Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Some Pages From The Probate File of John Brewer of Scioto Co., Ohio

Sharon McClelland has provided images of a few pages of importance from the probate file of John Brewer of Scioto County, Ohio. She would like to make them available to others who are also researching John Brewer, his descendants, and his possible ancestry.

To review, John Brewer died by May 1808, probably in Scioto County, Ohio where his estate was administered. A brief introduction to John Brewer was posted here on August 8, 2011. Included in that post is a link to a document on the descendants of John Brewer that was originally created back in 2011, and then updated and republished online this past February.

I'll make an attempt at a concise summery of John Brewer here. As stated John died by May 1808 when administration on his estate began. The date of his birth is not known. A reasonable guess would be that he was born between 1745 and 1755. John Brewer was married twice. His first wife was Elsie Lewis, daughter of an Edward Lewis and brother of Barnet Lewis of Bernards Twp., Somerset Co., New Jersey. Barent Lewis' will of 12 February 1807 (Somerset Co., NJ) ties them together. John Brewer's second wife was named Sarah and has been stated by earlier researchers to be Sarah Howell whose ancestry is not known. It should be mentioned here that much of what is known about John Brewer was passed on by earlier researchers and much of what was claimed was not documented. Subsequently some documentation has been found and what you'll find online in the document mentioned above is a current best effort account of John Brewer. The location of John Brewer's birth is not known but the fact that Elsie Lewis was from Somerset County, New Jersey would lead us to believe that John was born in that area as well. John and Elsie had two children (Sarah and Edward) while John and Sarah likely had nine children (Charles, Alice, Jacob, Nancy, Richard, John, James, Sarah and William). 

John Brewer's ancestry is not known. What is known is that he is somehow a direct male descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, Long Island. See Brewer, Richard D., Scott Kraus and William B. Bogardus. "DNA Analysis: Adam Brouwer Berckhoven, Elias Brouwer of New Jersey, and John Brewer of Ohio," New York Genealogical and Biographical Record Vol.138, page 245 (2007).

The pages that Sharon provides are found in Scioto County Probate file #4704, dated 11 February 1809. She acquired them by directly contacting the Scioto County Genealogy Society. Here are links to the images (PDFs) now online:

The Matter of Guardianship of John Brewer and James Brewer and the Guardianship of Polly Brewer.

Receipt of James Black for his wife Mary Black for her share of the estate of John Brewer; receipt for John and James Brewer's share of the estate of John Brewer; receipt for the shares of Sarah and William Brewer of the estate of John Brewer. Note that these receipts dated in April and May of 1813, mention the estate of Samuel Lucas. It appears that Samuel Lucas was the initial administrator of John Brewer's estate, and he (Samuel Lucas) then died himself. What, if any, family relationship exists between Samuel Lucas and John Brewer's family has not been determined.

Receipt of Jacob Brewer (paid to Samuel Lucas) for his portion of the estate of John Brewer (1809); Receipt signed by Jacob Brewer and Charles Brewer for the shares of Sarah and William Brewer (1811).

Thanks again to Sharon McClelland for acquiring and making available the above documents to others interested in the family of John Brewer of Scioto County, Ohio.

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  1. I don't see how to email you otherwise. I have been wondering about the Mary/Maria Holmes who reportedly married Willem Gerritsen in Bermuda c. 1650. Reportedly she was born in Bermuda in 1636. They were clearly in New Amsterdam in 1650s. I have no idea if this Bermuda business is valid or not, but I have been wondering if she was in some way related to George Holmes/Jorg Homs. Do you have any ideas about this?

  2. Linda, Willem Gerritsen of Bermuda, later of Amersfoort (Flatlands)on Long Island, did have a wife named Mary and two of their children, Cornelis and Sara married Maghtel and Johannes Brouwer, siblings themselves and children of Jan Brouwer and Jannetje Jans. I am not aware of Mary's surname, whether it be Holmes or otherwise. Aline L. Garretson in "The Gerritsen-Willemsen Family Record and the Williamson Family of Gravesend," NYGBR 133 (July 2002, pp. 163-176, does not identify Mary's family name (see p. 167). Mary's second husband was Gerrit Remmersen, and the Bible record cited (and transcribed) in this article does not provide a surname for Mary. To my knowledge Mary has not been satisfactorily identified as a HOLMES, and until or if she is I have no reason to even suspect that she is somehow related to George Holmes a.k.a Joris Homs. I would add to this that should Mary be proved to be a HOLMES, there are a number of Holmes families found in 17th century North America including a large HOLMES family headed by Rev. Obadiah Holmes (1610-1682) who had two sons, Samuel and Obadiah, who settled at Gravesend, Long Island. Step one would be to prove that Mary is (or is not) a HOLMES. Step two, if she is a HOLMES, would be to find an immediate family relation, perhaps a provable sibling, in order to determine to which HOLMES family she belongs. Hope this helps.


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