Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Monday, August 24, 2015

Register of the Provincial Secretary, 1648-1660

Register of the Provincial Secretary, 1648-1660, is Volume 3 in the series New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch. Like the previous two volumes it was translated and annotated by Arnold J. F. van Laer, and edited and indexed by Kenneth Scott and Kenn Stryker-Rodda, and published in 1974 by the Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore. A description can be found online at the New Netherland Institute website.


Three links are found at the bottom of the page reached by the link above. The first link will take you to a PDF of van Laer's hand written transcription. The connection for this PDF is slow. The second link will take you to a PDF of the 1974 published version described above. This link is quick, and downloading the PDF to your computer for offline viewing is recommended. The third link will take you to a page at the New York State Archives website where digital images of the original documents can be seen. Unlike volumes one and two, Charles Gehring does not have his own digital version of volume three.

There are no mentions or records for any person named Brouwer, Brower or Brewer in this volume. Of interest to some may be documents relating to Dom. Everardus Bogardus and his widow Annetje/Anna Jans. They can be found at page 149 (no. 55c); page 219 (76a); pages 313-14 (97). There are certainly many names in the index that will be recognized by those researching some of the earlier families of New Netherland.

New Netherland, 1656, from the Map of A. Vanderdonck (Wikimedia Commons)
 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Register of the Provincial Secretary, 1642-1647

Volume 2 of New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, is the Register of the Provincial Secretary, 1642-1647, translated and annotated by Arnold J. F. van Laer, edited and indexed by Kenneth Scott and Kenn Stryker-Rodda (Baltimore: Genealogial Publishing Co., Inc., 1974). As with volume 1, hard copies are difficult to come by, but digital versions have been placed online by the New Netherland Institute at their website.


Four links to PDFs are made available at the bottom of the above page. The first link will take you to the digital version edited by Charles Gehring. There is no index to this version. The second link is for a PDF of the original published volume. This version is indexed. The third link is to a PDF of the original transcribed pages. There are 751 pages here and it can take some time before they all load on to your computer. For each version I do recommend downloading the PDF to your own computer. It should be much easier, and faster, to work with offline compared to online. The fourth link will take you to the digital collections page at the New York State Archives website. Here you can see images of the original documents that were transcribed by van Laer.

There is no introductory material here. For background information please see the opening pages of Volume 1. Instead the volume goes right into the records, the first being a bond of Govert Loockemans and Cornelis Leendersen for goods brought over in the ship Coninck David

There are five documents in which Adam Brouwer appears - 141a, b, c, 142a, and 149j. 

Document 141a is found at pages 290-291 in the original published version (hereafter van Laer), and at page 170 in the newer digital version (hereafter Gehring). This is an important document for those researching Adam Brouwer. It is dated 21 February 1645, and to date is the earliest known record of Adam Brouwer to have been found. It tells us that he was from Ceulen (Cologne, Germany), that he was employed by the (Dutch) West India Company as a soldier, and that he sailed to Brazil in 1641 aboard the ship Swol, whose supercargo was Willem de Haes. Adam Brouwer states that he is owed one hundred and eighty-nine guilders as pay for his service, and "assigns and transfers in full and free ownership," his wages earned to one Geurt Servaesz, living in Amsterdam in Papenbrugh alley. The witnesses to the document are Willem Bredenbent and Pauwlus Van der Becke. The later had married Maria Badie in October 1644, the former had married Aeltie Braconie in September 1644. In one month from the date of this document, Adam Brouwer would marry Magdalena Verdon, the daughter of Maria Badie and granddaughter of Aeltie Braconie. Adam Brouwer signs this document with a mark, AB. A note in both the van Laer and Gehring versions tells us that this document was then canceled.

Document 141b is at pages 291-292 (van Laer) and at page 171 (Gehring). The document has the same date as the above, 21 February 1645, and is otherwise the same except that here Adam Brouwer is authorizing Geurt Servasz "at Amsterdam, in Papenbrigh alley, in 'The Whalebone,' to demand and collect in his name from the honorable directors of the General Charted West India Company, chamber at Amsterdam, all such sums of money as are still due him." This is an important technical clarification from the prior document in which it could have been construed that Adam Brouwer was giving Geurt Servaesz his earnings due from the WIC. Adam signs with his mark, AB. The witnesses are again Willem Bredenbent and Pauwlus Van der Becke.

Document 141c follows at pages 292-293 (van Laer) and pages 171-172 (Gehring). This document is also dated 21 February 1645. It is a contract of sale from Hendrick Jansen to Adam Brouwer of a house and garden on Manhattan Island. The document reads, "Hendrick Jansen, from Jeveren, locksmith, and Adam Brouwer have in love and friendship, in the presence of the witnesses hereto invited, agreed and contracted about the purchase of a certain house and lot for a garden situated on the island of Manhatans, formerly occupied by Jeuriaen Roodolf. Hendrick Jansen from Jeveren sells the aforesaid house and lot to Adam Brouwer above mentioned, who also acknowledges that he has bought the same, with all that is fastened by earth and nail, in true and full ownership, on which house and garden Adam shall pay within three months from the date twenty-five guilders, which shall be the last payment." Both parties sign the document, Adam Brouwer with his mark, AB, and Hendrick Jansen as "Heindreick Jansz." The contract is witnessed by Willem Breidendent and Pauwlus Van der Becke. This contract is a bit unusual in that the phrase "in love and friendship" (between Adam Brouwer and Hendrick Jansen) is used. It implies that they had a close relationship, but for how long that relationship had been, and where and under what circumstances it began are not known, and can only be guessed at. What we do know from this document about Hendrick Jansen is that he was from "Jeveren," which is the city of Jever. During Hendrick Jansen's lifetime Jever was in Oldenburg. Today it is the capital of the district of Friesland in Lower Saxony, a state in Germany. We also know that Hendrick Jansen (or Heindreick Jansz) was a locksmith. From volume 1 of Register of the Provincial Secretary, 1638-1642, in document 49 (page 67), Hendrick Jansen, locksmith (sloot maker), aged 36 years, and Hendrick Gerritsen, aged 20 years, gave testimony on behalf of Grietje Reyniers. This document was dated 6 October 1638, which would place Hendrick Jansen's birth at about 1602, presumably at Jever. Hendrick Jansen (Heindrick Jansz) is found in later records with the occupation of "smith." In 1656, Hendrick Jansen van Jeveren, was granted a patent on land "beyond Hellgate on Long Island" (Gehring, Charles T. Land Papers. New York Historical Manuscripts, Dutch, Vols. GG, HH & II. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1980. Page 83). If our assumption that Adam Brouwer was born about 1620 is correct (see Origins of Adam Brouwer), then we can see that Hendrick Jansen was a bit older than Adam. There were other men named Hendrick Jansen living in New Amsterdam during this time, and care must be used when sorting out the records, which individually do not convey a complete story or history of any one person.*

In document 142a, page 295 (van Laer), pages 173-174 (Gehring), Adam Brouwer, signing with his mark, AB, was a witness to directions in which Symon Woutersz, of Nus, soldier, assigned over to Seger Teunisz an account of wages earned by Hans Haen, from Hessenlandt, in the service of the WIC. The document is dated 1 March 1645.

Document 149j, pages 341-342 (van Laer) and page 209 (Gehring) is another power of attorney from Adam Brouwer, this time to Govert Loockermans, to collect one hundred and eighty-nine guilders, earned by Adam Brouwer at Fort St. Louis de Marinhan. The document is dated 21 Sep 1646. Apparently Adam did not receive his wages that he had requested to be collected by Guert Servasz back in February 1645. Adam once again states that he had sailed to Brazil aboard the Swol in 1641. Govert Loockermans is apparently about to set sail for Amsterdam on De Jager.

In addition to the documents listed above for Adam Brouwer, there are documents relating to Magdalena Verdon's grandmother, Aeltje Braconie (18c, 93b, 93f); to Willem Adriaenszen, who was the second husband of Maria Badie (37b, 47c); to Paulus Van der Beeck, who was Maria Badie's third husband (122c, 123a, 139e). 



*For example the various records, published in New York Historical Manuscripts, Register... , Council Minutes, and Land Papers, also include a Hendrick Jansen, tailor (snyder in Dutch) who is often mentioned, as well as a Hendrick Jansen from Oldenborch (Oldenburgh), soldier, age 20 on 12 November 1642. There is also mention of a Hendrick Jansen from Bremen. Care is needed when sorting out records belonging to persons with a common name and a common patronymic like Hendrick, and Jansen.

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Register of the Provincial Secretary, 1638-1642

The Register of the Provincial Secretary, 1638-1642, is volume 1 in the series, New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch. A description can be found online at the website of the New Netherland Institute.


The Secretary of New Netherland was an employee of the Dutch West India Company. The Register covers legal documents of various sorts that were filed with the Provincial Secretary. This volume, the first of three covering the Register of the Provincial Secretary, was translated and annotated by Arnold J. F. Van Laer beginning in 1911. He had picked up on work begun by Edward Bailey O'Callaghan during the 19th century. Van Laer's edition was published in 1974 by the Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., of Baltimore, Maryland. The published editions were edited and indexed by Kenneth Scott and Kenn Stryker-Rodda. Hard copies are somewhat difficult to come by. The series had only a limited number of books published and accessing one usually meant a trip to a larger library. Purchasing a copy online usually involves finding a used copy for sale by an individual, and in such cases the asking price can be steep. Thankfully, the New Netherland Institute has, over the past few years, placed PDF versions of the publication online. The PDFs can be downloaded and it is now possible to have a convenient digital version on your home computer. And it's free - but while you're at the website, why not make a donation to the NNI

Volume 1, covering the years 1638-1642, is available in two formats, both can be accessed via links found on the page mentioned above. The link for the original version published in 1974 is labeled, in parenthesis, "published book images." This version includes an index and is therefore the easiest to use. A note: the index entries do not give the page number in the book for each entry. Instead the number refers to the original document number, which in every case is different than the page number in the book. The second version made available on the NNI website is a version edited by Charles Gehring, Director of the New Netherland Research Center. This version does not include an index. A third link will open up a PDF of Van Laer's transcriptions of some of the documents that make up this volume.

I would strongly recommend reading the Preface (page vii), the biography of Arnold J. F. van Laer (page ix), and the Introduction by Peter R. Christoph (page xiii). The three provide an informative background for not just using, but also appreciating the availability of this work and others in the New York Historical Manuscripts series.

In addition, the New York State Archives has made available online, digital images of some of the original documents of the Register of the Provincial Secretary. They can be found here.

Volume 1 (1638-1642) has documents involving two (or three) different men named Brouwer

Document 57, which begins at page 78 is an accounting of what Johannes la Montaenje (Johannes de La Montagne) paid and dispersed to divers persons on account of debts and for the maintaining of the house and plantation of the late Hendrick de Foreest (Johannes de La Montagne's wife, Rachel de Foreest, was a sister of Hendrick). The document is dated 26 July 1637. On page 79 is an entry dated Dec. 1, "To Jan Brouwer, for 12 lbs powder...fl18 (18 florins). 

Document 101, beginning at page 138, is the Promisory note of Johan de Voocht to Petronella Underhill with receipt of Petronella Underhill for part payment by General Specks. Note 3, on page 139, mentions Hendrick Brouwer, who was appointed instead of Jacques Specks (Specx) who had initially been appointed as successor to Jan Pietersen Coen as governor general (of the Dutch East Indies). [Please take note that Hendrick Brouwer is not named in the original document, and he was not present in New Netherland. See his Wikipedia entry for more.]

Document 195, beginning at page 270 has two parts. The second, found on page 271, is a Power of Attorney from Harman Meyndertsen van den Bogaert to Carel Looten, to collect money due from the West India Company. The document mentions that Harman sailed to New Netherland, from Texel on the ship De Eendracht, Jan Brouwer, skipper. The ship sailed from Texel on 21 March 1630, and arrived at New Netherland in 24 May 1630. The document is dated 22 March 1640. 

None of the above two, or three men (are there two different men named Jan Brouwer here, or do the two records pertain to the same man?) had any lasting presence in New Netherland. In fact Hendrick Brouwer was never there. His mention is in a note added by van Laer. None of the later 17th century Brouwer families of New Netherland (headed by Adam Brouwer, Jan Brouwer, or Willem Brouwer) can be shown to be related to either of the Jan Brouwers, or the Hendrick Brouwer, mentioned above. The documents, however, represent the earliest mentions of any person named Brouwer found in the surviving records of New Netherland.

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Friday, August 14, 2015

The Three Evert Hendricksens in New Netherland

The motivation for this post comes from an e-mail received a few months back from a correspondent who mentioned that Evert Hendricksen, the first husband of Fytje Brouwer, may have been a bigamist, and had a second family living on the Delaware River. Being a skeptic, I decided to investigate this possibility myself. In short order it became very apparent to me that the Evert Hendricksen found living on the Delaware, could not be the same Evert Hendricksen who was the first husband of Fytje Brouwer. However, internet searches found that this idea was appearing online in various family trees (at least one found on RootsWeb, and several on Ancestry.com) and is mentioned in a couple of posts found in the archive of the Dutch-Colonies-L forum hosted by RootsWeb.* Since this idea of a duel life for Evert Hendricksen is online, I felt it necessary to post this "counter-research." And, since we're on the topic of two Evert Hendricksens, we might as well cover the third Evert Hendricksen, who might also be confused with Fytje Brouwer's husband.

The supporting research is organized in a document organized as a timeline, titled "Was Evert/Ephraim Hendricksen, of Brooklyn, New York, husband of Fytje Brouwer, and Ivert/Evert Hendricksen, of Crane Hook, Delaware, one and the same man?" Please refer to this document for details and sources. Do not ignore the footnotes. They contain more info than can be fit on the timeline. And please take the time to consult the sources cited yourself. Many of them can be found online. Should anyone come up with a different conclusion based on these records alone, then so be it. Should anyone find additional records that can prove that the two men are one and the same, I would ask you to share it so that it can be reviewed and considered by myself and others.

The Three Evert Hendricksens

1. - Evert/Ephraim Hendricksen, first husband of Fytje Brouwer. The post of September 26, 2012 covered Fytje Brouwer, a daughter of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I., and her two husbands. The first husband was Evert Hendricksen, who appears to have also been known as Ephraim Hendricksen. This Evert Hendricksen left very few records, and very little is known about his life or his origins. In late September 1687, an Oath of Allegiance was taken by all non-English men living in Kings County in the Provence of New York. The roll for this oath includes the oath taker's name and the length of time in years (Jeares) he has lived in the American colonies. If the individual was born in America he is listed with the notation, Native. On the list we find Ephraim hendricks, 33 jeare. He is listed in the Town of Breucklijn (Brooklyn) as are Adam Brouwer, and number of Adam's sons, and Mattys Cornelisen, 24 jeare, who is listed immediately before Ephraim Hendricks. Mattys Cornelisen would become Fytje Brouwer's second husband in early 1692.

The only other records found pertaining to this Evert Hendricksen are the baptism records of five of his six known children, and a listing on the September 1683 assessment roll in Brooklyn where he is recorded as Evert Hendrickse. The first of the five baptism records is dated 14 February 1677, and the last is dated 30 November 1684. In the records the father is called Evert (Everd) Hendricksen (Hendrickszen). Two of the baptisms are found in the records of the New York Reformed Dutch Church, while the other three are in the records of the Brooklyn and Flatbush Reformed Dutch Churches. A sixth child, a daughter Magdalena, is named in her grandfather Adam Brouwer's will written in January 1691/92. No record of baptism has been found for her. Evert/Ephraim was living in 1687 (took the Oath) but was deceased by 20 February 1692 when marriage banns for Fytje Brouwer and Mattys Cornelisen were recorded at the Flatbush church. No will or other settlement of his estate has been found for Evert/Ephraim Hendricksen. No records of land transactions have yet been found, and it may be that Evert never owned land himself. He and Fytje may well have lived on her father's mill property at Gowanus which was under the jurisdiction of Brooklyn. No marriage record has been found for Evert and Fytje, but this is not all that unusual as the records for the Brooklyn and Flatbush churches are incomplete and there are many couples found in Kings County during the last half of the 17th century for whom no record of marriage survives.

We know nothing of Evert/Ephraim Hendricksen's origins except that he had been in America for 33 years as of September 1687, meaning he first came to New Netherland in 1655. This is an important fact in distinguishing Evert/Ephraim from Ivert/Evert below. A clue to Evert's origins lies with the surname, Van Gelder, that appears to have been adopted first by his sons Jacobus, by 1705 (marriage record, Hackensack) and Hendrick (a.k.a. Nicolaes) by 1707 (marriage record, New York). Jacob Van Gelder and Hendrick/Nicolaes Van Gelder, evidently either knew, or strongly believed, that their father's origins were in Gelderland, one of the provinces in the Netherlands. With this is mind it is likely that Evert/Ephraim was Dutch. This is the second factor that will distinguish Evert/Ephraim from Ivert/Evert. Whether is name at birth was either Evert or Ephraim is not certain. It is known that his son Hendrick/Nicolaes** named a son, Ephraim (b. 1716) certainly in honor of his father. We do not know when Evert/Ephraim was born. There is no surviving record that gives his age at any point in time. He came to New Netherland in 1655, but whether he was an adult, or still a child at that time is not known***. Likewise, there is no surviving record of baptism for Fytje Brouwer. Her first child for whom we have a record of baptism was her son Adolph who was baptized in 1677. Whether or not she had earlier children is not clear, however, from this record it can be ascertained that Evert and Fytje were married by 1677. Fytje's last known child was baptized in 1690. Her parents were married in 1645, and they had children baptized in 1646, 1649, 1651 and 1653. It is safe to assume that Fytje was born during the decade of the 1650s, probably around 1655. The importance of this will be seen below. It is the third factor against the idea that Evert/Ephraim and Ivert/Evert were one and the same.

2. Ivert/Evert Hendrickson, of Crane Hook on the Delaware. On 3 May 1641, Ivert Hindriksson was hired to serve as a soldier in New Sweden. He was brought to the New Sweden Colony in America aboard the Charitas which accompanied the Kalmar Nyckel on the trans Atlantic voyage. He came to New Sweden at an early time in the colony's short life and when there were but a few settlers. Salomen Ilmonen, who authored a three volume history on Finns in America (Amerikan Suomalaisten Historia, 1923) calls him "Ivar Hendricksson the Finn" and states that he was a farmer from Värmland. Peter S. Craig, F.A.S.G., whose area of expertize is the Swedish and Finnish families of the colonial Delaware River area, states that "Ivert the Finn, the Delaware's First Bigamist," volunteered as a laborer and came to New Sweden in 1641, leaving behind a wife and young son ("The Delaware Finns of Colonial America," 1999). New Sweden was taken over by the Dutch in 1655, was incorporated into New Netherland and was administered from New Amsterdam. In turn, the Dutch lost control of the colony to the English in 1664. Records for the colony from 1648 through 1699 survive and are found in a number of sources (see the PDF above). Ivert/Evert is found in these records on a number of occasions. He is often recorded with the appellation, "the Finn," or simply "Fin." Both the initial Swedish administrators, and the Dutch successors used this appellation to distinguish ethnic Finns from others.**** In 1675 there are two records, one a petition which Evert signs with his mark, in which he is called Evert Eck, or Evert Hendriksson Eck. Why the suffix, Eck, is not apparent. But it does not appear to refer to a place or occupation as it is not preceded by "van" or "ten" or "de." The English word, "oak" translates to "ek" in Swedish, and to "eik" in Dutch. This name for Evert, is only seen in 1675. In other records he is recorded with his patronymic, Hendricksen (various spellings). The fact that many of the records refer to him as "Finn," tells us that beyond a doubt, Ivert/Evert was Finnish. This brings us back to the second factor mentioned above under Evert/Ephraim Hendricksen. Ivert/Evert, being Finnish, would not have been from Gelderland in the Netherlands.

The fact that Ivert/Evert was a bigamist is not disputed. In January 1678/79, "Evert Hendriks fin" was ordered to appear in court to answer to the accusation that he had two wives living at Crane Hook. In February, Evert answered that he did have two wives, and did so with the consent of both. That answer was acceptable to the court and the charges were dismissed.***** Peter S. Craig, in "The Delaware Finns of Colonial America," writes that Ivert/Evert married his second wife prior to his first wife's arrival in America which likely took place in 1656. If Peter S. Craig is correct, it appears that Ivert/Evert married his second wife before Fytje Brouwer was born. We do not know when Ivert/Evert was born. Since he was hired as a soldier for service in New Sweden in early 1641, and since (according to Peter S. Craig) he was married at the time with a young son, it is likely that he was in his twenties when he came to America. Perhaps he was in his early twenties, but still it could be safe to say that Ivert/Evert Hendrickson was born during the decade of the 1610s. He may well have been a few years older than Fytje Brouwer's father, Adam Brouwer, and at least forty years older than Fytje. It is not reasonable to believe that Adam Brouwer would allow a daughter to marry an already married man with a living wife, forty years or so her senior. At least not in his time and place. Even if Ivert/Evert married his second wife after 1656 (but prior to 1678/79), that second wife could not have been Fytje Brouwer.

Ivert/Evert was complained against in court on a number of occasions. If he were around today we might describe him as having "anger management issues." He was physically violent with his neighbors, and one Andies Andriessen, the Finn, complained about Evert's involvement with his wife. Whether or not Evert was having an affair with Andries' wife, or if he was in some other way harassing her is not certain. These events occurred in 1663, and apparently Evert was banned from the Colony on the Delaware. He may have gone to New York, possibly to answer to Stuyvesant directly, but apparently Willem Beeckman intervened on Ivert's behalf, and he was allowed to return to (or remain at) the Delaware and resettle in a different location. This is when he settled at Crane Hook. In February 1679/80 he did make a trip to New York. The purpose of the trip not known, but being true to form, he stirred up some trouble while there. In October 1680 he had land surveyed in Delaware and here he is referred to as "Capt. Evert Hendrikss fin." There is nothing to indicate anything other than the fact that Ivert/Evert Hendrickson remained at Crane Hook for the remainder of his life. There is nothing to indicate that he had a second family in New York. This map from 1680-85 shows the location of Capt. Evert Hendrick's property in Crane Hook (bottom left corner).

Crane Hook, 1680-85, from Jeanette Eckman, Crane Hook on the Delaware, (Delaware Swedish Colonial Society, 1958)

Ivert/Evert Hendrickson, "Finn," on one occasion called "Ek," had one known son. He was named Hendrick and is found frequently in the records beginning early in the 1680s as Hendrick Evertson. The first mention of Hendrick Evertson dates from 1679 when a complaint was filed against him by the executors of the estate of Dirck Albertson, in a case of debt. There is only one other mention of a man with the surname/patronymic "Evertson" in the Delaware records during the last few decades of the 17th century******, so it is assumed that Hendrick is Ivert/Evert's only surviving child. The names of Ivert/Evert's two wives is still not known. Ivert/Evert Hendrickson is last mentioned in October 1684, when Edmund Cantwell acknowledge the sale of a house and ground for Evert Hendricks. In 1686, Hendrick Evertson was assessed on 260 acres in New Castle County, but there is no mention of Evert Hendrickson. On the 1693 census of the Delaware, Hendrick Evertson is recorded, but again, no Evert Hendrickson. There is no record of death, or probate of Ivert/Evert's estate, but it appears likely that Ivert/Evert Hendrickson died around 1685. The above mentioned record involving Edmund Cantwell is not all that clear, but perhaps he was acknowledging executing the deed on behalf of Evert Hendricks who may have recently died. In 1685, Ivert/Evert would have been in his late 60s or early 70s.

3. Evert Hendricksen (Bras). Evert, child of Hendrick Van Dusenberg, was baptized on 16 May 1644 at the New Amsterdam Reformed Dutch Church. Since this date would correspond with a reasonable time in which Evert/Ephraim Hendricksen was born, confusing the two might be understandable. However, the 1687 Oath of Allegiance tells us that Evert/Ephraim Hendricksen was not born in America. With this we know that the two men cannot be one and the same. Evert's father was more often recorded with his patronymic, Pieterszen. Hendrick Pieterszen and his first wife, Geertje Everts, had five children baptized in the New Amsterdam Reformed Church between 1640 and 1653. This included four sons, Pieter, Evert, Adam, and Harmen. In 1664 Hendrick Pieterszen received land in Flatlands in Kings County, Long Island. He settled there and appears to have remained there for the remainder of his life. Hendrick Pieterszen also had a son Gerret, for whom a record of baptism has not been found, and, by his second wife, Geertje Rutgers, a son Bruyn/Bruno (Geertje Rutgers first husband was Brun Willemsen) also no record of baptism found. The sons adopted the surname Bras, which is spelled in a wide variety of ways including Bresser, Brasser, Bresse, Bress, Bres, Brisse, Brissa, as well as others. In addition, there is a distinct family named Bries, descendants of Hendrick Volkertsen of Brooklyn, and a family named Brasser (also seen as Brasher) descended from Henry Brasser, an Englishman who lived at Gravesend, Long Island. The families are sorted out by William J. Hoffman in a multi-part article titled, "The Founders of the Bras(s), Brasser, Bresser, Bries and Brazer Familes," published in The American Genealogist beginning with volume 20 (1944) and running into volume 21. It is recommended that you start with Hoffman's work if you're looking to sort out these families.

Evert and his brothers were grantors in a very difficult to decipher deed dated 7 April 1692, and found in Kings County, Conveyances, Vol. 2, page 136. The deed is abstracted in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, vol. 54 (1923), page 250. The deed lists Evert and his brothers as follows, "Peter Hendrickse of Flatbush and his brothers William Brimasson Brinase, Hendrickson Brist, Evert Hendrickson, Rutt Brimasson, Harman Hendrickse Brisse, Walter Brimsey and Garret Hendrickse Brissa, on April 7, 1692, deed Garret Coerte..." Again, the grantors are all brothers (Walter Brimsey is a son of Geertje Rutgers by her first husband Brun Willemsen), yet no two are written in this one deed with their surname or patronymic spelled the same way. There is no better example of the difficulties in conducting genealogical research imposed by the absence of standardized spelling of names during the colonial period.

A September 1676 tax assessment in the Town of Brooklyn includes a ___ Hendrickse, taxed on one poll. The man's given name is missing, however, Hoffman, in the above mentioned article, assigns this record, as well as the 1683 tax assessment, to Evert Hendricksen Bras (TAG 20:218). As Evert's father lived at Flatlands (a town separate from Brooklyn in 1676) and Evert himself lived his adult life in New York City (Manhattan), it is more likely that this record belongs to Evert/Ephraim Hendricksen who is assessed in Brooklyn in 1683, and who took the oath there in 1687. Of course, without a given name the 1676 record could belong to some other man with the patronymic, Hendricksen, however no other man with that patronymic (other than Evert) is found on either the 1683 tax roll or the 1687 oath, so we will assume it belongs to Evert/Ephraim. [Note that on the 1683 tax roll, Evert Hendrickse is recorded immediately following Jesies Dregz (Josias Janszen Drats) another son-in-law of Adam Brouwer.]

Evert Hendricksen Bras was married on 8 April 1685, with banns posted on 14 April 1685 at the New York Reformed Dutch Church, to Metje Hardenbroeck, a daughter of Johannes Hardenbroeck and his wife, Urseltje. The couple had nine children baptized in New York between 1686 and 1703, including a second son named Johannes (the first had been named Hendrick), and a first daughter named Urseltje (second daughter was named Geertje). A better example of a couple following the Dutch custom of first son for paternal grandfather, second son for maternal grandfather, first daughter for maternal grandmother, second daughter for paternal grandmother, cannot be found.

Evert is recorded in various records with his patronymic either as Hendrickszen, Hendricxen, Hendrickse, and with the adopted surname as Bres, Bress and Bresse. Although his father was recorded as Hendrick Van Dusenberg on Evert's own baptism record, there is no evidence that Evert (or any of his brothers) used, or was recorded with that name as an adult. The surname, spelled as Bras, seems to have been a standardized spelling adopted by modern researchers as a way to mitigate the confusion brought on by such varied spellings in the original records. Once all of the records have been collected, and some scholarly work published by well respected genealogists consulted, there should be no confusion in differentiating between Evert/Ephraim Hendricksen and Evert Hendricksen Bras.

And just so we are clear: Evert/Ephraim Hendricksen and Ivert/Evert Hendrickson are two very different men. Fytje Brouwer was at no time married to Ivert/Evert Hendricksen.

*Since none had adequate source documentation or support I will not provide links. If you are truly interested you can search for them yourself. The Ancestry.com trees, however, are behind a pay wall and you will need an active subscription to access. I cannot advise spending the money for the sole purpose of viewing these "family trees."

**In his marriage record Hendrick Van Gelder is called "Nicolaas." His will begins, "Nicholas Van Gelder of Richmond County," but is signed, "Hendrick Van Gelder." The baptism records of his children (three at New York and two at Freehold/Middletown, New Jersey) call him Hendrikus or Hendrick. His own record of baptism (1682, New York) calls him Hendrick, and Nicholas may have simply been an alias he used, or for some reason, a name Hendrick preferred to be called by.

***Evert/Ephraim came to America in 1655, yet the first record identified with him does not appear until 1677 (possibly 1676). The absence of any record between 1655 and 1677 could be explained if Evert came to America as a child, and possibly alone and placed in the household of a family in either New York or Brooklyn. If he was about the same age as his wife, Fytje Brouwer, this scenario would be plausible. The lack of any record may also be simply explained by the fact that not all records from this period survive. 

****The nation we know of today as Finland did not come into existence until 1917. During the 17th century the territory that today comprises the Republic of Finland was within the bounds of what is commonly called the Realm of Sweden. However, at the time there were Finnish people. Finn was an ethnicity rather than a nationality. They spoke their own language although most also spoke Swedish. The are a number of individuals found in the 17th century records of New Sweden who are distinguished by the appellation, "Finn." The first administrators of the New Sweden Colony seemed intent on differentiating between those who were "Swedish" and those who were "Finns."

*****The records of the case are brief and do not name either wife by name. There is nothing to indicate that the second wife was in New York, and there is no mention of children. There is no suggestion that Evert had a second family in New York. The record states that Evert had two wives "at Crane Hook."

******An Arent Everssen, schoolmaster, is named in a 1663 letter from Willem Beeckman to Stuyvesant.

Sources for this post can be found in the online PDF document mentioned above, and at the Brouwer Genealogy Database website, were you will have to use one of the indexes to locate specific individuals. Ivert/Evert Hendrickson is not found on the BGD. In addition there is a good amount of credible literature available on the early New Sweden Colony. Much of it is available online. You just have to search for it.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The 1706 Assessment of Kings County, Long Island

The 1706 Assessment of Kings County, Long Island is recorded in Kings County Deeds, Vol. 3 beginning at page 91 of the 1901 transcribed edition (page 193 of the original). Digital images of the pages can be found at the FamilySearch.org website, where they are found under New York, Land Records, 1630-1975. Select "Browse through images," which takes you to the page listing the various counties in New York. Scroll down and select Kings, and up comes the links to the various volumes of records. Volume 3 is found in "Conveyances 1679-1736 vol 1-4." There is no search feature available for these images, and they are not indexed. Volume 3 (a.k.a. Lib. C) begins at image 370. The 1706 Assessment, dated December 20, begins at image 417.

The 1706 Assessment is arranged by the individual Towns that made up Kings County in 1706. The Assessment of "Brooklands" is up first (page 91), and here we find a number of children of Adam Brouwer, of Gowanus, L. I.

Kings Co., Connveyances, Vol. 3, p. 91 (image from FamilySearch.org)
On the above page, in "Brookland," (note: Gowanus was under the jurisdiction of the Town of Brooklyn at the time) we find Nicholas Brower with 50 acres, and Abraham Brower with 66 acres, both sons of Adam Brouwer. We also find Marya Brower with 26 acres, and Annitie Brower with 26 acres. "Marya Brower," would be Marretje Hendrickse, the widow of Adam Brouwer's son, Adam Brouwer. "Annitie Brower," would be Annetje Bogardus, widow of Adam Brouwer's son, Jacob Brouwer. Also on this Assessment list is Mattyse Corneluise with 50 acres, and he would be Matys Cornelisen, the second husband of Adam Brouwer's daughter, Fytje Brouwer. We also find, Jacob "ffardon" (Verdon) and a few Bennets. They are cousins of the Brouwers, descendants of the Brouwers maternal grandmother, Maria Badie. From this Assessment we see that by the end of 1706, the only children of Adam Brouwer remaining in Brooklyn are his sons Nicholas and Abraham, daughter Fytje (wife of Matys Cornelisen), as well as his daughter-in-laws Marya (Hendrickse) Brower and Annitie (Bogardus) Brower.

Pages 92 and 93 (image 418) apparently adds a few more names to the Brooklyn list, and then records the list for the Town of "Boshwycks" (Bushwick), the list for "fflatlands" (Flatlands, a.k.a. Amersfoort) and begins the list for "fflatbush" (Flatbush).

Kings Co., Conveyances, Vol. 3, pp. 92-93 (image from FamilySearch.org)
The Flatlands assessment list includes Antye Browers with 23 acres. She would be Antje Jans (apparently Bergen), the widow of Pieter Brouwer, a son of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands.

Pages 94 and 95 (image 419) continues the list for Flatbush and is followed by the lists for New Utrecht, Gravesend. The New Utrecht and Gravesend list begin on page 94 (old page 196) and both are continued on page 95. New Utrecht is on the left, and Gravesend is on the right.

Kings Co., Conveyances, Vol. 3, pp. 94-95 (image from FamilySearch.org)
The following pages, 96 and 97 (image 420), and page 98 (image 421), gives the totals and receipts brought in for the Assessment.

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Brouwer, Brower, Brewer and Bruere in Monmouth County Wills

Links for recorded wills found in Monmouth County, New Jersey for individuals with the surname Brouwer, Brower, Brewer and Bruere have been added to the "Links to Pages at FamilySearch.org - Probate and Estate Records" page of this website. The database being accessed is "New Jersey, Probate Records, 1678-1980 > Monmouth."

The above referenced page presents the links in alphabetical order by first name, and includes individuals from various locations. The Monmouth County links are separated out here and are arranged in groups.

Descendants of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I.:
David Brouwer, of Monmouth Co., will dated 16 Aug 1804, Vol. A, p. 48.

George Brower, of Howell, will dated 31 Dec 1841, Vol. F, p. 58.

John Brewer, of Dover, will dated 6 Dec 1811, Vol. A, p. 457.

John E. Brewer, of Howell, will dated 29 Jul 1836, Vol. D, p. 73.

William H. Brewer, of Howell, will dated 4 Dec 1855, Vol. F, p. 383.

Descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I.:
Aaron Brower, of Howell, will dated 12 Jan 1869, Vol. K, p. 240.

Benjamin Brower, of Shrewsbury, will dated 17 Feb 1863, Vol. H, p. 108.

Elizabeth Brewer, of Marlborough, will dated 19 Jul 1856, Vol. F, p. 458. [She appears to be a sister of Elias E. Brewer, also of Marlborough (Marlboro) who is known to be a descendant of Jan Brouwer by means of Y-DNA testing of one of his descendants].

Gilbert Brewer, of Howell, will dated 26 Nov 1857, Vol. G, p. 86.

Descendants of Jacques Bruyere (surname commonly seen as Bruere, but on occasion, Bruer or Brewer):

John Bruere, of Upper Freehold, will dated 18 Feb 1875, Vol. O, p. 41.

John H. Bruere, of Upper Freehold, will dated 22 May 1826, Vol. D, p. 264.

John H. Bruere, of Upper Freehold, will dated 7 Feb 1862, Vol. H, p. 204.

Price Bruere, of Upper Freehold, will dated 30 May 1828, Vol. C, p. 76.

Other (ancestry known) and Unplaced (ancestry unknown or uncertain):
Abraham Brower, of Middletown, will dated 18 Oct 1821, Vol. B, p. 435. [Ancestry unknown].

Hendrick J. Brower, will dated 11 May 1849, Vol. G, p. 285. [His residence is not stated, and the initial J. may be for "Joseph" as seen on page 286. Ancestry unknown.]

Joseph Brewer, of Monmouth Co., will dated 6 May 1857, Vol. G, p. 36. [His residence is not stated. Might he be the father, or a brother of Hendrick J., above? No children are named in either will. Ancestry unknown.]

Lucretia Brewer, of Marlboro, will dated 2 Oct 1860, Vol. K, p. 149. [She is Lucretia Campbell, b. ca. 1799 in Connecticut, the widow of Bela Brewer (1789-1827) of Westchester Co., New York. Bela Brewer is a descendant of Daniel Brewer (d. 1646) of Roxbury, Massachusetts.]

Also of note:
Jacob Burdge, of Middletown, will dated 7 Jan 1831, Vol. C, p. 366. [His will mentions his daughter, Elizabeth Brewer. She was the wife of John A. Brouwer/Brower (1788-1860) a son of Adolph Brouwer and Aeltje Hulst. Elizabeth is the mother of Nehemiah Brower, of Middletown.]


Each of the Monmouth County Will books includes an index of testators which is found at the beginning of each volume. Recording of wills in the counties of the State of New Jersey began in 1804. Wills dated prior to 1804 are found in the New Jersey State Archives in Trenton. For more background on New Jersey Probate Records please see this wiki page at Ancestry.com (subscription not required). Also see the Monmouth County Surrogate's Office page at the New Jersey Department of State website.

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