, and far more records on the database than are found on the current Brouwer Genealogy Database website, and I do not plan to update the BGD website anytime soon.

As mentioned above, the Brewer DNA Project currently has (possibly) five participants who may be descended from Hubert Brower, or are somehow closely related to the three claimed sons, John, Christian and Henry. The five can be found on the Brewer DNA Project's DNA Results page under the sub-group titled "Under Consideration A" (color coded green).** Three of the participants are descendants of men named BROWER who were initially found in Randolph County, North Carolina during the early 1800s. The earliest known ancestors of the three are Jacob Brower (1812-1881), Leander Brower (b. 1808, died in Henderson Co., TN) and Leander Brower (b. mid 1850s, died in Henderson Co., TN). It is strongly suspected that the older Leander and Jacob are brothers and the younger Leander is a son of the older of the same name. What is also known, is that sons of John Brower (the believed son of Hubert) migrated to Randolph County, NC in the late 1700s. And although many of John Brower's descendants in Randolph County can be traced, the three mentioned above have not been. We would like to find direct male descendants of John Brower who would be interested in joining the Brewer DNA Project by taking a Y-DNA test. We would like to see whether provable descendants of John Brower genetically match the three who have already tested (and who match each other).

The other two participants in this sub-group are both known and provable descendants of Henry Brewer (a.k.a. Henrich Brauer) of Bedford County, Pennsylvania. Some (now partially outdated) background on Henry Brewer can be found on the Brouwer Genealogy Database site. Hank Graham, the administrator of the Project, gets credit for pointing out the closeness of the match between the descendants of Henry Brewer and those descended from the North Carolina Browers. There is no doubt that the Browers of Randolph County and the Brewers originally of Bedford County, PA are closely related, having a common ancestor within the past few hundred years. Whether or not that ancestor is Hubert Brower is not certain. Henry Brewer of Bedford County was born circa 1735, and he is not the Henry Brower who has long believed to have been Hubert's son and is mentioned on the Church of the Brethren webpage. Is Henry Brewer of Bedford County then a grandson of Hubert Brower? Or is he a nephew of Hubert Brower (a first cousin of the trio of John, Christian and Henry)? Or, is the current picture of the Hubert Brower family incorrect? We would like to find descendants of both Christian Brower and Henry Brower (the claimed sons of Hubert) who would like to join the Brewer DNA Project by taking a Y-DNA test. Ideally we would like to have two descendants of each (John, Christian and Henry) from different sons of each (so six different grandsons of Hubert). The comparison of Y-DNA tests from such a group would help confirm (or refute) the current ideas of how Hubert Brower's family is constructed and help us place the five current closely related participants who are in the Project's sub-group "Under Consideration A."

Interested participants can contact us through the Brewer DNA Project e-mail links found on the Project's main page. The project is hosted by Family Tree DNA, and more information on genetic testing can be found on the Family Tree DNA website. Information on Y-DNA tests is found here. Please note that Family Finder (autosomal testing) and mtDNA (maternal ancestry testing) is of no help to our efforts. We need direct male descendants of John, Christian and Henry Brower.

I also hope to follow up with future posts on each of the three believed brothers, John, Christian and Henry.

*John did have sons named John and Christian. Christian had sons named John, Christian and Henry. Henry had a son named John, but none named Christian or Henry. John and Henry both had sons named Daniel and Abraham, but Christian did not give either of those names to any of his sons.

**Presently only results for four of the participants are view-able online to non-members of the Project. Members of the Project who are logged in can view all five test results.

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

John Brewer, Died April 18, 1821

The image below is of the grave marker of John Brewer buried in Riverside Cemetery, Chemung, New York. It was taken from Find-A-Grave memorial #99523161, created on October 24, 2012 by RobMinteer27. The photo is credited to "whitepaper." This is an important photograph in that it clears up a long standing mystery regarding just who the John Brewer buried in Riverside Cemetery was.

John Brewer, d.1821, Riverside Cemetery, Chemung, NY
Download the image, expand it on your computer, and you will see that the inscription states that John Brewer died April 18, 1821, age 21 yrs. Also inscribed on the stone is the name of Elijah Brewer who died "in the State of Ohio," June 20, 1821, age 44 yrs. The inscription on this stone contradicts previously published transcriptions of this stone which had given John Brewer's death as April 18, 1821, age 91 yrs. These previously published accounts were "Revolutionary Soldiers B-G, Chemung County, N. Y.," Gemini, vol. 8 (Apr 1979), p. 31, and typed index cards found at the Chemung County Historical Society, Elmira, New York, "Chemung County, New York Cemetery Records." The current edition of the Brouwer Genealogy Database (online 6 April 2016), at the profile of John Brewer, cites these two sources and suggests a date of birth as "1730." It is also stated that John Brewer was a Revolutionary War soldier. Based upon this new information he clearly was not.

The original incorrect transcription has suggested to some researchers of Abraham Brewer of Chemung, New York, that John Brewer (assuming he was born in 1730) was Abraham's father. Abraham Brewer was born in 1744 and died in 1814 and is buried in the same cemetery. This image of John's grave marker makes the suggestion that John was Abraham's father impossible. In fact, it appears that it most likely that John Brewer (d.1821) was a grandson of Abraham Brewer (1744-1814). Elijah Brewer (ca.1777-1821) was a son of Abraham Brewer, and since he does appear on the same grave marker as John Brewer, it is probably safe to conclude that Elijah was John Brewer's father.

There is a memorial at Riverside Cemetery that honors men buried there who served during the Revolutionary War. This image is also from the Find-A-Grave website and was attached to Abraham Brewer's page, memorial #65163747. Paul R. is credited with the photo.

Revolutionary War Memorial, Riverside Cemetery, Chemung, NY
The monument, which was erected in 1941, lists Pvt. Abraham Brewer and Pvt. John Brewer. It also includes Pvt. Elijah Griswold who was Abraham's father-in-law. The question now is whether this monument is accurate with regards to Pvt. John Brewer. We now know that the John Brewer who died in 1821, age 21, could not have served in the Revolutionary War. When this monument was created was it done so with the incorrect belief that John Brewer died in 1821 aged 91? Or, is there a second man named John Brewer, born early enough to have served during the Revolutionary War, buried there as well?

Thanks to Nancy Martin who first brought to my attention the fact that the earlier transcription of John Brewer's grave marker was incorrect.

I have recently created an Abraham Brewer, Chemung, New York "tree" at with the purpose of locating direct male descendants who would be interested in taking a Y-DNA test with the Brewer DNA Project. The tree is not complete, it is a work in progress, but it the information found here is more complete than that what is found on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website. We currently have two descendants of Abraham who have tested, but we would like one or two more descendants with verifiable lineages back to Abraham to test so that we may better verify the genetic signature for this group. Please note that a subscription to is needed to view the tree (sorry this is beyond my control). If you are a descendant of Abraham Brewer who would like to join the Brewer DNA Project, please contact us via the e-mail links on the Project's main page.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Finding Rebekah Maglaney Brower (1822-1852)

Susan Stessin-Cohn, New Paltz, New York Town Historian (see this article from a few years back), has contacted me with some previously unknown information and a link to a very interesting webpage. "Finding Rebekah" tells the story of Rebekah Maglaney Brower. This webpage is hosted by the Ulster County Government website and is nested under the "Poorhouse Project," which is headed by Susan. In her words, "Rebekah Brower is an incredibly important person to our County. Out of the more than 2000 burials at the Ulster County Poorhouse, Rebekah's is the only person that has a tombstone." The webpage describes the finding of the Poorhouse's lost cemetery and of Rebekah's tombstone with a transcription of the engraving which included a poem.

Susan and others are currently working at raising funds for the erection of a memorial to those who lived in the Poorhouse. Should that happen she would very much like to have a descendant of Rebekah Brower's family attend the unveiling. The effort was just highlighted on the local Time Warner Cable News site.

Rebekah is a great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I. Her parents were Cornelius C. Brower (b. 1792, d. by 1870) and Phebe Simpson (1797-1872). I first became aware of the family of Cornelius C. Brower and his wife Phebe Simpson, through copies of the work of Chester A. Brower (1922-2005) that I received from William B. Bogardus in 2008. The post of July 10, 2012, describes this and provides links to PDFs of the files I received from Bill. There are eighteen PDFs and the first (Part I) opens with digital images of a Bible record of Cornelius and Phebe Brower's family. Rebekah Maglangney Brower, born 26 of January 1822 is found in the right hand column. The image is difficult to read. It is a scanned copy of a photocopy of (I assume) the original Bible record page. Rebekah's middle name is difficult to discern. "Maglangney" is my best guess. Perhaps it was a family name from Rebecca's maternal side ancestry, of which little is known. Also, nothing is yet known of the ancestry of her paternal grandmother, whose name appears variously in records as Cathalyntje McManny, McManus, and Jemima and Ghemini McMannis, and Jacomyntje Meck. Perhaps the name relates to Rebekah's paternal grandmother's ancestry. Or, her middle name might be a phonetic rendering or variation of Magdalena, a name common among the descendants of Adam Brouwer. Although the pages recording deaths include large sections that are unreadable, Chester A. Brower, in his own notes on the Bible record, writes Rebekah's date of death as 3 May 1852, age 30 years 3 months 5 days (see page 9 of the same PDF). [Note that the webpage presently has her year of death incorrectly transcribed as 1862]. Rebekah's grave marker confirms the date while her middle name is engraved as "Maclanc" (or Maclang) perhaps lending a bit more evidence to the idea that her middle name was the family name of an ancestor.

According to admission records researched by Susan, Rebekah was admitted to the Poorhouse in 1849. And she can be found enumerated there on the 1850 U. S. census at New Paltz, but under the name of Rebecca M. Brown. Those who have spent some time researching Browers in the census records are familiar with the fact that the name Brower, is sometimes mistakenly written in the original census as Brown. And in some cases, while Brower was written as such in the original, a later day indexer or transcriber saw, and then wrote the name as Brown. Whenever I have trouble finding a Brower when conducting an index search of a census record, I try again using the name Brown. More often than not I will then find who I am looking for. A search of the 1850 U.S. census (conducted on using "Rebecca M. Brown" finds our Rebeckah, in the Poorhouse at New Paltz. Her age is given as 25. She is found on the second page of those enumerated in the Poorhouse.

1850 U.S. census, New Paltz, NY (NARA, via
Rebekah is on line 26. The previous census page gives us the name of the "Keeper of the Poorhouse" in 1850, Hiram Dakin, age 48, followed by the members of his family, and then those living at the Poorhouse, all described under occupation as "paupers."

1850 U.S. census, New Paltz, NY (NARA, via
A search of the 1860 census found the poorhouse under the keeper, Moses Constable, age 58. As was expected, Rebekah is not found among those living there, thus confirming her earlier date of death.

Rebekah M. Brower's grave marker can be seen on the site of the former Ulster County Poorhouse cemetery grounds. The site is adjacent to the Ulster County Pool and Fairgrounds. Thanks to Susan Stessin-Cohn for all her work in this cause and for bringing it to my attention. Hopefully the effort to raise funds for the memorial will be successful.

Some links: A post by Susan from 2012 at "The Diaries of Julia Lawrence Hasbrouck". The Poorhouse Project's main page with links. Ulster County Poorhouse page at The Poorhouse Story main page.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

David R. Brewer (1847-1935)

David R. Brewer, born 13 February 1847 in Greene County, Ohio, was a son of John G. Brewer (1795-1886) who was featured in the post of July 10, 2014. Travis Waddle sent me a link to George F. Robinson's, History of Greene County, Ohio... (Chicago: S. J. Clark Pub., 1902), which is online at the Internet Archive website. A profile of David R. Brewer is found on pages 860 to 862.

Books on the histories of individual counties had their hay-day in the late 1800s and early 1900s. They often included large sections devoted to profiles of various "leading" citizens. Anyone who has spent some time researching their family histories, particularly in the mid-western states, has no doubt come across volumes similar to Robinson's History of Green County. They were often written at a time contemporaneous to the subjects found in the profiles, and the information given on the subjects immediate family is usually a very reliable. Often though, the profiles offer a "family history" of the subject stretching back some generations that is entirely inaccurate. From that standpoint, these "Histories" need to be used with critical eye, and cannot be taken as a source or proof of an ancestry. All ancestral claims beyond the parents of the subject, made in these various "Histories," need to be confirmed with actual records. In themselves, they are not acceptable as proof.

In the case of David R. Brewer, the History of Greene County only names his parents John G. Brewer and Sarah Miller. Since the information for this profile likely came from David R. Brewer himself, it most certainly a credible account of his parents. The profile also provides some basic information on David R. Brewer's siblings, which again because of the source, is certainly accurate.

On the subject of David R. Brewer's father's ancestry, the profile is vague. It only mentions that David's grandfather was a native of New Jersey who died at the age of ninety-eight. Although it's a bit of a let down that more information or clues to David's ancestry was not given, it is at least refreshing to see that in this case the author did not reach for or concoct some ancestry for David that would be misleading or completely incorrect. The location, New Jersey, of David's family origins is consistent with David's death record found in Ohio.

A descendant of David R. Brewer's brother, Charles Brewer (1836-1897) has participated in the Brewer DNA Project, and we know from his Y-DNA test results that he, and therefore his direct male ancestors, and all of their direct descendants, are descendants of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I. That same descendant has taken Family Tree DNA's Big-Y test and is one of those whose results have enabled us to more precisely define Adam Brouwer's haplogroup and place him (and his descendants) on the larger YTree. However, we still have not made any new headway on identifying the father of John G. Brewer. While the theory, or lead if you will, presented in the July 10, 2014 post is still valid, it has not been proved. We are open to hearing from anyone who may have evidence of the identity of the parents, and the ancestry, of John G. Brewer.

Thank you to Travis Waddle for the link.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Thomas Brewer, Chatham Co., North Carolina, Estate File, 1802

As a follow up to the posts of the past three days (July 12, 13 and 14), it could be helpful to bring up to the estate file of Thomas Brewer of Chatham County, North Carolina. The file is online at and is found in their searchable "North Carolina Estate Files" database. Here is a direct link.

The file contains 14 images, the first being the folder containing the pages. Image 2 tells us that administration on the estate of Thomas Brewer was granted to Henshaw Brewer. The date is 11 February 1802. Henshaw Brewer, Thomas Harrington and William Tulls put up the bond.

Image 4 is dated 11 November 1802. It grants administration on the estate of Thomas Brewer to William Brewer and James Powell. Putting up bond are William Brewer, James Powell, P. E. West, and Oliver Owen.

Images 6 through 8 is an account of the settlement of the estate with Hinsha (sic) Brewer, dated 27 July 1803.

Image 9, which appears to be dated 13 August 1806 is an accounting of payments made by the administrator of Thomas Brewer's estate.

Image 11, dated 2 February 1803, "Hinchia Brewer, son of Thomas Brewer, deceased," claims that William Warden and William Pinnukes are indebted to him. Also see image 12.

I don't doubt that this is the same Thomas Brewer who is mentioned in page 12 of the suit involving the heirs of Nathaniel Brewer (see the post of July 14). From that suit we learn that Thomas was a brother of Daniel Brewer, William Brewer, George Brewer, James Brewer, Patience Vickers, Lucy Maban, Milly Morgan, Francis Brewer, Susannah Powell and Nancy Powell. In turn, all are children of Nathaniel Brewer. And from this file we learn that Thomas Brewer had a son named Henshaw (Hinchia) Brewer.

A search of the 1800 U.S. census at (subscription required) gives us two heads of households named Thomas Brewer. Both are enumerated at Hillsborough. One as a household of two males age 10-15, one male 16-25, one male over 45, two females 16-25 and one female over age 45.

Thomas Brewer (1) Hillsborough, NC, 1800
The second Thomas Brewer has a household of one male under 10, one male 10-15, one male 26-44, two females 10-15, one female 26-44.*

Thomas Brewer (2) Hillsborough NC, 1800
There appears to be a total of eighteen men named Brewer enumerated at Hillsborough in 1800. This includes two William Brewers, a Daniel Brewer and a Nathaniel Brewer. No Thomas Brewer is found in Chatham County in a search of the 1810 U. S. census. Hinchan (sic) Brewer is found there in 1810 with a household of one male age 26-44, one female age 26-44, and one slave. Henchia Brewer is still found in Chatham County in 1820 and 1830, in the later his age is given as 50-59, so then born between 1770 and 1780. Henchia is not found in Chatham County in a search of the 1840 or 1850 census. An estate file is not found for Henchia in the searchable database at used to find Thomas Brewer's file. But that is not to say that one does not exist. It is possible that there is one to be found elsewhere.

Going with the indication that Henchia Brewer was born between 1770 and 1780, it appears more likely that he is the son of the older Thomas Brewer who is found in the first census record above, and described as over age 45 (I'm assuming that the eldest male enumerated is also the head of household). That would place Thomas Brewer's birth as before 1755. This in turn would point to the Nathaniel Brewer of the law suit file, being the elder Nathaniel Brewer, son of George Brewer and probably his second wife, Alice.

My suggestion to those wishing to research this problem further is to look further into other estate and probate records in Chatham County, as well as land records (deeds) in Chatham County. This looks to require research in the Chatham County Courthouse as many of these records are not available online. Research beyond Chatham County may also be required. I would also suggest looking into the records left by the other sons and the daughters of Nathaniel Brewer and their husbands. I have no doubt that a dedicated researcher would be able to produce a reliable reconstruction of the Nathaniel Brewer family. But it will take some effort.

*'s "Family Data Collection" includes a Thomas Brewer, b. 1771 in Chatham County, died January 1831 in Wayne County, Indiana, son of a William Brewer and Lucretia. Use this as a lead, as the "Family Data Collection" consists of data submitted by users and has many errors. The S.A.R. application of Warren Harold Brewer (1948) lists among his ancestors, Thomas Brewer (b. 1760-1770, d. 1831, wife Lucretia) a son of William Brewer (b. ca. 1752 in Brunswick Co., Virginia, d. after Aug 1832 in Tennesee or Randolph Co., Indiana, no wife named) with William being the Revolutionary War soldier who served while residing in Chatham County (the birth date range given for Thomas is probably too early if William was born ca. 1752). The applicant, William H. Brewer was aged 58 in 1948, born 4 January 1890 in Toledo, Illinois. This S.A.R. application can be found on Information found in S.A.R. (and D.A.R.) applications should always be confirmed by other records.