Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Corrections And Additions to the Brewer-Lanier Database

As mentioned in the July 30, 2018 post, the Brewer-Lanier Database (hereafter BLD) cannot and will not be updated. It will stand online as it was created on November 5, 2015, warts and all. This post will serve as a catalog of corrections to the BLD. As I am not actively researching this group of Brewers, I'll ask anyone who is, and who spots an error in, or as an addition to the BLD, to please submit it to me for inclusion below.

Nathaniel Brewer - found on person page 18, son of George Brewer, and named in his father's will. He died prior to 1810, but appears to have been living in 1800. The account of his family found here is incomplete. Posts found on this blog, beginning with the July 12, 2016 post, adds additional information on the heirs of Nathaniel. I have not worked out a genealogical summery for Nathaniel Brewer, but if there is anyone who has, or wishes to, I welcome you to submit it for inclusion here. Also see the posts of July 13, 2016, July 14, 2016, and July 15, 2016. (July 31, 2018).

Willis Brewer - found on person page 24. Willis is found on the 1810 U.S. census in Moore Co., North Carolina, on the 1820 U.S. census in Jackson Co., Ohio, but has not been located in 1830. Willis is a descendant of George Brewer, Y-DNA testing of a direct descendant proves that. However, he is not a son of James and Ann (___) Brewer as shown on the BLD. Comparison of Y-DNA test results with other descendants of James' father, William Brewer, versus the test results of others in the Lanier-Brewer subgroup, indicate that Willis most likely belongs to another branch of the family. The estimated death date for Willis, and the bullet point stating that he is mentioned in James Brewer's will should be removed. The son Willis mentioned in James Brewer's will (dated 27 July 1816, Brunswick Co., VA) may be the Willis Brewer who is found on the 1800 U.S. census in Northampton Co., North Carolina, and whose estate was administered there in March 1815 (but note that his estate was administered prior to the date on which James wrote his will), or perhaps the Willis Brewer, b. 7 April 1797 in North Carolina, died 10 October 1864 and is buried in Independence Co., Arkansas. (July 31, 2018).

BGB 597

Monday, July 30, 2018

Comments and Clarifications Regarding the Brewer-Lanier Database

Now that the databases are back online there is a need to clarify and comment in particular, the restored Brewer-Lanier Database. Much of this is a repeat of what has been previously written both within the posts of this site and on the main page of the Brewer-Lanier Database and in the post of January 20, 2015, which was written when the database was first launched. I think it is best to start with what the database is NOT.

What the Brewer-Lanier Database is NOT: The Brewer-Lanier Database is not an account of all the descendants of George Brewer and his two wives, Sarah Lanier and Alice (___). It is not intended to be a complete and final genealogy of George Brewer's descendants (although a professional quality genealogy of George Brewer's descendants is needed if someone out there is up to the task). Descendants of daughters will not be followed. The database will be focused upon lines of descent from George Brewer for which we have a descendant providing Y-DNA test results through the Brewer DNA Project. All that is from the post of January 20, 2015, and I will add, that the material found within the pages of the database was not created for the purpose of being blindly copied and pasted to any individual trees or websites created online or off by anyone. The information and relationships found within the pages are not intended to be copied verbatim without analysis or thought to just what it is one is copying.

What the Brewer-Lanier Database IS: The Brewer-Lanier Database is created as a companion to the Brewer DNA Project. It is to be used as an aid for identifying and archiving correct lineages for those participants in the Brewer DNA Project who are, or are believed to be descendants of George Brewer of Brunswick County, Virginia. All lineages entered into the database must be verifiable through the use of primary records. Many lines that cannot be proved are not included. The objective is to create a database that includes as many proved lineages from the progenitor, George Brewer, as possible so as to create a Y-DNA profile for the progenitor, and hopefully for each of his sons. All that is adopted and slightly modified from the main page of the database, found there under the date of January 20, 2015. And I would add to this that the database was placed online, not only as a resource to be used by members of the Brewer DNA Project, but also as a vehicle to encourage new Brewer ancestry researchers to contact and join the Brewer DNA Project. David V. Brewer is the co-administrator at the Brewer DNA Project who covers the sub-group of members who are genetically matched through Y-Chromosome DNA testing, and who are (or are believed to be) descendants of George Brewer of Brunswick Co., Virginia, which is referred to at the project as the "Lanier-Brewer" sub-group*. Members of the project and those considering joining the project can contact David through the About page at the Brewer DNA Project website. (The Brewer DNA Project is affiliated with Family Tree DNA, and a Y-DNA test is a requirement for joining the project).

Now to further clarify and update. Although the current main page of the Brewer-Lanier Database states that it will periodically be updated, that action is no longer possible. I am no longer able to update the database. What is found on the database was last updated on November 5, 2015. While some of it as since been found to be incorrect or incomplete, it will remain as is so long as the database is online. This is one reason why I ask that you not copy verbatim from the database. First review, analyze and check what is found on the database (and then feel free to use what you found to be correct). In order to at least partially alleviate the problem of not being able to update, I will start a post on this website dedicated to Corrections and Additions to the Brewer-Lanier Database. So, if you find an error, or believe some individual or information should be added to the database, feel free to contact me, or contact David through the Brewer DNA Project site (and he can forward it to me). I will add it to the corrections and additions post. I just ask that you be concise, and that you provide supporting evidence, data, reasons, for your correction or addition.

Finally, I'd like to mention that beginning back in late 2014, I began writing posts focused on George Brewer and some of his descendants. Links for some of the posts (those dated up to March 1, 2015) can be found on this page at the Brewer-Lanier Database site. Others can be found on this site under the label "Brewers in the South." What I said above under, What the Brewer-Lanier Database is NOT, applies to these posts as well. The conclusions found within the posts are not the final word. They are my own best attempt at analyzing  the data, records and information, some of it obtained from others. Anyone who has spent any time researching ancestors and families who lived during the colonial period in the southern regions of the American colonies (really much of that south of New Jersey and Pennsylvania) know just how scarce primary records are. There are very few, and in many cases absolutely no vital records (births, marriages and deaths). Probate records only cover a fraction of those who lived during this time, and land records (land grants and recorded deeds) are time consuming to locate and analyze. So, what is presented on the Brewer-Lanier Database and in the posts on this blog, is simply done on a "best efforts basis," so to speak. Take it as a start and try to improve upon it.

*I chose to name the database "Brewer-Lanier," rather then "Lanier-Brewer," so as to avoid confusion with certain specific men of the name Lanier Brewer, who lived during the 18th and 19th centuries.

BGB 596

Sunday, July 22, 2018

North Carolina Wills: A Testator Index, 1665-1900

The images below are pages from the book by Thornton W. Mitchell titled, North Carolina Wills: A Testator Index, 1665-1900. Corrected and Revised Edition, In One Volume. Published by the Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., in 1992 and in 1996. Apparently the original edition, published in 1987 was in two volumes. Here is the title page:

Title Page, North Carolina Wills: A Testator Index, 1996
Here is a page at Google Books for the 1987 edition. If you wish to use the book you will have to either purchase a copy or find one in a library or some other institution devoted to genealogy. There does not appear to be a free digital version available online. Counties in North Carolina are identified by numbers, and there are a few pages of abbreviations that must be consulted if the entries are to be of any use. Therefore, anyone wishing to use this book, which does appear to be a comprehensive account of North Carolina wills, would be best advised to acquire a copy of it. It is available from the publisher (Genealogical Publishing Company) both in print copy and an e-book edition. See this page at the publisher's website which includes a limited preview. [Disclaimer: I do not receive any compensation for purchases through the Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., or any other book seller]. I would also suggest using this website's Search box with "North Carolina Wills." You will find a few more books on wills in North Carolina, including some with abstracts.

There are two pages which list testators named Brewer. Below are images of page 58, with Brewer beginning at the bottom of the right side column, and of page 59, with Brewer at the top of the left side column. You can download the images by selecting it, a new tab will open, and then right clicking and choosing, Select Image As.

North Carolina Wills, p. 58
North Carolina Wills, p. 59
Page 58 also includes numerous persons named Bray, a name which I've noticed as being associated with a few Brewer families in North Carolina.

The most common abbreviation you see here is AR, and that refers to the original will (or copy of original) being found in the North Carolina State Archives at Raleigh. CTY indicates that the original (or copy) is in the custody of the county clerk of the superior court. SS/AR refers to the secretary of state loose wills in the State Archives.

There are too many county codes here for me to go through them all, but of those that are most common, 022 is Chatham County and 073 is Orange County.

I do not have a complete copy of the book (these images were provided to me by someone else), so I am unable to do any "look ups." 

BGB 595

The Will of Henry Brewer of Sampson County, North Carolina

I have an image in my files of the will of Henry Brewer of Sampson County, North Carolina.

Will of Henry Brewer, Sampson Co., NC vol. 1, pp. 228-29 (
Henry's will is dated 3 January 1834. It was probated during the July 1840 term (see page 229 in the image). The will was recorded in Sampson County, North Carolina, Vol. 1, pages 228-29. The image (119) is found online at in their collection titled, "North Carolina Probate Records, 1735-1970 - Sampson County."

Here is an image of the index page which includes this will.

Sampson Co., NC Wills Index 1620-1925 (
This index image is found online at here. This particular index was filmed from back to front. In other word, it runs alphabetically from Z to A. The above index page image is image number 125 of this film (the pages are not numbered). The index includes both devisors (testators) and devisees. Alphabetization does not go beyond the first letter of the surname. They are instead listed by date. Since the filming was done from back to front, dates of probates are found from most recent to earliest.

A page with a devisor named Street Brewer and a Wiley Brewer can be found at image 119. The dates of probates are 1912 for Street Brewer and 1914 for Wiley Brewer. Here is the image downloaded from the site. (I have not looked up these two wills).

Sampson Co., NC Wills Index 1620-1925 (
In his will Henry Brewer leaves legacies to his son Edward Brewer, to his daughter Catherine Casbodell (? the name spans two lines and is unclear to me), to his son Henry Brewer, and to daughter Nancy Brewer. A negro woman named Violet, a negro girl named Mary, a negro girl named Martha and a negro boy whose name is not clear to me, are left to his daughter Nancy. Ben Hargrove is appointed as executor. Henry does not mention a wife. He signs with his mark H B. The record of probate lists Nancy Brewer, Edward Brewer and Henry Brewer, but the daughter Catherine's name is not included.

I do not know who this Henry Brewer is. I do not know how he might be placed among the various Brewer families in North Carolina. Keying off the fact that Henry did have a son named Edward, it may be that Henry is the son of Oliver Brewer of Chatham County, North Carolina, mentioned in the post of January 18, 2015. Any insight or identification would be welcomed. Please use the Comments field.

BGB 594

Friday, July 20, 2018

Databases Are Back Online

The databases hosted by RootsWeb Free Pages are now back online. Links are available in the column of links on the right side of this page under Databases. They all have new URLs, so any bookmarks or links that anyone might have to them from the past will not work. They will have to be changed. Here are the new URLs:

Brouwer Genealogy Database -

The Brouwer Genealogy Database (BGD) is the "main" website as originally created at Free Pages back some years ago. The other databases are all sub-directories of BrouwerGenealogyData.

Brewer Families of New England -

Brewer-Lanier Database -

Descendants of Alice Freeman Thompson Parke -

Drake Genealogy -

Drake in the County of Devon -

Although the sites are back up, all is not perfect. While links within each of the individual databases appear to work within that database, links between databases do not work. For example, at the top of the Brouwer Genealogy Database page, you'll find a link for Brewer of New England. That link does not work. It directs you to the sign in page (signing in will not get you to Brewer of New England). The reason for this is that the original URLs for all the pages uploaded to RootsWeb (years ago) have been changed. I have presently have no inclination to go about changing all of these bad links by updating the URLs. In addition, many PDF pages where housed on sub-directories of BrouwerGenealogyData, and so those URLs have also been changed. Many links to PDFs (and a few pages in html that I may have created), whether found within any of the databases, or within the posts of this, Brouwer Genealogy blog, do not work. Again, I have no desire to go about changing all of these links. Any PDFs or pages that I can locate, will be placed online elsewhere, and a link will be added to the Replacement Links and More Page. So, if you try a link, and it does not work, look on the Replacement Links and More Page for an alternate link. It will take many, many months to locate and replace all of them, and to be honest, I may never get the chance to do it all.

As I mentioned, links within each database do appear to work (obviously I can't test them all). For example, parent to child links appear to work. If you should come upon one that doesn't, it is likely because a page is missing, and I will not be able to replace it.

Finally, the BGD shows a date of April 6, 2016 (scroll down to the bottom of any page). That was the last time I uploaded the entire database to RootsWeb. As I recall, that was after the first RootsWeb meltdown was corrected, and RootsWeb had restored the site with an older edition because they had not backed up their servers for some months prior to the meltdown. The data in the databases is actually from sometime in 2015, so it's at least three years old (older for some of the other databases). I will not be updating these databases again. So, what you find there now will stand so long as the RootsWeb hosting service exists. Needless to say, you may find errors within the databases, so use them carefully. They are not, and never were, intended as "final words" on Brouwer family genealogies, but instead were placed online as a resource to help those researching their Brouwer, Brower, Brewer, etc., ancestries. So, after checking a database, look to verify. If you find any errors, or found some new evidence that changes a previously believed relationship, or whatever, write up a post explaining the error, correction, new info, send it to me, and I'll place it online here on this blog site.

Way back when, I thought the databases were a good idea. They helped a lot of folks, especially those also using Y-Chromosome DNA analysis as well, in their attempts to identify their Brouwer/Brewer ancestries. But, because of their size (the BGD alone is over 700 web pages) they became a bit unruly, and a burden to maintain and update regularly. The problems with RootsWeb's servers, and the sites going down for periods of months at a time added frustration. With all that, I have no desire to update or maintain them any longer. There are other things I'd rather do. Any new Brouwer research, findings, etc., will be posted to this blog going forward (probably in short spurts followed by periods of inactivity as seen in the rate and frequency of posting over the past year).

So, it's nice to see them back online. They're not perfect. But hopefully they'll be of help to some.

Best of luck with your research.

BGB 593

Saturday, July 7, 2018

19th Century Wills Recorded in New York County, New York, 1800-1829

Abstracts of wills for BREWER and BROWER found in the books of the Surrogate's Court, New York County, New York, for the years 1800 to 1829. Links take you to digital images of the wills found online at in their collection titled, New York Probate Records, 1629-1971 > New York County. Please note that the page numbers given below refer to the "old" page numbers found in the margins of the will books. The date generally is the date the will was recorded which often is the date it was proved before the Surrogate's Court Judge.

Samuel Brewer, 24 April 1815, Vol. 52, p. 240. Dated 1 March 1815, proved 24 April 1815, calls himself Samuel Brewer of the City of New York, merchant. "To my sister Phebe, wife of David Birdsall, the interest and profits of five thousnad dollars to be set apart and improved for this purpose by my executors...I give and bequeth the said sum of five thousand dollars to all her children then surviving in equal proportions. To beloved wife Elizabeth all household furniture. To my two children Elizabeth and Mary (both under age), and to their respective heirs..." Appoints his father in law John Titus and friend Alexander Cranston executors. Signed Samuel Brewer, witnessed by Maxwell Frokes, T.L. Ogden, H. Masor. This Samuel Brewer is a son of James Brewer and Hannah Lee, who can be found on the post of June 29, 2018. He is a descendant of John Brewer of Sudbury, Massachusetts, and is an example of a Brewer found in New York City who IS NOT a descendant of one of the early New Netherland Brouwer families. As stated in the will, his wife was Elizabeth Titus, daughter of John Titus. I have not had the opportunity to research her ancestry any further. She may have remarried as Samuel Brewer appears to have been only in his mid to late twenties when he died.

Jacob Brewer, 17 May 1815, Vol. 52, p. 275. Dated 31 March 1815, proved 17 May 1815, calls himself Jacob Brewer of the City of New York being weak in body but of sound mind. Gives "first to wife Abigail Brewer the interest of all my money at interest for her use during the time she remains my widow. Second, to my daughter Sally, the six green chairs now in my house, my mahogany tea table, one bed, bedstead and bedding. Third, after the death of my wife or so soon as she ceases to be my widow I give and bequeth to each of my daughters one hundred and twenty five dollars. Fourth, all the residue of my property after my wife's death or so soon as she ceases to be my widow I give and bequeth to my sons equally divided amongst them share and share alike." Appoints his sons John Brewer and Peter Brewer as executors. Signed by his mark, witnessed by Adam Hartell, and Lawrence Wiseburn of New York City, butcher. Jacob Brewer was baptized 22 August 1744 at the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow (now the Tarrytown Reformed Church), and was the son of Johannes Brouwer and Elizabeth Conklin, and is a great-great grandson of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island. His wife was Elizabeth Yerks, a daughter of John Jurckse/Yerks and Susanna Forshay. Jacob and Abigail had ten children baptized at the Sleepy Hollow Church between 1774 and 1798. His father is the Johannes Brewer found on the post of June 29, 2018.

John Brower, 4 October, 1815, Vol. 52, p. 495. Dated 10 November 1812, proved 4 Oct 1815, calls himself "John Brower of the City of New York in the State of New York, gentleman, being of sound disposing mind and memory and considering the uncertainty of this transitory life...." Mentions his wife Anne Brower; Mary Anderson "whom I have brought up, and who now lives with me, the annual sum of one hundred twenty dollars during the term of her natural life to be paid to her quarter yearly"; daughter Mary the wife of Benjamin Romaine of New York City, gentleman, and Dinah the wife of Peter Walker of New York City, "Taylor" and their heirs. Wife Ann Brower named as executrix with "respected friends" Peter Talman of Tappan in Rockland County, merchant and Peter H. Wendover of New York City, sailmaker as executors. Witnessed by Cornelius Van Valen, David Quackenbush, physician, and Adolph Brower. John was baptized as Johannes on 9 September 1733 at the Reformed Dutch Church at Schraalenburgh in Bergen County, New Jersey. He is a son of Samuel Brouwer and Maria Hartje and a great-great grandson of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon. John married Antje (Anne) Lozier in 1760 at the New York City Reformed Dutch Church. They had seven children, the first six baptized between 1760 and 1774 at New York, and the youngest, Samuel, baptized at Schraalenburgh in 1779. The family probably left New York City for Bergen County while the British occupied the city during the Revolutionary War. Only two children are mentioned in the will. Antje/Anne Lozier was a daughter of Benjamin Lozier/Losier and Dina de Groot. Dina's first husband was Pieter Brouwer, a brother of John's father, Samuel Brouwer.

Cornelia Brower, 30 April 1816, Vol. 53, p. 174. Dated 14 April 1812, proved 12 Apr 1816. Cornelia Brower of the City of New York, widow, weak in health but of sound mind, memory and understanding. To my daughter Helen Knapp, widow, my bureau and my set of bed curtains. Direct my executrix to, within a reasonable and convenient time after my decease, to sell and dispose of my real estate in the City of New York consisting of a house, lot of ground in First Street. Proceeds to pay debts and funeral expenses, residue to my daughter Cornelia, 1/3 part; daughter Helen, 1/3 part; to grandchildren Abraham Knapp and Charles Knapp, children of my said daughter Helen to be divided equally. Appoints daughter Helen Knapp as executor. Wit.: John Boyd, Elizabeth Vanderhoof, S. Cowdrey. Cornelia is Cornelia Anderson, baptized 26 March 1740 at the New York City Reformed Dutch Church, a daughter of Peter Anderson (recorded as Pieter Andriesse) and Cornelia Holmes (recorded as Cornelia Homs). Cornelia married Charles Brouwer at the New York Reformed Dutch Church on 24 December 1761, and the record here calls her Catharina Anderson. The baptism record of their daughter, Cornelia, 14 April 1765 at New York, records her as Cornelia Anderson. So, it appears that the marriage record, or perhaps the transcription of it, was in error. Charles Brouwer has not yet been placed among the Brouwer families of New York. However, he apparently had a sister Sara Brouwer who had married Cornelia's brother, Joris/George Anderson, and perhaps another sister, Jannetje Brouwer who was a witness to the baptism of George and Sarah (Brouwer) Anderson's son, Jacobus, in 1766. The daughter, Helena Knapp, mentioned in the will, married Lockwood Knapp in the English Lutheran Church, New York City, on 13 July 1799. No record of baptism has been found for Helena. The daughters mentioned in the will are, to date, the only two known children of Charles and Cornelia (Anderson) Brouwer.

Abraham Brower, 10 June 1816, Vol. 53, p. 219. Dated 3 October 1815, proved 10 Jun 1816. Abraham Brower of New York City, blacksmith, being of sound and disposing mind and understanding. Just debts and funeral expenses to be paid. To son John D. Brower, his heirs and assigns, that lot of ground and livery stable now occupied by John Curtis, distinguished on a certain map by lot no. 66 on the southerly side of Partition Street in the Third Ward of New York City containing in breadth in front and rear each, twenty-five feet, and in length on each side, 77 feet. Also to son John D. Brower that other lot and blacksmith shop occupied by him, lot no. 67 on the southerly side of Partition Street in the Third Ward, adjoining on the west side of the above mentioned lot. To wife Nelly Brower, $100, payable within 40 days of my decease, also, as long as she remains my widow, that lot of ground and brick coach and 220 chair house, lot 68 on the southerly side of Partition Street in the Third Ward. Upon her death or remarriage said lot to my son Jacob V. Brower, his heirs and assigns. Also to said wife, Nelly Brower, that dwelling house and lot no. 69 on the southerly side of Partition Street in the Third Ward and upon her death or remarriage to my daughter Hannah Brower. To wife, Nelly Brower, lot and dwelling house now occupied by John Curtis, no. 3 on the southerly side of Partition Street adjoining on the westerly side the coach makers shop occupied by my son James Brower and on the easterly side and adjoining to the house lot of Andrew Hopper, and after her death or remarriage to my son Richard Brower, his heirs and assigns. To said wife, Nelly Brower, lot and dwelling house and stable now occupied by Robert Dawson, lot no. 7 on the southerly side of Dey Street in the Third Ward of New York City, and after her death or remarriage to my son Jacob V. Brower, son Richard Brower, and daughter Hannah Brower. My wife is directed to apply the rents from said properties for her maintanence and that of my daughter Hannah Brower. To said son James Brower, lot and coach makers shop now occupied by him, no. 70 on the southerly side of Partition Street. Also to son James Brower, lot and dwelling house no. 41 on the northerly side of Dey Street, and James to pay off the mortgage of $1250. After death of son James, said two lots to sons Jacob V. Brower and Richard Brower. To son Abraham Brower, $50, and release him of all monies he now owes me, and that is all I intend for him to have from my estate. Sons John D. Brower, Jacob V. Brower and Richard Brower appointed as executors. Wit.: Robert Dawson, John Curtis, Benj. Ferris. (Included is a hand drawn map of the streets mentioned with location of the properties mentioned. Partition and Dey Streets are parrellel to each other and intersect Broadway). Proved by Benjamin Ferris of New York City, councilor at law, and John Curtis of New York City, livery stable keeper. There were many men named Abraham Brower. This Abraham was baptized 30 November 1735 at the Tappan Reformed Dutch Church, the son of Jacob Brouwer and Jannetje Hartje. He is a great-great grandson of Adam Brouwer, by way of his son Pieter Brouwer. Abraham's grandparents were Abraham Brouwer and Lea Demarest. Abraham was married twice and had children by both of his wives. His first wife was Gerreberg Brouwer, a daughter of (another) Abraham Brouwer and Elizabeth Ackerman. They were second cousins and had three children. Abraham's second wife was Neeltje Duryea, a daughter of Johannes Duryea and Antje Voorhees. Abraham and Neeltje were married in 1771 and had six children born between 1772 and 1787.

John J. Brower, 14 April 1823, Vol. 58, p. 92. The will begins at the very bottom of this page. Dated 14 May 1822, proved 14 Apr 1823, called John J. (I.?) Brower of New York City, gentleman, mentions sisters Leah, Jane (Brouwer) Vredenburg, niece Jane V. Joralemon, Anna Eliza Petit niece of late wife, and four grandchildren: John Brower son of late son John Brower, Jr., deceased; Catherine Forman; and Effie, now wife of James Quackenbos, formerly Effie Forman; daughters of late daughter Jane, deceased, the late wife of George Forman; also John Brower Galatian, son of late daughter Catherine, deceased, the former wife of William W. Galatian. John J. (or I., the letters J and I were often interchanged) Brower was also a son of Jacob Brouwer and Jannetje Hartje, and a brother of the Abraham Brower mentioned above. John's wife was Catherine Duryea, a daughter of Johannes Duryea and Antje Voorhees, and a sister of Neeltje Duryea, who was the second wife of the above Abraham Brower. John and Catherine were married in 1769 at the New York Reformed Dutch Church and had eleven children born between 1770 and 1796. Only three lived into adulthood, and all three pre-deceased John, but left grandchildren mentioned in the will. Catherine (Duryea) Brower died in 1800.

John N. Brower, 25 February 1828, Vol. 62, p. 37. Dated 21 February 1828, proved 25 Feb 1828. John N. Brower of the City of New York, Grocer. Devises and bequeaths to his wife, Susan, "so long as she remains my widow, all right title and interest in and to the following leases of lots of ground belonging to me and the buildings thereon erected, to wit the lease of a lot of ground in Stanton Street and the house thereon erected and lease of the lot adjoining thereto (together with the appurtenances) in Stanton Street, all in the City and County of New York..." also all wearing apparel, beds, bedding, the "said Susan had when I married her," and all household furniture purchased by his wife Susan after their marriage, "to be held and used or disposed of by the said Susan for her own benefit in lieu of the said Susan's right and interest in my estate so long as the said Susan shall remain my widow." He next orders that his executors dispose of, either at public or private sale, the remainder of his estate both real and personal, with the proceeds to pay for funeral expenses and to pay off just debts with the remainder to be given to my "now brothers and sisters and not to my half brothers and sisters," but does not record their names. Should his wife die or remarry, the property devised to her is also to be given to "my now brothers and sisters." Appoints as executors "my true and faithful friends Benjamin Riggs, Matthew Curtis St. John and Hiram King, all of the City of New York." Witnesses: William S. Sears, William E. Sewall, Samuel H. Miller. John N. Brower was a son of Nazareth Brouwer (1756-1817) and Ginny/Jane Brouwer (1757-1795). Ginney was Nazareth's first of three wives. They were married in 1775 and had seven children. Ginney, or Jane, is said to be a daughter of Charles Brouwer and Jane Ryder, while Nazareth is a son of Cornelis Brouwer and Mary Archer. If correct, they were then first cousins. John N. Brower's wife, Susan, is known only from this will. Her family name has not been learned and there does not appear to be any record of children. John N. Brower and this larger inter-married family are descendants of Nazareth Brouwer and Anne Rozell. This, first, Nazareth Brouwer was a son of Nicholas Brouwer and Jannetje Caljer, and a grandson of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon.  This branch of the Adam Brouwer family has it's beginnings in Westchester County, probably in the area that is now the Bronx. Records from the early 1700s for this location, and for this Brouwer family are few, and the composition of the families descended from Nazareth is in part based upon unverified accounts of earlier researchers. We do, however, have a descendant of Cornelis Brouwer (mentioned above) who has taken a Y-Chromosome DNA test. His results match those of the other descendants of Adam Brouwer. The Charles Brouwer, husband of Cornelia (Anderson) Brower whose will is abstracted above, may somehow fit, somewhere, among this branch of Adam Brouwer's descendants. More research in Westchester County needs to be conducted, and if there is anyone out there with more insight or records, please use the Comments section to relate them to the rest of us.

We will continue through the 1800s in New York County in a future post.

BGB 592

Thursday, July 5, 2018

A Suggested Ancestry for Peter Brewer of Hardin Co., Kentucky

Peter Brewer of Hardin County, Kentucky was probably born during the decade of the 1750s, almost certainly in New Jersey, and possibly in Sussex County, or perhaps in an adjoining county in northern New Jersey. He has been mentioned in previous posts on this website, specifically on November 16, 2013; December 8, 2015; and May 4, 2017. He wrote his will on 2 November 1840 and it was proved in Hardin County on 19 April 1841, so he likely died during the first quarter of 1841. Exact dates of his birth and death are not known, and to my knowledge a burial location or grave marker has not been discovered. As of this post, the identity of his parents is still not known.

What is known is that Peter Brewer is a direct male descendant of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island. This statement is proved by Y-DNA testing of no less than four direct male descendants of Peter Brewer, who are descended from two different sons of Peter, those sons being Valentine Brewer and Isaac Brewer. The Y-Chromosome DNA test results of all four match those of known direct male descendants of Adam Brouwer to the degree that it can be stated without question that Peter Brewer is also a descendant of Adam. But to repeat, to date we still do not known Peter Brewer's direct male line back to Adam Brouwer. Three of the tested descendants have taken advanced SNP testing (FTDNA's Big Y test) and are found on YFull's public Y-Tree as haplogroup E-BY6245. This haplogroup is a sub-clade of E-Y19643 which (as of this post) includes seven other direct male descendants of Adam Brouwer. (This updates the post of April 7, 2018).

We know that Peter Brewer had a brother named Samuel Brewer. Peter says as much in an affidavit found in his Samuel's Revolutionary War Pension Application file. In that application, Samuel states that he was born in Sussex County, New Jersey, but does not state his parent's names. Samuel was age 75 in 1832 when he filed this application. We also know that Peter had seven children, including six sons named Michael, Isaac, Benjamin, Samuel, John and Valentine.

A Benjamin Brewer, born 24 April 1755 (location not known), died 6 May 1834 in Washington County, Indiana (dates from his gravestone in the Cooley-Brewer Cemetery in Washington Co., Indiana). His wife was Catherine Mellinger, and they had nine known children including sons named William, Benjamin, Samuel, Peter, and John. A direct male descendant of this Benjamin has taken a Y-DNA test and his results also confirm that Benjamin is a direct male descendant of Adam Brouwer.

Benjamin Brewer, Samuel Brewer and Peter Brewer are all found on a tax roll from 1783 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Benjamin and Samuel are in Tyrone Township, while Peter lives in Huntington Township. On 20 February 1783, Samuel Brewer of Tyrone Twp., sold land to Benjamin Brewer (then) of Huntington Twp. A witness to the deed was a Peter "Bruin," probably meant to be Peter Brewer, or Bruer, as the surname was sometimes recorded, particularly in records found in Pennsylvania. While we know that Samuel and Peter were brothers, and although this deed does not state so specifically, it appears highly likely that Benjamin is also a brother of Samuel and Peter.

On 25 May 1778, in the soon afterwards extinct county of Yohogania, Virginia, administration of the estate of a Benjamin Bruer was granted to his widow Mary. A Mary Brewer is also found on that same 1783 tax roll in Huntington Twp., Westmoreland Co., Pennsylvania (along with Peter Brewer). We know that the Benjamin who died by 25 May 1778 was a married adult. We don't know when he was born, but we do know that he could not have been the Benjamin Brewer who was born in 1755 as he is known to have died in 1834. I would suggest that this Benjamin is older, an probably born by 1735. As we can clearly see that there are two men named Benjamin here, my suggestion is that Benjamin Bruer/Brewer, who died in 1778, and his wife Mary, are the parents of Peter Brewer, Samuel Brewer and Benjamin Brewer, and if correct then Benjamin must also be a descendant of Adam Brouwer.

Focus is now squarely on the given name Benjamin. We know that this name is uncommon among the descendants of Adam Brouwer found within the first four generations of Adam Brouwer's known descendants. Looking at Adam Brouwer's descendants we find only one named Benjamin, who was born by 1735. That would be Benjamin Brouwer, son of Pieter Brouwer and Elizabeth Quackenbosh, who was baptized at the New York Reformed Dutch Church on 11 February 1728. Benjamin would have been named (by tradition of that time and culture) for his maternal grandfather, Benjamin Quackenbosch. Pieter and Elizabeth (Quackenbosh) Brouwer's first two sons were both named Jacob (the first of the two having died early in infancy) and were named (by the same tradition) for Pieter's father, Jacob Brouwer. There is no other male descendant of Adam Brouwer, named Benjamin, who is known to have been born by 1735. With this, I am suggesting that the Benjamin Brouwer, baptized in New York in 1728, is the same Benjamin Bruer whose estate was administered in Yohoangia Co., Virginia in 1778, and is the father of Peter Brewer of Hardin County, Kentucky, Samuel Brewer (who died in 1835 and is buried at Harrodsburg, Kentucky) and Benjamin Brewer (1755-1834).

Benjamin Brouwer/Bruer/Brewer's grandparents would be the above mentioned Jacob Brouwer and Annatje Bogardus, and the above mentioned Benjamin Quackenbosh and Claasje Webber. His great-grandparents would then be Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon; Willem Bogardus and Wynnetje Sybrants; Reynier Quackenbosh and Lysbet Masten; and Aernout Webber and Jannetje Cornelis.

I want to emphasize that the suggestion that Peter Brewer of Hardin County, Kentucky is a son of Benjamin Brouwer, baptized in 1728 at New York, has not been proved to a standard that would be accepted to a professional genealogist. It is a suggestion based upon all known information and evidence, both traditional and genetic, collected to date. I further suggest that descendants and others interested in further proof, focus their research in any and all records that exist for Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania and the old Yohoangia County, Virginia (from which Westmoreland County was formed). You might also check records in each of the counties where the three assumed brothers (Peter, Samuel and Benjamin) lived, for any possibility that a sibling is named. This would be Hardin County and Mercer County, Kentucky, and Washington County, Indiana. A check back in Sussex County, New Jersey should also be done but I have less confidence that it will yield anything that is not already known, or to say it another way, if something existed back in Sussex County, it would have been found by now.

Some additional notes:
-Pieter Brouwer, the father of Benjamin (bapt. 1728) left a will dated 12 February 1788. It is abstracted in the post of June 29, 2018. He does not mention his son Benjamin. This omission may be because Benjamin had died previously, and we know that Benjamin Bruer of Yohoangia County died in 1778 (ten years earlier). It also has to be remembered that not all children are always mentioned in a testator's will. While inclusion in a will can prove a relationship, exclusion from a will does not disprove a relationship.

-In addition to Peter, Samuel and Benjamin, a fourth brother may be Henry Brewer whose wife was Jane (Hurdley?). Henry lived in 1840 at Clay, Owen Co., Indiana. This Henry had a son named Benjamin born in 1796 in Fayette Co., Pennsylvania. Fayette County was created in September 1783 out of Westmoreland County. If you can follow this, Henry's son Benjamin's second wife was Elizabeth Roney/Rony, who was a daughter of James Roney and Margaret Brewer, and a granddaughter of Benjamin Brewer and Catherine Mellinger, with Benjamin being the assumed brother of Peter and Samuel. A direct male descendant of Henry Brewer has taken a Y-DNA test, and he too, matches the other descendants of Adam Brouwer.

-The current edition of the Brouwer Genealogy Database (presently offline) suggests that Peter Brewer of Hardin County may be a descendant of either Hendrick Brouwer (bapt. 1699) a son of Adam Brouwer and Marretje Hendricks and grandson of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon, or of Samuel Brouwer (bapt. 1706) a son of Willem Brouwer and Marthe Boulton (and grandson of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon). Both this Hendrick and Samuel (first cousins) are found in Somerset County, New Jersey in the mid 1700s. Somerset County, like Sussex County, is in West New Jersey. That, and some naming similarities (Samuel and Henry) led to this suggestion some years ago. While these two ideas are still possible, I'd say that they are now far more unlikely than the suggestion given above.

-Sussex County, New Jersey was formed in 1753 out of Morris County which had been set off from Hunterdon County in 1738/39. See pages 19 and 34-35 of this excellent PDF of New Jersey Civil Boundaries.

-For more on Yohogania County, see the Wikipedia page, and the wiki page at Family Search.

-There are Benjamin Brewers/Browers found among the descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I. The earliest one that I can find is Benjamin, son of Jan Brouwer and Helena Van Cleef, who was baptized on 19 February 1738 by the Reformed Dutch Congregation of Freehold and Middletown, in Monmouth Co., New Jersey. Sponsors of the baptism were his mother's brother Benjamin Van Cleef (for whom he was named) and his wife Rachel Couwenhoven. This Benjamin Brewer/Brower married Maria Lane at Shrewsbury, New Jersey by a marriage license dated 16 Jan 1767. They had five children baptized between 1768 and 1785 at Freehold-Middletown. Obviously since he was living in 1785, this Benjamin cannot be the Benjamin Bruer/Brewer whose estate was administered in 1778 in Yohogania County. No record has yet been found of this Benjamin outside of Monmouth County, New Jersey. All other known men named Benjamin Brewer, Brower, Brouwer or Bruer were born much to late to be considered as the Benjamin Brewer of Yohogania County in 1778.

In conclusion: I suggest that Peter Brewer, his known brother Samuel Brewer, near certain brother Benjamin Brewer and likely brother Henry Brewer are all sons of Benjamin Bruer/Brewer (d. 1778, Yohogania Co., Virginia) and his wife Mary whose family name is not yet known. In turn, this Benjamin Bruer/Brewer is the Benjamin, son of Pieter Brouwer and Elizabeth Quackenbosh, who was baptized in the New York Reformed Dutch Church in 1728. Peter's direct line ancestry back to Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I. would then be: Peter Brewer > Benjamin Bruer/Brewer > Pieter Brouwer > Jacob Brouwer > Adam Brouwer of Gowanus. Peter Brewer and his brothers are great-great grandsons of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus. While evidence that would meet modern genealogical standards for proof is lacking, this suggestion best fits the known evidence, both traditional and genetic, available at this time. Proof is probably only one or two documents or records short, that being records that show that the Benjamin Bruer/Brewer who died in 1778 is in fact a son of Pieter Brouwer and Elizabeth Quackenbosch, and records that show that this Benjamin is the father of Peter Brewer of Hardin Co., Kentucky. Such records may possibly exist in the probate, land or court files found in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, or perhaps in the adjacent county of Fayette, or perhaps in older records of Yohogania County that may be in a repository in some other county that was established when Yohogania ceased to exist. Should anyone find any such records, please let us know.

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PDF version of this post

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Updating the Status of the Databases

You know at the time I wrote the June 9th post regarding the status of Brouwer Genealogy and particularly the associated databases, I had a feeling that there would soon be a change and some movement at RootsWeb. And that is just what we are now seeing.

Now when you try to access one of the databases or pages hosted by RootsWeb's Free Pages, you are redirected to the sign in page. That's not much of an improvement, but head over to the RootsWeb page and you'll see that they have updated the status of their efforts to re-establish the service. They last update had beem March 6, 2018. The new update is not dated but it appears to have been placed online just a few days ago.

Hosted Web Sites, which would be the category under which all of the databases and PDF pages fall, are not yet available, but Roots Web does appear to be getting started with them, beginning with the USGENWEB sites, of which there are 600. The rest of us are asked to request reinstatement of our pages sometime "in the coming weeks" when a link is made available. There is no indication of how long after a request is made that the pages will actually be restored and available online.

So, there is movement, but we still may be a ways away from being up and back online. I will keep you posted.

Added after initial post: Here is a new RootsWeb Blog which promises to announce updates. So, if you wish to follow progress directly, subscribe to the RootsWeb Blog site. I will be adding it to the My Blog List found in the right column of this page.

July 5, 2018: A request was placed with RootsWeb for the restoration of the Brouwer Genealogy Database website. According to the RootsWeb Blog post of July 5th, the restoration could take 2-4 weeks. Based on past experience that sounds optimistic. We'll see. The other databases (Brewer-Lanier, and Brewers of New England for example) were set up as sub-directories of the Brouwer Genealogy Database, so I suspect that they would be restored when the BGD is restored. Again, we'll see.

July 13, 2018: Some RootsWeb hosted sites are in fact back up online. The sites listed here are hosted by RootsWeb and have a different URL root (for lack of a better term) than did the Brouwer Genealogy Database.  The URL for the BGD was

July 20, 2018: The Brouwer Genealogy Database is back online, but with a new URL - However, it is not complete. Sub-directories, which include other database websites such as Brewer of New England, do not appear to be online. Also, the majority of PDFs, linked from various links found within posts on this blog and within the BGD, are also not available, as they too, were within sub-directories of the main site.

July 20, 2018: Brewer Families of New England and Brewer-Lanier Database, ARE now back online. New URLs: and The other databases are also online. Links are available on the right under "Databases." See the July 20, 2018 post.

July 31, 2018: I have been able to retrieve the files, including PDFs, associated with brouwergenealogydata. As time permits, I will add the PDFs to the Replacement Links page.

August 27, 2018: It appears that the links to PDF pages stored on the RootsWeb servers have been restored. And so, most of the links within each of the individual posts on this blog should once again be working. Should you come across one that does not work, please let me know via the Comments option for this post. 

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