Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Brower Papers, 1734-1872

"The Brower Papers, 1734-1872," are a set of transcriptions of indentures and wills and a few miscellaneous items pertaining to some descendants of William Brouwer and Rebecca Vedder of Schenectady and later of Stone Arabia, New York. For some background and thoughts on William Brouwer see the post of April 21, 2012.

"The Brower Papers, 1734-1872," were obtained from William B. Bogardus in late 2008 as a part of his large collection of Brouwer research. The papers themselves were compiled by Muriel D. Schuman and Cleo Stuhlman and were obtained by Bill from the Montgomery County Department of History and Archives in Fonda, New York. The transcripts are not dated (I do not know when the compilers did this work) but they are typed and in very good condition. I have split them into 17 separate documents, scanned them to PDFs and have placed them online. Fifteen of the documents are housed on RootsWeb's Free Pages, while two the documents (nos. 6 and 15) because of their size are available through a Google Drive account. The following list is a brief description of each and a link to the corresponding file.

No. 1. Indenture dated 1 September 1734 between Barhanardus Van diere of Bergen Co., New Jersey and numerous others all of Albany Co., New York and William Brower of "Schonaghton" for lots of woodland lying north of the Mohawk in Stone Arabia, Albany County.

No. 2. Deed for a wood lot in Stone Arabia from Hendreck Walrath to Hendreck Schremling dated 9 October 1739.

No. 3.  Deed from Hendreck Schremling to William Brower for six lots on the north side of the Mohawk, dated 10 December 1739.

No. 4. Bond of Cornelis Feele, Clas Feele and John Feele unto Margaret Acker, daughter of John Acker, dated 2 July 1743. "Margaret Acker" also known as Margariet Ekker or Ecker, was a daughter of Jan Ekker/Ecker/Ekkerson and Margrietje Vile, daughter of "Cornelis Feele" as his name is rendered in the bond. I have not worked out the genealogy but I would suspect that the three bondsman named "Feele" are Margaret's brothers. Margariet Ekker, baptized 21 July 1734 at Schenectady, married Harmanous Brouwer, 8 February 1755. Harmanous is a son of William Brouwer and Rebecca Vedder.

No. 5. The will of William Brower of "Stone Raby In the County of Albany on the Mohawks River yeoman," dated 10 February 1757. He is described as "Being Verry well in Good helth and Sound Perfect Mind and Memory." If born by 1669, which he would have had to have been if he is a son of William Brouwer who died in August 1668 and Lysbeth Drinkvelt, then William Brower of Stone Arabia would have been 86 or 87 years old in early 1757. The will was proved 15 February 1765, which again if born by 1669, would mean that William Brower may have lived to the age of 95 or 96.

No. 6. Indenture dated 2 June 1775 between Arent Brower and Harmen Brower, both of Stone Arabia.

No. 7. Indenture dated 22 May 1793 between Jacob Ekker, Abraham Coopman and Jacob G. Klock, Commissioners for Montgomery County, of the first part and Harmen Brower of the Town of Palatine, Montgomery County, of the second part. The parcels being sold to Harmen Brower appear to be lots that were confiscated from prior owners.

No. 8. Indenture dated 27 February 1798 between Cornelius Brower and Harme Brower, both of the Town of Palatine. The deed is for land that had been bequeathed in the will of William Brower to his sons Arent Brower and Harme Brower.

No. 9. The will of "John B. Jno. Van Eps" of the City of Schenectady, dated 25 March 1799. This would be Jan Baptist Van Eps, baptized 17 June 1752 at Schenectady, the son of Jan Baptist Van Eps and Maria Truax. In his will he names his wife Debora. Jan B. Van Eps married, as his second wife, Debora Brower on 26 January 1799. Debora is a daughter of Harmanus Brower and Margariet Ekker. The rather lengthy will of the elder Jan Baptist Van Eps can be found in Albany County Wills, vol. 3, pp. 241-246. It was dated 13 March 1800, followed by a codicil dated 24 May 1802 and an additional codicil dated 21 June 1805, proved 16 September 1805. The younger Jan Baptist Van Eps is said to have died 28 October 1821. His sister, Sarah Van Eps, married Wilhelmus Brower, a brother of Debora Brouwer.

The remaining eight documents and links will be presented in a following post.

PDF version of this post


  1. Hi Chris, Thanks for all of the great information. I am so confused about my ancestor, Margaret Ecker who married Harmonous Brower. In the post about No. 4 Bond of Cornelis Feele, I'm wondering if Feele is really supposed to be Peele or Peeler. I have seen on some genealogies that Margaret was a daughter of Cornelius Peeler. Thank you for any help, Carole

  2. Carole, I think "Cornelis Feele" is probably Cornelis Vile. F to V (and visa-versa) is a common consonant switch. According to Pearson's First Settlers of Schenectady, Margaret is a daughter of Jan Ecker (Ekker) and Margrietje Vile, whose father was a Cornelis Vile. I have not worked out or researched this Vile family, but I think that that is where you will find answers. The description in number 4 (upon re-reading) is unclear. When I say that I think the Feeles are "Margaret's brothers," I'm referring to Margaret Vile, the mother of Margaret Ecker. But again, I have not researched this family.

  3. Thank you, Chris. That is helpful. I do have the Vile family researched a little bit.


Because of spamming issues, all submitted comments are moderated. Your comment is appreciated, but it will not appear online until it has first been reviewed. All relative comments will be sent through. Comments of a commercial nature will be blocked. It may take as little as a few hours or as long as a few days for submitted comments to appear online. Please do not resend the same comment. Thank you.