Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Review of Our Unplaced Genetic Descendants of Adam Brouwer

Since its inception in 2005, the Brewer DNA Project has grown to include 290 members, 36 of whom have been placed in the Sub-group, "Adam Brouwer, Gowanus, L. I." Of these 36 members there are 21 who can, through traditional genealogical research, prove a direct paternal ancestry back to Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island. In addition there are 13 members who we know must be descendants of Adam Brouwer (by virtue of their Y-DNA test results) but who still cannot find the link between their earliest known paternal ancestor and Adam Brouwer.* The 13 members with incomplete Brewer ancestries represent ten different earliest known ancestors and the purpose of this post is to provide a quick review the ten. We hope that others who happen upon this post and who may have information or insight regarding the further ancestry of these ten will contact us with a willingness to help.

The Ten

  1.  Peter Brewer, probably born during the 1750s in or near Sussex County, New Jersey. He is first seen as an adult in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania in 1783 but soon went to Hardin County, Kentucky where is will dated 2 November 1840 was proved 19 April 1841. His wife was Margaret Hobach (Hoback) who died in 1853 in Larue County, Kentucky. They had seven known children. Three members of the Project can trace their Brewer ancestry to Peter through his son, Valentine Brewer. The three are all descendants of Charles Brewer (1888-1950) a great-great grandson of Peter Brewer. We are currently waiting Y-DNA test results for a descendant of Peter's son, Isaac Brewer. Peter is known to have had a brother named Samuel Brewer who died in 1835 in Mercer County, Kentucky. In his Revolutionary War Pension Application, Samuel stated he was born in Sussex County, New Jersey. His brother Peter provided a deposition. See the post of November 16, 2013.
  2. Benjamin Brewer, born 24 April 1755, location unknown, died 6 May 1834 in Washington County, Indiana and his buried in the Cooley-Brewer Cemetery. His wife was Catherine Mellinger who he married on 18 May 1781. Benjamin is found on the tax roll in Tyrone Twp., originally in Westmoreland County and afterwards in Fayette County, Pennsylvania (Fayette was formed from Westmoreland in 1783). Benjamin was enumerated in Tyrone Twp. in 1790 (U.S. census), at Jefferson County, Kentucky in 1800, and later in Washington County, Indiana in 1820 and 1830. He and Catherine are known to have had nine children born between 1780 and 1799. A descendant of Benjamin's son Benjamin (1782-1861) has taken a Y-DNA test. On 20 February 1783, Samuel Brewer of Tyrone Twp. sold land to Benjamin Brewer. This Samuel Brewer is the same Samuel mentioned above, brother of Peter Brewer. Although a relationship is not stated in the deed, we suspect that Peter, Samuel and Benjamin are all brothers. See the post of November 16, 2013
  3. Henry Brewer, said to have been born in 1763 (unconfirmed) is probably the Henry Brewer found on the 1810 U. S. census, over age 45, at Donegal, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. A Henry Brewer is on the 1783 tax list at North Huntingdon, Westmoreland County. His wife was named Anna Maria and the baptism of their son Henry (called Heinrich Brauer) on 10 October 1788 was recorded by the German Church in Westmoreland County. The younger Henry's birth date was 1 September 1787, and he is found on the 1820 census in Washington, Westmoreland County; on the 1830 census in Salem, Westmoreland County, and on the 1840, 1850 and 1860 censuses in Loyalhanna, Westmoreland County. The younger Henry is the only known child of the elder Henry. His wife was Mary Rudolph and two (believed) sons are Jacob and a third (in line) Henry. A descendant of this Jacob Brewer provides our Y-DNA testing evidence. What is known of the earliest generations of this family is very sketchy, and incomplete. In is conceivable that Henry is a close relation (brother or first cousin) of Peter and Benjamin above. See the post of November 16, 2013.
  4. Henry Brewer, of Berkeley County, Virginia and Adams County, Ohio, was born in March 1765, location not known, and died 20 February 1829 in Adams County, Ohio. His wife was Sarah Hawke who died in May 1829. Henry and Sarah were married on 14 February 1786 in Berkeley County, Virginia, a county that is now in the State of West Virginia. Sarah is likely a daughter of Elijah Hawke who can be found in Berkeley County on lists of land holders between 1784 and 1794. Among the eight known children of Henry and Sarah is a son Elijah Brewer. Elijah is a given name that is otherwise not found among the descendants of Adam Brouwer. The Project has one member who is a descendant of Henry's son Charles Brewer, born about 1802 in Virginia and is last found on the 1860 U. S. census in Jefferson, Adams County, Ohio. Charles also gave a son the name Elijah. The key document in researching Henry is his Revolutionary War Pension Application. In his application Henry states that he enlisted at Martinsburg, Berkeley County, Virginia. In 1830, Henry's son Elijah Brewer applied for bounty lands due his father. This document lists Henry's heirs and is the source for reconstructing Henry's family. Some descendants have claimed that Henry's parents were a couple named Abraham Brewer and Mary Wilts. However, no record of any couple with such names has ever been found, and it is doubtful that said couple ever existed. An Abraham Brewer has been found in Berkeley County in 1774 on a "list of tithables," but whether or not Henry is a son of this Abraham Brewer is not known. He could be, but he doesn't have to be, and it cannot be assumed that he is.  See the post of May 9, 2013, and the post of January 15, 2012.
  5. Mathew Brewer, was probably born in the later part of the 1750s, location not known but suspected to be either New Jersey or New York. He is last found at Richhill Twp., Greene County, Pennsylvania on the 1820 U. S. census, age over 45. In 1815 a Mathew Brewer applied for 48 acres in Buffalo Twp., Union County, Pennsylvania. In 1810, Mathew Brewer is found on the U. S. census at Morris, Greene County, over age 45. In 1800, Mathew Brewer is found on the U. S. census in Bedford County (Bethel and Belfast Townships). In 1793 a Mathias Brewer is found on the June tax list in Lebanon, New Jersey which is in Hunterdon County. I would suspect that this Mathias Brewer is the one later found in Bedford and then Greene Counties. Mathew's wife was believed to be an Emery, perhaps Mary or Elizabeth. A Mary Emery, daughter of Jacob and Eva Emery was born in Lebanon, New Jersey on 5 March 1759. Dates of death or records of probate have yet to be found for either Mathew or his wife. It is believed that he had eight children, seven of whom are named in an account authored by his grandson James A. Brewer. An eighth child, Jacob Brewer who married Cassandra McDonald is also claimed as a son of Mathew Brewer. Two members of the project have taken Y-DNA tests. One is a descendant of James A. Brewer whose father Conrad Brewer was a son of Mathew. Conrad is an unusual name among the descendants of Adam Brouwer, but the Jacob Emery mentioned above was a son of Conrad Emery who is found on the tax roll in Lebanon, New Jersey in 1778. The second Project member who has tested is a descendant of Mathew's son John B. Brewer who can be found on the 1820 U. S. census enumerated next to Mathew. John B. Brewer is later found in Porter County, Indiana (1840), Dallas County, Iowa (1850) and finally Madison County, Iowa where it is believed he died in the early 1860s. See the posts of September 11, 2013 and September 18, 2013, as well as the comments left at both posts.
 And so there are five of our ten unplaced earliest known Brewer ancestors. The remaining five will be reviewed in a following post. I would invite anyone with insight, new information or comments to use the Comments feature below to share them with others. If you wish to convey more than what the Comments field will permit, please send correspondence to our new e-mail address.

*We also have one member who has not communicated a Brewer ancestry with the Project, and one other who is a special case involving a known adoption event.

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  1. Hello, I believe we have found a connection to the Brewer family through the daughters of the American Revolution. I'd like to know more about this connection. Would you suggest any particular blog post to start with?
    Thanks very much.

    1. Bethanie, I can only suggest that you use the "Search Brouwer Genealogy" tool found on this page (top of the right side column) and enter DAR. Any posts with mention of that will come up. Also try a search using the names of your earliest known ancestor. Good luck.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hello,
    I am a hobby genealogist in Germany an researched der German branch of the Bruere famly from 1700 until 1900. If you are interested in informations pleases end me a short email to


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