Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Monday, October 30, 2017

Untangling Two Pulaski Browers

The current Brouwer Genealogy Database (BGD) includes an entry for Pulaski W. Brower, a son of Lot A. Brower and Cynthia Sage. The profile of Pulaski W. Brower's family includes a wife, Mary (___) and two children, Willie and Hattie. Although Pulaski W. Brower did have a wife named Mary, the two children shown belong to a different man also named Pulaski Brower who also had a wife named Mary. This post sorts out the two Pulaski Browers and serves as a correction to the entry on the BGD.

As seen here, our original Pulaski W. Brower can be found on the 1850 U. S. census at Cherry Valley, Ashtabula Co., Ohio in the household of Lot A. Brower.
1850 U.S. census, Cherry Valley, OH (image NARA download from Ancestry.com)
Although he is also recorded as Pulaski W. Brower on the 1860 U. S. census (L. A. Brower household, Lenox, Ashtabula Co., Ohio), on later records he is recorded as Weller P. Brower. The record of Weller P. Brower's death was made in Ingham Co., Michigan. It names his parents as Abraham Brower (Lot A. Brower's "middle" name) and Cynthia Sage. It dates of birth and death as April 17, 1848 and Jan 15, 1920 (incorrectly transcribed as Jun 15, 1920 on Ancestry.com)*. Weller's death certificate also gives his wife's complete name, Mary McCann Brower.
Weller P. Brower Death Cert. (Ingham Co., Michigan, download from Ancestry.com)
 The Michigan County marriage record of Myrtie Brower and Michael J. Cavender (dated 24 Nov 1903, Jackson County) gives her parents as Weller Brower and Mary McCann. Myrtie was born at Bunker Hill, Michigan and was age 18, living at Stockbridge, Michigan at the time.
Marriage of Myrtie Brower & Michael J. Cavender (Jackson Co., MI, download from FamilySeach.org)
With the name of a daughter, places where she was born and lived, and knowledge of Pulaski W. Brower's alternate name (Weller P. Brower) we can find his family on U. S. census records in 1880 at Bunker Hill, Ingham Co., Michigan (his name incorrectly transcribed as Willis Brower on Ancestry.com), and in 1900 and 1910 at Stockbridge, Ingham Co., Michigan (transcribed as Welles P. Brower and Wellas P. Brower respectively). In addition to Myrtie (Myrtle D. Brower), Weller and Mary (McCann) Brower had a son Burney E. Brower (also recorded as Berney Brower) who married Esther G. Miller at Stockbridge in 1905.

The above Pulaski W. Brower, a.k.a. Weller P. Brower, is therefore NOT the Pulaski Brower found on the 1880 U. S. census at Medina, Lenawee Co., Michigan, as is shown on his current BGD profile. The two children listed here (Willie and Hattie) are not children of Pulaski Weller Brower and Mary McCann.

The 1880 U. S. census record of a Pulaski Brower at Medina, Michigan, instead belongs to Pulaski Thorpin Brower and his wife, Mary Gavett. Willie (William Claud Brower) and Hattie (Hattie Mae Brower) are this couple's children. This second Pulaski Brower is found on the 1850 U. S. census at Medina, Lenawee Co., Michigan, age 2, in the household of William W. Brower.
1850 U.S. census Medina, Michigan (image NARA, download from Ancestry.com)
Pulaski Thorpin Brower is recorded as Palaski Brower in 1860 at Medina, Michigan in the household of Wm. Brower (the poor quality image is mis-transcribed by Ancestry.com as "Alaski Brown"). The 1880 U. S. census record mentioned above shows him as Pulaski Brower at Medina, Michigan, with wife Mary, son Willie, age 2, and Hattie, age 8 mos., relationship not recorded, but her record of death gives her parents as Thorpin P. Brower and Mary Gavett (Michigan Death records, 1867-1950, at Ancestry.com, image not available). The Michigan marrige record of William C. Brower (to Nettie May Kerney) records his parents as "Torphy" Brower and Mary Gavett.
William C. Brower Marriage (no.3745). Michigan Marriage Records (Ancestry.com)
The death records (Michigan) of Hattie Mae Wheeler (1950) and William C. Brower (1942), record their father as Thorpin P. Brower. William C. Brower's Social Security application gives his parents as Thorpinn P. Brower and Mary Gavett. I have not found direct records for Pulaski Thorpin Brower past 1880. A member contributed tree at Ancestry.com give his date of death as 1 June 1883 at Woodbridge, Hillsdale Co., Michigan, but it does not supply documentation. Mary Gavett's death is stated as 13 Apr 1900 at Camden, Hillsdale Co., Michigan, but again no supporting documentation.

While Pulaski Weller Brower's ancestry is known, Pulaski Thorpin Brower's is not, but there are some leads. Pulaski Weller Brower is a 4th great grandson of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I. He is the son of Lot Abraham Brower (Cynthia Sage), grandson of Abraham Brower (Phylothia Webster), great grandson of Matheus Brower (Annetje Ouderkerk), 2nd great grandson of Jacob Brouwer (Maria Bovy), 3rd great grandson of Pieter Brouwer (Pieternella Kleyn) and 4th great grandson of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon. Descendants of Pulaski's grandfather, Abraham Brower, have taken Y-DNA tests, the results of which confirm their place among the descendants of Adam Brouwer.

Pulaski Thorpin Brower's parents (from the U.S. census records) were William W. Brower and Ruth A., who can be identified by further research as Ruth A. Mosher. William W. Brower was born ca. 1812 in New York. Ruth A. Mosher was also born in New York. They were in Michigan by 1843 where their eldest known child, son Rianza B. Brower was born. William W. is found only at Medina in Lenawee County and he is last found there on the 1880 U. S. census. Also at Medina through this period is a George W. Brower whose age is given as 46 on the 1850 U. S. census, but as 50 in 1860, 57 in 1870 and 71 in 1880. All four census records agree on George's place of birth as New York. I suspect (and this is just that at this time, a suspicion) that William W. Brower and George W. Brower are brothers, and sons of William Brower and Rebecca Sprague who lived at Fishkill, Dutchess Co., New York, and had eight children including sons William (b. 28 May 1812, d. 18 Aug 1884), and George W. (b. 18 Feb 1803). The source for these dates is an unconfirmed family account provided to William B. Bogardus some years ago (see source 6 on William Brower's BGD profile here). It is claimed by this source that William Brower (husband of Rebecca Sprague) is a son of Jacob Brouwer and Elsie Hitchcock. Although I have yet to find a record linking William to his claimed parents (Jacob and Elsie) I have a hunch this placement may be correct. It is a connection that could benefit from the attention and research of some interested reader out there. The aforementioned Jacob Brouwer is a descendant of Adam Brouwer, a great grandson. Jacob is a son of Adolphus Brouwer (Jannetje Verdon), and grandson of Nicholas Brouwer (Jannetje Caljer).

*Pulaski Weller Brower's widow, Mary, filed a claim for a Civil War pension on March 31, 1920, so her husband had to have been deceased by that date and could not have died in June of 1920. Weller P. Brower had enlisted on 22 Feb 1865, as a musician in Company D, Ohio 196th Infantry Regiment.

BGB 574

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