Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Friday, November 9, 2018

Brewers and Browers in the Montgomery County, New York Probate Records

Some years ago, before the time when the Family History Library digitized and placed online images of their vast collection of filmed documents, I hauled myself to the local Family History Center, ordered the film for the General Index to Wills and Proceedings for Montgomery County, New York, viewed the film, wrote down all the entries for Brewers and Browers, and then ordered more films covering the specific probate books that interested me, waited a few weeks (sometimes months) then hauled myself back to view those films. I also placed online a copy of those index entries. Maybe it's time to get back to looking at them. Images of the probate records of Montgomery County, New York can be accessed here. Links for the individuals will take you to their profile on the Brouwer Genealogy Database (BGD) where sources for statements cited below can be found.

- Administration on the Estate of Peter Brewer, of Amsterdam, Montgomery County is found in Letters of Administration, vol. 3, p. 106. Peter Brewer, having died intestate (without a will), administration of his estate was granted to William Rob of the town of Amsterdam. Dated 19 December 1826. No other persons named BREWER are mentioned in the record. I believe this record would belong to Peter Brewer, son of William Brewer and Annetje DeLong, who are first found in Amsterdam, NY in 1807. They had previously lived at Platts Borough (Plattsburgh), Clinton Co., New York and went to Copley, Summit Co., Ohio by 1840. William Brewer's ancestry is not known, but he was born in 1770 in New York and died in 1856, aged 86 years. William was married twice, had thirteen children, eleven of them daughters. The two sons were Peter (b.1793), and Lawrence D. Brewer (b.1801).

- Administration on the Estate of Peter Brower, of the Town of Mohawk (LOA 4:103) died intestate, granted to David Brower and Harmen De Wandelaer of Mohawk. Dated 23 November 1838. I believe this record would belong to Peter Brower, born 12 November 1798, son of Johannes Brouwer and Engelge Sealie. He would be a descendant of Willem Brouwer of Beverwijck, through their (believed) son, Willem Brouwer and his wife Rebecca Vedder. Peter is buried at Tribes Hill which is (largely) in the Town of Mohawk. He had a brother named David (b. 26 November 1806) and a sister Elizabeth who married Herman De Wandelaer.

- Administration on the Estate of David Brewer, "previous to his death an inhabitant of the County of Montgomery," granted to Peter I. Enders, of the Town of Florida, Montgomery County (LOA 4:316-17). The date appears to be 11 October 1847. I believe that David, would be the David Brower, brother to Peter Brower who estate he (David) was given administration in 1838. Peter's wife was Henrietta Enders. David Brower/Brewer, son of Johannes Brouwer and Engelge Sealie was born 26 November 1806.

- Administration on the Estate of Jacob I. (or J.) Brower, of Montgomery County, died intestate, granted to Peter Reas (LOA 4:461-62). Dated 17 October 1851. This may be Jacob Brouwer (b. 29 April 1809 at Palatine, New York) son of Cornelis Brouwer and Elizabeth Staller. He is the only Jacob Brower that I find in Montgomery on the 1850 U. S. census. A bit more research is needed here. If correct, Jacob, too is a descendant of Willem Brouwer and Rebecca Vedder.

- Administration on the Estate of John Brower Junior, of Johnstown, Montgomery County, died intestate, granted to Abraham G. Brower of Johnstown (LOA 3:22). Dated 15 May 1822. John Brower was born 23 May 1795 and was baptized at the Schraalenburgh Reformed Dutch Church in Bergen County, New Jersey. He was a son of Johannes Brouwer and Phebe Godwin who relocated to Johnstown, New York by 1810. Abraham G. Brower was John's brother. He is a descendant of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I. There are a few Bergen County, New Jersey Brouwer families who relocated to Montgomery County, New York in the very early years of the 19th century.

- The Will of Arendt Brower, of Stone Arabia. Wills vol. 1, p. 90.  I briefly mentioned his will in the November 29, 2011 post. Arendt/Arent/Aaron is a son of Willem Brouwer and Rebecca Vedder. Never married and no children of his own. The will mentions nephews and nieces. A valuable document for reconstructing this family. Dated 10 July 1793.

- The Will of William Brower. Wills vol. 2, pp. 417-18. Dated 19 December 1814. This is one of those frustrating wills that leaves out many details. William does not tell us where he is of. His wife is named as Polly. He mentions children, but does not provide names. Executors are Jacob Cole and David P. Demarest. Witnesses are Nicholas Demarest, Jacob D. Demarest and David D. Demarest, and therein are the best clues. William is very probably the William who was born 10 October 1788 in Bergen County, New Jersey. He was baptized at the Hackensack Reformed Dutch Church. His parents are Jacob Brouwer and Margitta Triet. His wife was Maria (Polly) Demarest, born 1 January 1792, a daughter of Petrus Demarest and Sara Demarest who were cousins. Her brother Nicholas Demarest married William's sister, Jannetje Brouwer. William had brothers named Jacob, Abraham and David. Known children are three daughters, Sally (Sara), Margaret and Cordelia. Jacob, Abraham and David all came to Montgomery County and settled at Broadalbin which is now in Fulton County which was formed in 1838. My write ups and wording on the Brouwer Genealogy Database of members of this family is a bit cautious as to their identification. That was some time ago now, and over the years I have found nothing to indicate that they might be some family other than the sons of Jacob Brouwer and Margitta Triet. Jacob Brouwer was born 19 October 1760 and was a 3-great grandson of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I. The family was in Albany County prior to coming to Montgomery County. Son, David was baptized at Guilderland in 1799. Jacob would have been born too late to be the father of the Daniel Brewer, born about 1771, whose ancestry we are seeking.

- Will of John Brower, of Johnstown. Wills, vol. 4, p. 281. Mentions wife Catherine; sons Harman (and his Angelica), John, Peter (and his John Henry) and David; daughter Elizabeth; brother Wilhelmus. Executors: son Harman, nephew Harman W. Witnesses: A, Haring, R.S. Clute, I. Matthews. Dated 25 March 1829, proved 12 October 1829. John (Johannes) Brower was a son of Harmanus Brouwer/Brower and Margariet Ekker. He is a grandson of Willem Brouwer and Rebecca Vedder. He is the father of Peter Brower and David Brower mentioned above. His first wife was Engelge (Angelica) Sealie. His wife Catherine, mentioned in the will, was a second wife. John makes provision for the assets she brought to their marriage. He was baptized on 1 January 1759 at the Schenectady Reformed Dutch Church.

- Will of Cornelius Brower, of Palatine. Wills, vol. 5, pp.439-442. Dated 20 August 1835, proved 3 October 1835. Cornelius Brower of Palatine, Montgomery County. "Lying sick in bed in the same place and being weak in body but of sound mind." Names his beloved wife Elizabeth (all real and personal estate during her natural life). Son, Jacob (southerly part of farm where I now dwell, after death of wife. Describes boundaries). Two sons, John and Aaron (to divide the said property left to Jacob should Jacob die without heirs). Son William Henry (a good liberal education to be provided by heirs of my estate). Daughter, Dorothy, wife of Frederick Moore. Daughter, Betsy, wife of George H. Shults. Daughter Rebecca, wife of Benjamin Getman. Daughter, Nancy, wife of James Getman. Appoints son Jacob Brower and David Saltsman executors, and wife Elizabeth executrix. This is a long will. Also describes a mill property. Cornelius Brower (Cornelis Brouwer in the BGD) is also a son of Harmanus Brower and Margriet Ekker. He was baptized 22 April 1770 at the Stone Arabia Reformed Church. His wife was Elizabeth Staller. His profile on the BGD is incomplete. It is missing this will, and the son John is not shown among Cornelius' children, but I strongly suspect that he is the John C. Brower, b. about 1816, who married Catharine Eliza Crouse and is at St. Johnsville, Montgomery County in 1850. The son named Arndt would be Aaron mentioned in the will.

- Will of Wilhelmus Brower. Wills, vol. 7, p. 74. Dated 3 March 1838, proved 20 December 1843. Wilhelmus Brower of the Town of Mohawk, Montgomery County. Son, Harmon W. Brower, all personal property and real estate, and appoints him as executor. Wilhelmus, or William Brower is another son of Harmanus Brower and Margriet Ekker. He was married twice. Two known children, including Harmon W. Brower mentioned in the will were children of his first wife, Elisabeth Gray. On 22 December 1793 he married Sarah Van Epps. His profile on the BGD does not include this will.

- Will of Harmon Brower. Wills, vol. 6, pp. 431-35. Dated 11 January 1839, proved 21 February 1842. Harmon's will is also found among the "Brower Papers." See the post of January 24, 2017, number 15 there. And please refer to Harmon's profile on the Brouwer Genealogy Database site for an abstract of the will. This is a long will. Harmon is yet another son of Harmanus Brower and Margriet Ekker. His wife was Magdalena Docksdater, and they had thirteen children, eleven of whom reached adulthood and married.

- Will of Harmon W. Brower. Wills, vol. 7, p. 378. Dated 4 June 1846, proved 6 July 1846. Harmon W. Brower of the Town of Mohawk, Montgomery County. Son, Henry T. E. (homestead farm lying in Hanson's Patent; land formerly owned by William Garretson; farm formerly owned by John I. Brower lying in said patent). So, William H. Brower (six acres in Hansen's Patent occupied by Jesse Fisher, also land in Butler's Patent and in Collins Patent). Personal effects to son Henry T. E. Residue to two sons Henry T. E. and Willam H. Money held in the Montgomery County Bank for Rosa Wemple, a colored woman, to be given to her. Delia Sherman, "who has lived now a number of years in my family as a member and employed as a domestic, to be maintained by one of my sons. Appoints son Henry T. E. as executor. Harmon W. Brower is the son of the Wilhelmus Brower mentioned above and his first wife Elisabeth Gray. The will is not included in his profile on the BGD. His wife was Maria Ten Eyck who is not mentioned in the will. She had died 21 April 1833. They had four sons, two died in infancy.

The will and letters of administration abstracted and commented on above are only those found in Montgomery County up to about 1850 or so. There are more on the list with dates later in the 1800s. We may come back to look at those in a future post. You should be able to find digital images of all of them on the FamilySearch.org website in the collection, New York Probate Records, 1629-1971, Montgomery County.

BGB 620


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