Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

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.

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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.