Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Nathaniel Brewer, Chatham Co., North Carolina, Law Suit, Part I

What is known (to date) of Nathaniel Brewer, son of George Brewer of Brunswick Co., Virginia, and most likely his second wife, Alice (___), can be found in the posts of January 20, 2015, and January 21, 2015. I have received some new documents courtesy of Patty Smith who sent me digital images of the pages of a law suit involving the estate of Nathaniel Brewer of Chatham Co., North Carolina. This case tells us the names of Nathaniel Brewer's heirs. CAVEAT: I cannot say with any degree of certainty as to which Nathaniel Brewer this case refers to. It may be the elder Nathaniel Brewer (the son of George Brewer) or it may refer to his presumed son also named Nathaniel. I welcome anyone with more insight to use the Comments option below to add whatever clarification they can provide.

The images were taken from FHL film #1906925, item 2: Wills and Estate Papers (Hillsborough District), 1772-1806. According to the individual who had given the pages to Patty, they were filed under "Thomas Brewer." There are fourteen pages and therefore we will make them available over three posts. I will try to give a brief description of each, but will offer no conclusions. We'll leave that to those who have more of a vested interest in Nathaniel Brewer. The pages will be presented in order of how they were numbered when given to me. FamilySearch has placed images of a many probate records from North Carolina online, and if this record is among them, I have not yet been able to locate it.

Page 1 appears to be a cover page of sorts. Wm. Littlejohn & George Ashton... Partners of ?, vs. Daniel Brewer, Nathl Brewer, Junr(?), Wm. Brewer, George Brewer, ?s? Brewer, then followed by additional names of couples, men and their wives, Francis? Brewer. Dated April 1904. Listed in the right hand column are William Norwood, Thomas Snipes, James Powell, George Brewer and Isaac Petty.

Nathaniel Brewer Case, p. 1

Pages 2 and 3 describe the case. William Littlejohn and George Ashton surviving partners of Ralph McNair Company seek to recover a judgement against Nathaniel Brewer, Senior for 58 pounds 12 shillings 11 pence and the cost of the suit. Nathaniel Brewer is accused of defrauding the plaintiffs by conveying property to his son Francis Brewer. Nathaniel Brewer then died intestate leaving Daniel Brewer, Nathaniel Brewer, William Brewer, George Brewer, James Brewer, Patience Vickers wife of Charles Vickers, Lucy Maban wife of John Maban, Milly Morgan wife of William Morgan, Francis Brewer, Susannah Powell wife of Charles Powell, Nancy Powell wife of Levi Powell, brothers and sisters and heirs at law. Dated 6 April 1804.

Nathaniel Brewer Case p. 2

Nathaniel Brewer Case, p. 3

Page 4 once again lists the plaintiffs and defendants and moves the case to the October term 1804.

Nathaniel Brewer Case p. 4
To be continued...

July 16, 2016: Marie, writing in the comments section below, points us to the online images for the documents in this series of posts, found at Here is a direct link to image 971. Use the forward arrow to move through the file. The images here are far better than the ones posted here. Although not found online in the same order as presented here, all fourteen images are there. Thanks Marie. And thanks again to Patti Smith, there is the possibility of a breakthrough here for some George Brewer descendants.

PDF version of this post


  1. Levi and Nancy Powell appear in the Todd Co., KY census in 1850, at ages 73 and 70, respectively. I believe that these are the Levi and Nancy referred to in the legal record, above. If so, given the ages of these folks, as well as the generational inferences drawn in Chris's January 2015 posts re Nathaniel Brewer, the son of George, there would appear to be a reasonable inference that the decedent in these legal records is the middle Nathaniel, not the oldest of the three.

    David Vintson Brewer

  2. David, that was my first impression as well. But now I'm not so sure. See the follow up post on Thomas Brewer of July 15, 2016. The other members of this family need to be looked at as well.

  3. If you click on the film description link and then go to image 971 you will find the cover folder for the documents. They were not filmed in the same order as you list them.


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