Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Friday, June 29, 2018

Late 18th Century Wills Recorded in New York County, New York

Surnames BROWER and BREWER found in books of the New York County Surrogate's Court. In this post we are covering the years 1778 to 1795. The images are online at in their collection titled New York Probate Records, 1629-1971 > New York County.

Nicholas Brower, 10 June 1778, 33: 10 (12), 41. Codicil at p. 12 (15). At Albany AB, No. 120 (image 690). The will is dated 17 Sep 1777, with codicil dated 21 Sep 1777, recorded at the Surrogate's Court 17 Jun 1778. He is calls himself Nicholas Brouwer of Albany, yeoman. He mentions his wife Sarah, his brother Cornelis and his own children, Nicholas Jr., David, William, Jeremiah, Jacob, Jane (wife of William Conklin), Sara, Catherina, Elisabeth. Sarah Brower, executrix appeared before Judge Thomas Treadwell of the Probate Court at Dutchess County, New York on 10 Jun 1778. Nicholas Brower, as executor appeared before the Surrogate Court in Dutchess Co., 31 Aug 1778. This Nicholas was married twice, first to Mary Dutcher (six children) and second to Sarah Drake (seven children) who afterwards married Stephen Callow. He is a son of Adolphus Brouwer (1693-1742) and Jannetje Verdon (daughter of Jacob Verdon and Femmetje Westervelt). Nicholas is a great-grandson of Adam Brouwer, of Gowanus, L. I. Nicholas was born 11 June 1714 (according to a Bible record) and was the Brouwer responsible for establishing the mills at Wappingers Falls in Dutchess County, New York.

Johannes Brewer, 13 Jan. 1780, 33: 149 (223), 152. Begins at the very bottom of page 223. The will is dated 19 June 1778. Proved 13 Jan 1780. Johannis Brewer, of the Manor of Philipsburgh in Westchester County, being in perfect health. My will is that my son Jacob shall have all my improvements where I now live, on condition that he gives his sister Peggy Brewer a good maintainance. I leave to my daughter Peggy a good bed and furniture. I leave all household goods to my four sons and three daughters viz: Deliverance, Peter, Matthew, Jacob, Angeltie wife of John Sispen, Lena wife of Peter Mabie and Peggy, and all my moveables. I make my friend William Yurksea and John Yurksea, executors. Witnesses: Johanis Britt, William Britt, William Davids. Johannes/John, called Brewer in the will, was baptized in 1702 at the Reformed Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow. He was a son of Samuel Brouwer and Grietje Smith, a grandson of Matthys Brouwer and Marietje Pieterse (Wyckoff) and a great grandson of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I.

James Brewer, 7 Dec. 1780, 33: 196 (299), 191. Begins at the bottom of page 196 (299). Dated 20 November 1780, proved 7 Dec 1780. James Brewer of the Manor of Cortlandt in Westchester County, being weak and sick. I leave to my son Joseph, seventy pounds in gold or silver. To my wife Hannah, my horse and riding chair. After all debts are paid I leave the rest to my wife Hannah and my seven children, Sarah, Mary, Joseph, James, Daniel, Phebe and Samuel. I make my wife and my son Joseph and my brother-in-law Abijah Lee, executors. Witnesses: Justus Sherwood, Josiah Ingersoll, Joseph Lee, Jr. James Brewer was baptized in July 1740 at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. He is a son of Daniel Brewer (b. 1704, Watertown, MA) and Phebe Locke. He is a great-great grandson of John Brewer (b. abt. 1621, Cambridge, England) who was at Sudbury, Massachusetts by October 1642. John Brewer had a son, John (1642-1691) who married Elizabeth Rice, and a daughter Hannah (1645-1697) who married Daniel Goble. Two descendants of the immigrant ancestor, John Brewer (his wife was named Anne) have taken Y-DNA tests with the Brewer DNA Project. Advanced SNP testing with Big-Y (FTDNA) and analysis at YFull, now has them identified as haplogroup R-FGC46823 (which is an update from the post of April 22, 2016). James Brewer's wife was Hannah Lee, a daughter of Joseph Lee who died in 1790 in Westchester County.

Jurre Brower, 11 Feb 1784, 36: 228 (272), 183. His will dated 18 September 1754 was not proved until nearly 30 years later on 4 February 1784. We know he was living in 1778 when he owned a seat at the Brooklyn Reformed Dutch Church. His name appears variously as Jeury, Jurian and Jeremiah, and was no doubt named for his maternal grandfather, Jurian Caljer. Jurre Brower was the son of Abraham Brouwer and Cornelia Caljer, and a grandson of Adam Brouwer. Jurre and his brother, Abraham received from their father, the mills and property at Gowanus, L. I. In his will he calls himself a miller. He was married twice, first to Elizabeth Hilton (his first cousin) with whom he had eleven children, and second to Charity Stillwell (no children). His will mentions three sons, Abraham, William and Adolph, who receive his whole estate, real and personal in "Brookland." He mentions his wife, Geertje (Charity is an anglicization of Geertje, which in Dutch is pronounced closely to Charity), and the goods she brought to the estate. Daughters, Maria, Cornelia, Jannetje, Elizabeth, Sara and Lena, who are all not yet married. Daughter Annatie, the wife of Henry Taylor. The three sons are executors and Jacob Bennet, Jurie Bennet and Simon Boerum witnessed the will.

Jacob Brower, 5 April 1784, 36: 366 (440), 280His will is dated 23 October 1781, proved 5 Apr 1784. Jacob Brouwer of the City of New York, masoner. Devises to son Jacob, five pounds to be paid to him before the remainder of the estate is to be divided. Names sons, Jacob, Abraham and William; daughter Petronella; daughter Anna, wife of Cornelius Cooper; daughter Jane, wife of Henry Van Winkel; heirs of daughter Mary deceased, meaning Gitty and Mary Permilliar. Should any of my deceased father, Jacob Brouwer's, estate be recovered after my death, it is to be divided into four shares. One fourth equally unto my within named heirs; another unto the heirs of my brother John Brouwer deceased; another unto my brother Everardus Brouwer; the remaining fourth unto my brother Abraham Brouwer. Names sons Jacob and Abraham, and nephew Jacob Brouwer, hatter, all of New York City, as executors. Wit: George Lindsay, Nicholas Hillaman, Abraham Brouwer. Dated at Kakiat, New York, in the fifth year of American Independence. Jacob was baptized on 24 September 1710 at the Brooklyn Reformed Dutch Church. He was a son of Jacob Brouwer and Petronella de La Montagne. His grandparents were Jacob Brouwer and Annatje Bogardus through whom descendants claim descent from Anneke Jans Bogardus. He is a great grandson of Adam Brouwer. This Jacob Brouwer was married to Maria de Lanoy, a daughter of Abraham de Lanoy and Jannetje Roome. Jacob and Maria had ten children, all baptized at the New York City Reformed Dutch Church between 1737 and 1758. Both Jacob and Maria are recorded as witnesses to numerous baptisms in the church's records. Apparently late in life he lived at Kakiat in Orange County (now Rockland Co.), New York, likely escaping British occupied New York City during the Revolutionary War years. He was a mason.

William Brower, 12 June 1786, 39: 123 (140), 110. At Albany AB No. 139 (image 759). The will is dated 4 September 1782 and can be found in both the New York County Surrogate's Court records and on file in the Clerk's Office at Albany. It was probated 12 Jun 1786. In the will he calls himself "William Brower of Rumbout Precinct, Dutchess County, farmer, being weak of body but of sound mind and memory...". Names his wife Mattya, son Jeremiah to receive 10 shillings for his birth right & "to my real and personal estate upon Long Island and Staten Island I allow to be sold and fifty pounds a piece to be given to my children viz: Garrett Brower, William Brower, Letty Brower & Cornelius Brower in lieu of fity pounds given to my son Jeremiah some time ago." The remaining "part of said estate" to be divided among all the children (Jeremiah, Garret, William, Letty, Cornelius). Names as executors, his wife Mattya Brower, sons Garrett and William Brower, and Abraham Hoagland. Witnessed by Francis Bogardus, John Ackerman, and James Wills. On 18 Nov 1786, Garrett and William Brower executors of the will of William Brower deceased appeared before Judge Thomas Treadwell, City of New York "duly sworn to the true execution and performance of the said will." William apparently left Long Island for the safety of Dutchess County after the Battle of Long Island in 1776. He was a son of Jeury Brouwer (Jurre Brower, above) and Elizabeth Hilton, and so died only a few years after his father. William's wife was Meclitta Van Duyn, daughter of Gerrit Van Duyn and Aaltie Van Nostrand. His children remained in Dutchess County. The daughter, Lette, or Aeltje, married Abraham Hoagland. William is a great grandson of Adam Brouwer.

Peter Brower, 12 Feb. 1788, 40: 79 (62), 70. Peter Brower's will is dated 15 May 1767, and was not proved until 22 January 1788. He was a bricklayer of New York City. To son Jacob, six shillings. Also all my wearing apparel and all residue of my estate, both real and personal, to my daughters Ann, now the wife of John Walker, mariner of New York, and Elizabeth, wife of Henry Ustick, shopkeeper, of New York, to be divided equally between them, their heirs, forever. My son Jacob to recieve 1/3 part of the rents and profits of my real estate during his natural life. I appoint my brother-in-law William Woynants, and my cousin Everardus Brower, hatter, executors. Wit.: Luke Jno. Kierstead, Charles Phillips, yeoman, Charles Morse. Proved 22 Jan 1788. On 12 Feb 1788, William Woynants having since died, Everardus Brower, the other executor, having refused to serve, the Court appoints Peter Ustick, merchant of New York, to administer the estate. Peter Brower, or Pieter Brouwer, was said to have been born 29 March 1699 (according to the notorious "Hill Manuscript"). A record of his baptism has not been found, as he was likely born at Gowanus (Brooklyn) at a time when many of the Reformed Church records there are lost. Based upon witness recording at baptisms, he appears to have been a son of Jacob Brouwer and Annatje Bogardus, and so a grandson of Adam Brouwer, and a great-grandson of Anneke Jans Bogardus. Pieter/Peter was married three times. By his first wife, Elizabeth Quackenbosch, daughter of Benjamin Quackenbosch and Classje Webber, he had eleven children, all baptized at New York between 1722 and 1742. His second wife was Catharina Thong (m. 14 April 1750), and his third was Sara Kip (m. 17 October 1751), a daughter of Pieter Kip and Immetje Van Dyck. No known children by his second and third wives. The "brother-in-law, William Woynants," who served as an executor, was the husband of Leah Quackenbosch, who was a sister of Peter's first wife. The "cousin Everardus Brower," would actually be a nephew; a  son of Jacob Brouwer and Petronella de La Montagne, which supports the placement of Peter as a son of Jacob Brouwer and Annatje Bogardus. Although he had eleven children, the will only mentions three - son Jacob, and two married daughters, Anna and Elizabeth. While four others are known to have died early, it is possible that all or some of the remaining four were still living, but may have left the New York City area for parts west. The son Petrus Brouwer (bapt. 1740) appears to have been the Peter Brewer who died in Williamsburg, Clermont Co., Ohio in 1842, age 102 (he was recorded as age "over 100" on the 1840 U.S. census at Williamsburg), while it is conceivable that his son Benjamin (bapt. 1728) may be the Benjamin Bruer whose estate was administered in 1778 in the old Yohogania County, Virginia, having lived at which was soon after, Westmoreland Co., Pennsylvania. (More on this in a future post).

Abraham Brower, 19 June 1792, 41: 27 (17), 43. Dated 6 July 1789, proved 19 Jun 1792, he calls himself, "Abraham Brower of the City of New York, carpenter, being in perfect health and of a sound mind, memory and understanding." Mentions, "my eldest son Garret Brower, all my carpenters tools and to concern for such further part of my estate as is herein after expressed further I will and order that my loving wife shall remain in the full possession of all my real and personal estate during her natural life and after her decease I will and order that my said estate both real and personal shall be equally divided amongst my children herein after named share and share alike that is to say one full sixth part to my son Garret full sixth part to my son Abraham full sixth part to my daughter Peter Nelly full sixth part to my daughter Effe sixth full part to my daughter Mary full sixth part to my grand daughter Elsie Thew." Abraham appointed, "my loving wife sole executrix." He did not mention her name, however, she is called Effe Brouwer when administration of Abraham's estate was granted to her on 19 June 1792. Witnesses: George Stanton, Ahasuerus Turk, Cornelius Sebring (blacksmith). Abraham was baptized 6 February 1717 at the New York Reformed Dutch Church. He was another son of Jacob Brouwer and Petronella de La Montagne, and so a great grandson of Adam Brouwer and a great-great grandson of Anneke Jans Bogardus. Abraham married Aefje (Effe or Affe) Van Gelder (see immediately below), a daughter of Gerrit Van Gelder and Anna Quick, and of the Van Gelder family descended from Jan Van Gelder and Tanneken Montanac (and not of the Van Gelders descended from Evert Hendrickszen and Fytje Brouwer). They had nine children born between 1744 and 1772 (a 28 year span. Aefje would have been 47 years old when her son Abraham, mentioned in the will, was born). The will is recorded a second time here, Abraham Brower, 23 Nov. 1795, 41: 603 (438), 271. This second record appears after his widow's death, when son-in-laws Anthony Post and Jabez (a.k.a. Taber) Halsey, and son Abraham Brower, appeared before the Surrogate's Court.

Affe Brower, 29 June 1795, 41: 515 (373), 237. Her will was dated 12 June 1795 and proved 29 June 1795. She calls herself Affie Brouwer widow of Abraham Brower formerly of the City of New York deceased house carpenter, being sick in body but of a sound and disposing mind...I give and bequeath all the rest and residue of my estate real and personal unto such of my daughters as shall be living at my decease and to their heirs (daughters names not given)...I do nominate and appoint my son Abraham Brower, my sons-in-law Anthony Post and Jabez Halsey to be executors. Wit: George Ireland, John Divine, John Cresier. Affie was the widow of Abraham Brower mentioned just above, and a daughter of Gerrit Van Gelder and Anna Quick. She was baptized 25 August 1725 at the New York Reformed Dutch church.

Early 19th century wills of New York County coming in a future post.

BGB 589

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Images From Probate Records in Chatham County, North Carolina

We've had too dry a spring, but the rains have come back this past week and since it's a rainy morning we can take the opportunity to turn out another quick post for the Brewers in the South.

Chatham County, North Carolina is one of the principal focus points for research on the early generations of descendants of George Brewer of Brunswick County, Virginia. Here are some images and links collected during the brief time back in early 2015 that I spent searching for Brewers in Chatham County.

Here is an page from an index to Chatham County wills. Chatham County Probate Records, 1735-1970 can be accessed from this page at Henry Brewer is listed about halfway down the page. You will also note a couple of listings for a Henry Bray. There are Bray and Brewer marriages from the early generations. One that comes to mind is that of a Jeremiah Brewer and Anna Bray, of whom there will be a little more in a future post.

Image from Chatham Co., NC Wills Index, 1682-1905 at FamilySearch

This next image is from a different index of wills for Chatham County, but accessed from the same larger collection that I linked to above.

Image no. 10 at Chatham Co., NC Wills Index, 1770-1924 v.1
This index is very rough, and is only alphabetized by the first letter of the surname. And the pages to the index are not numbered, so here I refer to the image number on the FamilySearch viewer. If you are looking for Brewers you will have to scan through each page of the B's. It does, however, list both Devisees and Devisors, in other words, testators (devisors) and the heirs, beneficiaries, etc. (devisees). There are a few Brewers on the page above. Image no. 9 in this film includes "Ambrose Brewer, Nov. 1860" (right side page, about half way down). Image no. 8 includes a "Polly Brewer," a devisee of a "John Burns, senr." (right side, five names down). Search through the B's, I'm sure you'll find more. One of the striking things I noticed during the time I did spend on this family, is just how few of the wives of the Brewer men from the first two or three generations have been identified. Other than George Brewer's wife, Sarah LANIER, and their son George Brewer's wife, Abigail WYCHE, we do not know with certainty the identity of any of the other wives of George Brewer's sons. Does John Burns' will identify a Brewer wife (perhaps of a later generation)?

North Carolina Estate Files, 1663-1979, is one of those rare searchable estate collections at FamilySearch. Enter BREWER in the search box and you'll get 222 hits. Enter BROWER and we get 51 hits. Don't forget, some descendants of Hubert Brower migrated to North Carolina with other German Baptists and Quakers from Pennsylvania at about the time of the American Revolutionary War. They primarily settled in Randolph County, and are in effect living right among the Brewers. Here are a couple of images from the estate file of William Brewer, dated 1811.

William Brewer, Estate File, image 4

William Brewer, Estate File, image 5
There are fourteen pages in William Brewer's estate file. Take the time to view them all. I believe this William Brewer was a son Oliver Brewer (see the post of January 15, 2015).

 Next is the will of Nathan Brewer, of Chatham County, dated 6 April 1836. It is found in Chatham Co., Wills, vol. C, p. 89.

Will of Nathan Brewer, Chatham Co., NC Wills v. C, p. 89
Here's a brief abstract: Nathan Brewer of Chatham County, North Carolina, being of sound and perfect mind and memory... Wife, Polly, all property both real and personal during her life or widdowhood. After her death or widdowhood, what property remains, after paying just debts, "Elizabeth, Amus, Winney and Eleanor to have equal to them that have married and settled of and after they git equal then the balance to equally divided all of my children, that I had by my wife Polly..." Land to son Amus after death of wife Polly. Son-in-law John Gee apointed executor.
Signed Nathan Brewer. Wit.: Geo. Gee, John Adcock. I have Nathan penciled in as a son of a John Brewer, Sr. whose estate was administered on 10 May 1824 in Chatham County. John's wife was Nancy, and his children were John, Amos, Nathan, Martha and Polly. I have not placed this John Brewer within a North Carolina Brewer family, George Brewer's or otherwise. If someone reading this can place him please advise us using the Comments below, and please provide your proof for his placement.

And for those searching in Chatham County, please don't ignore David V. Brewer's, "Brewer Families of Moore and Southwest Chatham County, North Carolina."

To assure those who may be thinking otherwise, the Brouwers and Brewers of New York are not forgotten, and a post for the New Yorkers will follow. More for "Brewers in the South" in future posts soon.

BGB 588

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Tips For Those Joining The Brewer DNA Project

The Brewer DNA Project is a Y-Chromosome DNA project and those joining the project will get the most out of their participation by considering a few suggestions that are developed from my experience of having worked with numerous participants in the project over the past seven or eight years. I'll try and relate them here, and I'll try and be brief and to the point.

There is one basic concept that needs to be understood:
Genetic genealogy and traditional* genealogy go hand in hand. Genetic genealogy is an accompaniment to traditional genealogy. It is one more research method. And without traditional genealogy, genetic genealogy (for the purpose of finding a relatively recent ancestor**) is of limited value. 

There are two primary reasons for joining the project: 
One is that you've reached a brick wall with your traditional genealogical research, you can't connect to that original colonial period ancestor, and you want to at least narrow down the field as to where to focus continued research. You want to learn which larger Brewer, Brower, Brouwer family is in your ancestry.

Reason two would be that you already have your complete ancestry back to the first colonial period ancestor, and you realize that by adding your Y-DNA test results as a descendant, you'll be helping your cousins who are stuck, break through their brick walls. It's a opportunity for you to share what you know and to help out others.
Now that you've decided to join, here are four things that will lead to a better experience:
  1. Work on your ancestry. Prior to joining, do the basic traditional genealogical work needed to prove as conclusively as possible, your Brewer line, back to the earliest known ancestor (EKA) you can identify. Your proof should rely on actual records like birth, marriage, death and burial records, probate and estate records, land records, family records (Bible records) that have a knowable provenance or authenticity, etc. There are probably hundreds of thousands of genealogy "trees" online now. I've put my own share there myself. Don't rely on them (mine included). They do not constitute proof. Use them, especially the ones that have cited sources (like most of mine) as guides or clues as to where to look to find the true proof that you need. Do your own work, it's more satisfying than simply copying someone's tree.
  2. Share your ancestry. Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) provides each customer with a family tree feature as part of your account. Be certain to enter or upload (using a GEDCOM) at the very least, your direct Brewer line back to your EKA based on the traditional genealogical work you've already done. This will allow you to easily share your tree with your matches and other members of the Project. Without a lineage to pair it with, your test data is less useful.
  3. Educate yourself about genetic genealogy. Genetic genealogy is still new, and most of us have no prior experience with it. Even before you sign up and order your test kit, start learning all you can about what genetic genealogy is, how it might help you, what types of tests are there and do they relate to the question you're trying to answer, etc. Learn the terminology and learn to understand just what your test results are telling you. There are a lot of sources out there and here is a page on this website with many links. In addition see the August 4, 2017 post. I would also recommend two books, both by Blaine Bettinger: The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy and  Genetic Genealogy in Practice, both published in late 2016***. Start with the former. Some of the information there is repeated in the latter, but the additional material in the latter make it worth while for those who are enthusiastic about mastering this. This is work. But you'll be better able to converse with those who you match and the administrators of the project. And you'll be able to decide for yourself whether or not, and which type of additional testing may benefit you. "Spend an hour a day on any subject and in a year you'll be an expert." I heard someone say that once. I think it works.
  4. Participate. Make certain that your privacy settings allow your matches, and the administrators of the Project, the ability to see them and contact you. Initiate contact with matches yourself, and be considerate by responding to those who contact you. The Brewer DNA Project site has what is (poorly) called an Activity Feed (only logged in members can access this). It is essentially a forum for correspondence within the group. To date it has primarily been used by the administrators to communicate info to the members, but it has also been used by members to ask questions, and share their ancestry info. Use it to do just that. If you have a question, put it out there. Hopefully an answer will come along. If you have something that you think may help others, please share it. And here I will offer the use this blog, Brouwer Genealogy, for the same. Utilize the Comments option under each post if you have a question or some info that may answer problems presented in the post, or to add more to the post. If you would like to reach a larger audience than you would with the Activity Feed at the Brewer DNA Project, then write up a post for this blog and I'll place it online for you with your name and a method for contacting you. I'll be willing to help by posting your questions, queries, genealogy work that you've done on a particular family or line, that may help others, etc. (send it to me either in the body of an e-mail or an attached Word doc., and I'll copy and format it so it fits on the site). Even better, if you have the ambition, start your own genealogy site and post your research and discoveries online in a format that you control. But, most importantly, get it out there, share it.
 Finally, remember that there is never any guarantee that genetic genealogy will quickly answer your questions or find with certainty your missing ancestor. However, you will have one more set of information to work with, and you may well be introduced to others working on the same problem. And in the end, what you get out of it generally is proportional to what you put into it. Good luck.
*By "traditional" genealogy, I'm referring to genealogy done by the usual methods of tracking down vital records, probate records, etc. to compile and prove a lineage.
**By relatively recent ancestor, I mean one who lived within the past 500 years or so. Most of those who join are trying to identify that elusive colonial period ancestor (1620-1783) or post colonial ancestor who lived prior to 1850 when census and other records start to become more numerous.
***The links lead to pages at I am not compensated in any way by a purchase through this site, it's simply a convenient link for showing you these books.

BGB 587

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Some Previously Unreleased Material for Brewers in the South

Here are a few documents in PDF format that I've found will combing through the collection of material that has been sent to, or otherwise accumulated by me over the years. Many items just get "filed" as they were not of particular concern to me at the time they were received. Hopefully they will be of use to some of you.

Howell Brewer and Ambrose Brewer Timeline. This was compiled by Foy Varner back around 2010, and he wishes to pass on the caveat that some inferences may be incorrect. An example being that "Tice's" Creek might be Tyson's Creek or perhaps Tick Creek, which are just a few miles from each other. Those with specific questions should contact Foy directly.

I've mentioned in the past on numerous posts, the William B. Bogardus Collection. The, currently offline, Brouwer Genealogy Database had a page of links devoted to many of the files originally collected by Bill Bogardus, which I scanned and placed online so as to be available to all who were interested. Many are currently offline do to the meltdown at RootsWeb. Hopefully they'll be back, but who knows when or even if they will be. I had the collection back in the winter of 2008-09, and digitized perhaps 70% or so of what I had. While most of the correspondence and documents were related to the Brewer, Brower and Brouwer families with origins in New Netherland, New York and New Jersey, there were a few from outside the area. Here now are a few that relate to Brewer families with origins in the southern states:

John C. Brewer (b. 1817, Randolph Co., NC) son of William Brewer and Elizabeth Cavaness, in Biographical History of Tippecanoe, White, Jasper, Newton, Benton, Warren and Pulaski Counties, Indiana, Vol. 11 (Chicago: Lewis Publishing, 1899). A brief biography from a late 19th century "mug book."

Descendants of John C. Brewer and Mary Elizabeth Wilhite (no author or date). Family Group sheets. The compiler is not stated. The family originated in Randolph County, North Carolina and then relocated to Morgan County, Indiana.

Records of Terrell Brewer and Descendants of North Carolina, b. 1796, son of Nathan. This consists of compiled Family Group sheets, compiler not stated, for Terrell Brewer (1796-1856), son of Nathan Brewer (mother not stated) and his wife, Margaret Rushton, and for their son Josiah R. Brewer (1827-1902) and his wife, Margaret Elmore.

History of Brewer Family of North Carolina, Tennessee, Indiana and Illinois..., by the Officers of Brewer Family of N. C., Tenn., Ind. & Ill. (names then stated, dated 1936). Fourteen pages (typescript) which is not the complete document. Focused on descendants of a Thomas Brewer "born 1760-1770 in perhaps NC or SC, Md. or Va."


This Abstract of the Will of Thomas Morris of Greensville County, Virginia, dated 9 February 1782, was made and provided to me by Diane Daniel in early 2015. Mentioned in the will is his son-in-law John Brewer who also is appointed as one of the executors. John Brewer was married to Thomas Morris' daughter Bethiah Morris. John Brewer relocated from Brunswick Co., Virginia to Hancock Co., Georgia by 1794. He was a son of George Brewer and Abigail Wyche, and a grandson of George Brewer and Sarah Lanier.

Brewer Families of Moore and Southwest Chatham Counties, North Carolina, by David V. Brewer. This is a 220 page PDF which should prove to be valuable to those searching for their Brewer lines in North Carolina. David is a co-administrator of the Brewer DNA Project with focus on the "Lanier-Brewer" sub-group. He can be contacted through the Project's main webpage.

I'll continue to look for documents and files not yet online and will add them via blog posts like this as they appear. So, check back often.

BGB 586

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Replacements and Additions for Brewer Families in the South

This post will be of interest to those researching Brewer families found in the southern American colonies, particularly families associated with George Brewer of Brunswick Co., Virginia and Ambrose Brewer of Moore Co., North Carolina and later Tennessee.

First, a little background. Back in late 2014, while a co-administrator of the Brewer DNA Project, me and Richard Brewer, then the administrator, decided that we would try do something to help the project's sub-group called "Lanier-Brewer" which consisted of members who were, or believed to be, descendants of George Brewer of Brunswick Co., Virginia. This was then, and still is, the largest sub-group within the Brewer DNA Project, with over 50 members then and over 80 now. However, at that time there did not seem to be much exchange among the members of the group, and apparently no organized effort to help those in the group complete their ancestries or answer whatever questions prompted them to join the project to begin with. So, in an effort to kick-start more interest within the group, I began work on the Brewer-Lanier database, the purpose of which was to be used as an aid for identifying and archiving correct (provable) lineages of descendants of George Brewer. It was never intended to be a complete genealogy of George Brewer's descendants, and since I am not a descendant myself, and allocated only three months of time to work on it, the database was very limited in scope. In addition to the database, I have written a number of posts on this blog regarding George Brewer's descendants and the quest to assemble a reliable account of (at least) his provable children and grandchildren. The blog posts begin in early 2015 and can be found with the label "Brewers in the South." Unfortunately, as of this writing, the Brewer-Lanier database is offline (see June 9, 2018 and June 11, 2018). I do not have an alternative for the full Brewer-Lanier database, and do not intend to recreate it. It is lost unless RootsWeb restores the Free Pages site that hosted the pages. In light of the loss, all I can offer is a chart of Five Generations of Descendants of  George Brewer and Genealogical Summary report covering some descendants of George Brewer. (Please read the short preface to the later to put it into perspective). Although these two documents to do not cover all of those who were found on the Brewer-Lanier database website, it is the best I can offer as a substitute. And frankly, I think that the blog posts are more valuable than the Brewer-Lanier database anyway.

The post of June 14, 2018, mentions the Replacement Links and More page that was recently created. I have placed online at new locations, a number of documents and files related to the "Brewers in the South" families. Some are substitutes for bad links in past posts, but others are new, and have not previously been online. So please check this page. Also, some posts have links to images that were placed on Free Pages, and those links no longer work. In these cases I have updated the posts with the images embedded within.

I'll also note here that the work of Marvin T. Broyhill is frequently cited in many posts. At the time they were written, digital copies of the three volumes published by Broyhill could be downloaded from the Family History Library at their website. Apparently that has changed. The catalog entry for Broyhill's work no longer includes links for digital copies. FamilySearch now also requires that you create an account and sign in, in order to view their databases and catalog entries. It is free, and my mention is intended as a heads up that the link above may not work unless you are also signed in to FamilySearch. I do have digital copies in the form of PDFs, but the files are large and I'm mulling over whether or not to place them online using my own space on Google (which is limited) or trying to upload them to the Internet Archives (which likely would be more permanent). If, or when, I make them available, I'll post notice here.

Finally, in going through my files at home (for one last time) regarding the "Brewers in the South," I'm finding that I have a few images and PDFs that I don't believe I've previously placed online. I'll do so now (or rather in the near future). Images (.jpg files) will be embedded within individual posts, while PDFs will be added to the Replacement Links and More page.

Here is an example of such an image. It is an image of page 3 from, Holcomb, Brent H. Marriages of Chatham County, North Carolina, 1772-1868. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1987. It includes three, apparently early 19th century Brewer marriages.

Marriages of Chatham County, North Carolina (image from

Lastly, I want to add that I believe that mine and Richard's kick-start attempt initiated back in late 2014 worked. The "Lanier-Brewer" sub-group at the Brewer DNA Project has seen a terrific pick up  in activity and interest. As I mentioned, there are now over 80 members who have had Y-DNA tests participating in the group. I think that somewhere near 30 of them have taken the advanced SNP test, Big-Y. Results from this additional testing has allowed the group to identify a haplogroup (I-Y15031) for members of the group and more strikingly, at least three sub-branches. These sub-branches may represent lines descended from different sons or grandsons of George Brewer, or, since the early generations of George Brewer's family are still vague and uncertain, point to another yet undetected relation of George (his father, or a brother) who may also have been in the Virginia colony early on. At any rate, I doubt that there are few projects within Family Tree DNA that have achieved this level of participation and success for the descendants of one colonial period individual.

I am no longer actively researching these families and what you'll find online here at Brouwer Genealogy is all I have on the group. David V. Brewer is the co-administrator at the Brewer DNA Project who is overseeing the "Lanier-Brewer" sub-group and going forward I would suggest that new researchers, and those considering joining the project, contact him through the Brewer DNA Project. Foy Varner is the co-administrator at the project who has a special interest and expertise in Ambrose Brewer of Moore Co., North Carolina (R-Y18435 and R-Y53883). This sub-group is also looking for new participants who wish to take a Y-DNA test. Although no longer active as a co-administrator, I will continue to add newly found documents and/or images to this blog as I come across them, so periodically check the posts and the Replacement Links and More page.

Good luck researching your southern Brewer families. They are a tough group to research, but don't give up.

BGB 585

Sunday, June 17, 2018

A Summary of My Involvement With The Brewer DNA Project

"The Brewer DNA Project is a Y-chromosome project focused on the direct male (paternal) lines of ancestry of men with the surnames BREWER, BRUER, BROWER, BROUWER, BRAUER, BRUERE, BROWERE, and other possible variations." This is taken from the Overview page of the Brewer DNA Project, which is hosted by Family Tree DNA. In short, it is a Y-Chromosome Project that seeks the participation of males with the surname BREWER and all those variations mentioned above. The larger purpose of the Brewer DNA Project is to identify by way of Y-Chromosome DNA testing, the numerous and unique families with variations of the surname BREWER with origins found primarily (but not limited to) colonial America. The Project's Goals page will tell you more. The Brewer DNA Project was initiated in 2004 by Grant Johnston, was administered by Richard Brewer until January 2017, and is now administered by Hank Graham. I was involved as a co-administrator from 2010 through December 2017. The current co-administrators are David V. Brewer, Foy Varner, Janet Brewer and Daniel H. Brewer who is new to the role as of last week. I'll refer you to the Project's Background page for more. I often wanted to, but have yet to taken the time to review, summarize or in some way, recap, my experience with the Brewer DNA Project, how it's contributed to Brouwer Genealogy, and how it is used to augment traditional genealogical research. And so, that is what this post is all about.

I was first introduced to the Brewer DNA Project through corresponding with William B. Bogardus, Richard Brewer, Karen Brewer Sims and a few others just prior to the publication of the groundbreaking article "DNA Analysis: Adam Brouwer Berckhoven, Elias Brouwer of New Jersey and John Brewer of Ohio," authored by Richard Brewer, Scott Kraus and William B. Bogardus, which appeared in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, volume 138, no. 4 (October 2007) on pages 245-49. To my knowledge it is one of the first, if not the first article published in a major genealogical publication that addressed the use of Y-DNA testing to solve long standing genealogical problems that were not solvable by using traditional genealogical research methods alone. In addition it corrected some previously claimed, but erroneous lineages descended from Adam Brouwer.

At the time I had my own genealogical "brick wall" to solve, that being the ancestry of my wife's 5th-great grandfather, Jeremiah Brower/Brewer of Highgate, Vermont. Back in 2007 I was unable to prove Jeremiah Brower's ancestry using the usual genealogical methods. No record of his birth or baptism has been found (and at this point I doubt one survives or exists). It was only though Y-Chromosome DNA testing, through the Brewer DNA Project, of direct male descendants of Jeremiah Brower, that we were able to conclude (without a doubt) that Jeremiah was somehow a descendant of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I.  This experience is an example of the primary usefulness of the Brewer DNA Project (and other Y-Chromosome focused projects). That is, Y-DNA testing of a direct male descendant of your earliest known Brewer or Brower (etc.) ancestor, will, if nothing else, direct you one of the many unrelated early American Brewer (etc.) families, allowing you to focus continued research on that ONE family. Not only will the results of a Y-DNA test point you in the direction of where to look for your unsolved ancestry, it will eliminate many false leads that you may have received from less reliable sources (such as "family trees" found online at many varied websites, or in old 19th and early 20th century published genealogies and "mug books," that are often in error).

In the years since its inception, and as membership and participation has grown, the Brewer DNA Project has been to separate out and identify the following unique colonial period families:
  1. Adam Brouwer, Gowanus, L. I., whose members are identified by the haplogroup E-M35 and its equivalent E-L117. Descendants who have taken SNP Y-DNA tests identify the haplogroup more narrowly as E-BY6201 or the equivalent E-Y19643
  2. Jan Brouwer, Flatlands, L. I., whose descendants are identified by the haplogroup I-M223, and more narrowly through further SNP testing, I-Y7214
  3. Hubert Brower, Immigrant to Pennsylvania in 1726, descendants are identified by haplogroup R-M269, and one member having taken additional SNP tests narrows this down to R-Y30608.
  4. John Brewer, Sudbury, MA. Three descendants are identified by haplogroup R-L21. Advanced SNP testing of two descendants narrows this to R-FGC46823
  5. Arthur Brewer, Pitt Co., NC, identified by haplogroup J-M172 and more narrowly by additional SNP testing as J-CTS6804 and J-Y18828
  6. Ambrose Brewer, of Moore Co., NC and later TN. Descendants are identified by haplogroup R-M269, and more narrowly by R-Y53883.
  7. The sub-group known in the Project as Lanier-Brewer or Brewer-Lanier. Certainly the most poorly named subgroup (I'd suggest changing it) it by far has the most members, now over 80. We know that some members are descendants of George Brewer of Brunswick Co., Virginia, and while others most likely are descendants of George, it cannot yet be ruled out that the common ancestor may have been an ancestor of George Brewer by a generation or two. Members are identified as haplogroup I-M253, and further SNP testing of many members narrows this down to I-Y15031 with even further sub-branches I-Y23078, I-Y21524, and I-Y29640.
The above seven are singled out because each group has a meaningful number of matching participants, and/or because existing traditional research on the progenitor and many of his descendants is significant. In addition to those above there are seven other sub-groups with fewer members and less research for, but who have identified a common earliest known ancestor (EKA). And there is yet another six sub-groups whose EKA is not known. Meanwhile there are still dozens of "Unplaced" members whose Y-DNA test results have yet to match another individual with the Brewer surname, who are hoping that a match some day joins the project.

Since its inception the most note worthy findings discovered by the Brewer DNA Project has been the identification of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I. and Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I. as two unrelated progenitors of families with origins in New Netherland, and early colonial New York and New Jersey (see the NYGBR article mentioned above). The other note worthy finding would be the comparison of Y-DNA test results that now demonstrate that Ambrose Brewer of Moore Co., NC is not a genetic descendant of George Brewer of Brunswick Co., VA. Although there may still be some family relationship between the two, we now know that George is not the father of Ambrose, and he is not a direct paternal grandfather of Ambrose.

I have spent many years researching, by traditional genealogical research methods, lines of ancestry that lead back to the Brouwer families of the colonial period in America, and I can say without hesitation that there are some locations and places in time, where due to an absence or the loss of vital records, court records, land records, i.e. the traditional material we look at for evidence of family relationships, continuing particular lines of ancestry further back is very difficult and in some cases probably not possible. The short time I spent researching some Brewer families in the southern colonies underscored this and showed me that there is even less traditional material available in the southern colonies. My involvement with the Brewer DNA Project has shown me that genetic genealogy, especially Y-DNA testing, can make up for the lack of evidence from traditional research. Many members first came to the project with a genealogy that stopped somewhere in the 18th or early 19th centuries, with little idea as to where to look next. Y-DNA test results have at least shown them where to focus continued research and has given them a colonial period ancestor to concentrate their efforts on.

With that, I would strongly recommend to those who have reached a brick wall with their Brewer (etc.) lineage, to consider Y-DNA testing. I would also ask those who do know their complete lineage back to the colonial progenitor, to also participate by taking a Y-DNA test. Your test results add to what is known and will eventually help some previously unknown cousin, get closer to discovering their unknown ancestors.  

I hope to follow (soon) with one more post offering tips, based on my experience, for those considering Y-DNA testing and joining the Brewer DNA Project.

BGB 584

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Replacement Links and More

As mentioned in the Brouwer Genealogy post of June 9, 2018, many linked documents (mostly PDFs) found within the individual posts, were placed online using RootsWeb's Free Pages. That service has been down since the Fall of 2017, and so many of the links found within this blog's posts no longer work. The new Replacement Links and More page has, or will have, links to some of these documents. They have been placed online at locations other than Free Pages. The links found within the individual posts will not be changed, and if Free Pages does come back online, those links will hopefully work once again. Until then, please use this new list of links to find the specific document that may interest you. As you might imagine, replacing all of the links within the nearly 600 posts found on Brouwer Genealogy is a large undertaking that will take quite a bit of time. It will have to be done piecemeal when ever I happen to have the time to work on it. I don't doubt that it will take me months to fill out this list of new links. If, when you check the Replacement Links and More page you do not find the lost linked document that interests you, then send me an e-mail and I will see if I can locate it. But be forewarned, I do not have copies of all of the documents and PDFs found within the blog's posts. Some may be lost unless Free Pages comes back online. My advise is that if a particular document is of value to you, then download it, because the only thing I can guarantee is that they will not be online forever.

Please note that some PDFs may have to be downloaded to be viewed.

In addition to the replacement links, I have added some links to other helpful documents found elsewhere online. So, there is, or will be, some new stuff on this page too. And again, this is a work in progress so occasionally check back. A link to the Replacement Links and More page is found in the column at the right under Pages.

BGB 583

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

New Links for Issues of The Brower Family Circle

From January 3, 2017 through January 17, 2017, a series of posts were published covering the content of issues of The Brower Family Circle, a newsletter originally published by Jay H. Brewer from April 1976 through July 1986. Copies of each issue, in PDF format, were provided within each blog post and on a separate page on this website. The PDFs were housed online at RootsWeb's Free Pages, and has that service has been down since the Fall of 2017, the PDFs have been inaccessible (see the post of June 9, 2018). The PDFs have now been placed online using Google, and they can be accessed through a new page on this website, The Brower Family Circle (New Links) found in the column on the right under Pages. The old page of links, now re-titled The Brower Family Circle (RootsWeb Links) is still online with the Free Pages links in hope that they come back online, some day.

The individual links found within each blog post will not be changed (too time consuming) so please go to the page for the new links if you wish to see a copy of some particular issue.

BGB 582

Monday, June 11, 2018

Alternatives For The Lost Databases

Following up on the June 9, 2018 post, I'll offer some suggestions here for offsetting the loss of the various databases, including the Brouwer Genealogy Database.

Fortunately we do have the website, Internet Archives, and their "WayBack Machine." To view a past version of the Brouwer Genealogy Database enter "" in the search field that you see on the main page. This will take you to a page with a calendar. Select May 8, 2018, which is circled in blue. This will take you to a "snapshot" of Brouwer Genealogy on that date. In the right hand column are links. Select Brouwer Genealogy Database, and you will be taken to archived pages of the BGD website taken on September 23, 2017, before it was taken down by RootsWeb. This was the site as it was updated on April 6, 2016. It will have to serve as an alternative until RootsWeb brings back the content taken down last fall (if they ever do at all). The archived site is not complete. Links to PDFs stored at both Free Pages and Google do not work. Apparently the Internet Archives did not take snapshots of those pages. I've also found, through a few tests, that many of the links in the indexes (Surname Index and Master Index) do not work. The links on the Progenitors page, however, do seem to work. I've also noticed, at least on my laptop, that the pages load more slowly than usual, so patience is required.

The links on the right (of the May 8, 2018 archived Brouwer Genealogy) also work for "About the Brouwer Genealogy Database," Brewer Families of New England (dated April 6, 2016), and Descendants of Alice Freeman Thompson Parke.

Although the links for Brewer-Lanier, Drake Genealogy and Drake in Devonshire lead to a new page, those pages do not appear to function as websites. At least they didn't when I tried them today.

A second alternative are the "Trees" that I have at Accessing these trees will require an active paid subscription to They are not complete as I primarily used them as a tool for research clues. In addition, most lines of descent involving daughters are not followed, and neither are the numerous related or ancillary families that are found on the BGD and like websites. As of this writing I am not actively researching and do not have an active paid subscription. But, for what it's worth, here are links to the various "Trees" I've set up there:

Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I.
Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I.
Willem Brouwer of Beverwijck
Hubert Brower, Immigrant to Pennsylvania, 1726. This tree in fact has more than what was found on the last edition of the BGD.
Daniel Brewer of Putnam Co., NY. Much found here is not found on the BGD.
John Brewer of Putnam Co., NY. Also, much here is not found on the BGD.
Abraham Brewer, Chemung Co., NY. Probably more than what is found on the BGD.
Ambrose Brewer, NC, TN. Very incomplete, something I started some time ago and likely will not get back to.
Brower of Cologne. A small "tree" of a couple of families who had children baptized at Cologne in the first couple of decades of the 1600s. I have a suspicion that Adam Brouwer belongs to one of these families. See the post of December 27, 2015.
George J. Brower and Laura Porter. Much here is also in the Adam Brouwer tree linked above.
Henry Brewer of Adams Co., OH. Also included within the Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I. tree
Henry Brower of Henry Co., OH. I don't believe that much here was in the BGD
Jacob Brewer - Lavinia Smith Tree. Much here has been incorporated within the Adam Brouwer of Gowanus tree.
Jacob Brower, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania
James Brewer - Rebecca Snyder
John Brewer - Hannah Timpson
Philip Brower
Richard Brewer - Mary Blann. Also found within the Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I. tree
Assorted (formerly called Unplaced) Brouwer, Brower, Brewer. A hodge podge of many different families, some of which have since been incorprated in one of the above trees.

Again, a paid subscription to will be needed to view any of these trees. Should you visit them I'd suggest checking the Gallery tab for whoever the individual is that you are looking at. Many of the docs and PDFs that had been placed on RootsWeb and are presently unreachable, can also be found among the Galleries.

This is the best I can offer with regards to replacing the lost databases. Hopefully they'll reappear some day. I will take a look at lost docs and PDFs as time allows. has just announced that you can now conduct searches using information on another member's tree.

BGB 581

Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Status of Brouwer Genealogy in 2018

Occurrences, some beyond my control, has prompted a need for a post covering the status of Brouwer Genealogy. We are now midway through 2018, and Brouwer Genealogy has been online at blogger since July 2011. Since inception 579 posts with numerous links to external pages have been posted.

Many linked pages found throughout the posts, pages and in the column on the right, including various genealogy databases and PDFs are hosted by RootsWeb's Free Pages. That service has now been down since the fall of 2017. As of this writing RootsWeb's last update (dated March 6, 2018) has offered no reason to be optimistic that these links, databases and PDFs will be back online soon, if ever at all. Replacing all of the links found on Brouwer Genealogy would be a time consuming endeavor that I have little time and less desire to take on. I will however, make an attempt to screen through the posts and make an effort to repair at least some of, what I consider, to be some of the more important posts. I will try to place linked documents elsewhere online. Doing so, however, requires that I still have an offline copy to use (I still have no access to the files and pages I placed online through RootsWeb). In many cases I no longer have a copy myself.

One PDF that has been repaired is "New Insight Into the Origins of Adam Brouwer." It was previously posted using RootsWeb Free Pages, that link is dead, and it is now online at the Internet Archives. Here you can download the document as a PDF or a few other formats. The link is available on the right, under Brouwer-Brower-Brewer Links as "Origins of Adam Brouwer." I will see what I can do with other links to PDFs found throughout the posts on Brouwer Genealogy, but as alluded to above, this will take time. If there is a particular document that you would like to see, please use the Comments field for this post, or e-mail me, and I will see what I can do about replacing it. I can't promise that it can be done, but you're free to ask.

With regards to the Brouwer Genealogy Database, and some of the other databases (New England Brewers, Brewer-Lanier Database, etc.) they are lost until or unless RootsWeb restores them. I have no way to otherwise publish them online without incurring a monetary cost, and I have no intention of doing that. In the meantime I will be removing the links to these databases from the column on the right. If the databases are restored, I'll restore the links. Removed as of today are:

Brouwer Genealogy Database
About the Brouwer Genealogy Database
Brewer Families of New England
Images (links to images stored elsewhere, some of which are still found within posts on this website and so are still available. It was in essence an index of those images)
William B. Bogardus Collection (this linked to a page of links of individual documents some of which are still accessible, while others are not. It was in effect an index page)
Brewer-Lanier Database
Y-DNA Results (a chart at the Brewer DNA Project hosted by Family Tree DNA. It is accessible to members of the project through the Brewer DNA Project website) 
Archived of the Holland Land Company (this page was at New York Heritage Digital Collections but is no longer found)
Family Tree DNA (essentially a redundant link, please use the Brewer DNA Project link above)
My Other Websites, which included Descendants of Alice Freeman Thompson Parke, Drake Genealogy and Drake in Devonshire (all are lost unless RootsWeb Free Pages restores them).

I'm sorry for the loss of so much data and documents, but most of it is beyond my control. I will soon follow this post up with another that will point to some remedies and alternatives.

BGB 580