Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lucas Brewer of Cherry Valley and Elmira, New York

Lucas Brewer was born about 1806 or 1808, he married Amanda Grace in 1832 at Cooperstown, New York and lived much of his married life at Elmira in Chemung County, New York. His ancestry is unknown, but what is known is he is not a descendant of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island.

It had been postulated in the past, by some researchers of the descendants of Adam Brouwer, that Lucas Brewer was one of Adam Brouwer's descendants. The first known record of Lucas Brewer is his marriage to Amanda Grace on 15 August 1832 at Cooperstown, New York. A notice of the marriage appeared in the Otsego Herald & Western Advertiser. In 1840, he is found on the U. S. Federal census at Cherry Valley, Otsego Co., New York. In 1840, there were 15 households headed by persons named BREWER in Otsego County. Some of the Heads of Households were descendants of Adam Brouwer, and because Lucas lived in close proximity to them, it was thought that Lucas could be related to them. For the record, an actual descendant of Lucas Brewer always doubted this theory. Family tradition had claimed that Lucas Brewer was from Ireland, or of Irish ancestry. Fortunately we now have genetic genealogy as another tool for research, and in the case of Lucas Brewer, the Y-DNA test of a direct male descendant has cleared up any confusion.

In 2010 a direct male descendant of Lucas Brewer joined the Brewer DNA Project by taking a Y-DNA67 marker test. He is represented by kit #174485 and his results clearly demonstrated that the participant, and therefore all of his direct male ancestors, cannot be descendants of Adam Brouwer. The Y-DNA test results do not match any of the known descendants of Adam Brouwer. Results, for comparison, can be seen on the Y-DNA colorized chart page at the Brewer DNA Project's website. The results are listed in the "Ungrouped" section. Our participant's predicted haplogroup is R1b1a2, now known by the short hand, R-M269. Descendants of Adam Brouwer belong to haplogroup E1b1b1, or E-M35.1. Any common direct male ancestor of the descendant of Lucas Brewer and the descendants of Adam Brouwer would have lived tens of thousands of years ago.

With the Y-DNA test results it can be stated that Lucas Brewer's ancestry is not known. In 1850, Lucas Brewer is found on the U. S. census at Elmira, New York. His age is given as 42 years and his place of birth as Connecticut. In 1860, at Elmira, Lucas' age is recorded as 51 years, while his place of birth is stated to be New York. The 1870 census at Elmira gives his age as 64 and his place of birth again as New York. Lucas has not been located with certainty in 1880, however, there is a Brewer family found at Elmira, and while the given names were (for some reason) not recorded, the head of the household is a male, age 72, born in New York. His parent's place of birth is given as "find out," and nothing is recorded for his occupation. The 1850 census recorded Lucas' occupation as Inn Keeper, while in 1860 and 1870 he was a painter. The 1880 record includes his wife, age given as 64, which is consistent with Lucas' wife's age. Also in the household is Julia Brewer, age 25, born in New York and single. Julia Brewer is also found in the household of Lucas Brewer in 1850 and 1860 with her ages given as 8 and 15 respectively. Although Julia's ages do not line up, the presence of a Julia in this 1880 household leads me to believe that this is Lucas Brewer's household.

Lucas Brewer and Amanda Grace had six children born between 1836 and 1855, although there may be as much as a ten year gap between the youngest child, Sarah, and the next youngest, Julia. Amanda Grace died on 21 December 1888 at Humboldt, Richardson Co., Nebraska. She is buried back in Elmira, New York. Lucas Brewer's date of death has not been found. Details and sources for the family can be found at the Brouwer Genealogy Database. A direct link for Lucas Brewer can be found on the Unplaced page.

Thanks goes out to the descendant of Lucas Brewer who participated by taking a Y-DNA test. This case is a clear example of how genetic genealogy, in particular Y-DNA testing, can be a valuable tool for solving genealogical questions.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Brewere Family Deed

File no. 49 from Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, Part II, is a deed involving the Bruere (recorded as Brewere) Family of Upper Freehold.

No. 49, Brewere Deed

In this deed dated 2 April 1808, Sarah Brewere, the widow of James Brewere, who died on 19 April 1807, quitclaims real estate to John H. Brewere, Price Brewere, James Brewere, Richard Brewere, Jonathan Brewere,and their heirs. The grantees in this deed were all sons of James and Sarah Bruere.

It had been mentioned previously that Part II of the Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Deeds had been grouped, by William B. Bogardus, as those that most likely referred to descendants of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island. This file is one case in which that is not correct. James Bruere is not a descendant of Adam Brouwer. He is a son of Peter Bruere who came to America, first arriving at New York City, in 1709. Peter Bruere settled at Upper Freehold in Monmouth County where he became a very large land owner. The spelling of the family name is generally accepted as BRUERE, however, records from the colonial period often spell the name differently. In this example it is spelled, BREWERE, but I have also seen it as BREWER and BRUER.

James Bruere was born 9 February 1751 in Monmouth County, New Jersey. He is the only known son of Peter Bruere, whose wife was Ellinor Price, a daughter of David Price. James Bruere's wife was Sarah Horsefell, and she was a daughter of John Horsefell and Ruth Rogers. James and Sarah Bruere had eight children, six sons and two daughters. Descendants are known for four of the sons, John Horsful Bruere, Peter Bruere, Price Bruere and Jonathan Bruere. The daughters, Mary and Ruth were also married. Mary was married to Joseph Holmes, while Ruth married Senica Sennickson. Both left descendants.

Peter Bruere, the father of James, was a son of Jacques Bruyere and Louise Doussot. Research on the first generation of this family was conducted and published by Mary Emma Burt and Robert Eugene Burt in Jacque Bruyere, a French Huguenot and Descendants (Baltimore: Gateway Press, 1997). A digital version can be viewed online at the FamilySearch website. According to the Burts, Peter Bruere was born on 10 August 1697 at Greifenthal, then in the German Palatinate, which is now a center in Lahn-Dill-Kries in Hesse, Germany (a Kries is a district, while Hesse is a present day German state). He was baptized at the Reformed Church of Daubhausen.

Peter's sisters, Jeanne and Susanne, and his brother Jacque, are recorded in New York City on a list of Palatines in the city in 1710/11*. A birth and baptism records for another son of Jacque Bruyere, named Jean, was also found at Daubhausen by the Burts, however, there is no evidence that Jean made the trip to America. It is suggested by the Burts that Jacque and Louise Bruyere either died during the voyage to America or shortly after arriving. The Burts state that Peter's sister, Susanne was married to William Baker, Sr., while no marriage has been found for Jeanne. There is also no further record found for Peter's brother, Jacque Bruyere, although if he remained in the New York City area (which would include Westchester Co., Long Island and northern New Jersey) his name could have been anglicized as James Brewer, or even dutchified as Jacob Brouwer. Given the fact that there are still numerous unplaced Brouwers, Browers, and Brewers from the colonial period in the greater New York City area, it may be that Peter's brother, Jacque Bruyere, survived into adulthood and left descendants.

To date, no known descendant of Peter Bruere has joined the Brewer DNA Project. It would be a valuable addition to future research regarding this family, and for Brouwer, Brower and Brewer research in general, if we could get a direct male descendant (or two) of Peter Bruere to join the Project and take a Y-DNA test. A Y-DNA genetic signature for the Bruere family would be a great help to current and future researchers.

A chart of some descendants of Peter Bruere, as well as additional info and sources, can be found on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website.

*This list can be found in, O'Callaghan, Edmund Bailey. Lists of Inhabitants of Colonial New York, Excerpted from The Documentary History of the State of New York (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1979, 1989, 1999), pages 184-185. They are recorded as Jeane Bruiere, orph(an), age 18; Jacque, age 15; Susannah, age 6.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Two Documents Related to the David Brewer Family

I'm using this post to list two files from Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, Part II. They are file nos. 48 and 50, and relate to the family of David Brewer and Ann Morris. Though out of sequence, file no. 49 will follow in the next post.

File no. 48 is a deed dated 20 June 1804, in which David Brewer and his wife Ann, conveyed a lot of land and meadow in Howell Township to John Brewer and Samuel Hulet.

File No. 48, David Brewer to John Brewer

David Brewer and his wife Ann Morris have been covered in numerous past posts involving this collection of court documents from Monmouth County. The John Brewer to who they are conveying this land is most likely David's brother. John Brewer was born about 1761 and died either in late December 1811 or early January 1812. John Brewer's wife was Miriam Allen, and she was a distant cousin of John Brewer's mother, Sarah Allen. Among the children of John and Miriam is a daughter Elizabeth who married Samuel Hulett on 14 May 1808. Although David Brewer also had a son named John Brewer, it seems likely here that he is selling the lot of land to his brother and his brother's future son-in-law. David Brewer wrote his will only two months after this sale and was deceased by September 19th of 1804. The deed is found in Monmouth County Deeds, Book O, pages 928-930.

File no. 50 is a petition filed by Richard M. Freeman. It is found in Monmouth County Orphans Court, Book G, page 69.

File No. 50, Petition of Richard M. Freeman

This petition was filed during the April 1825 session of the Monmouth County Orphan Court. Richard M. Freeman's petition begins at the bottom of the first page in the file. It is short. He is asking to be appointed guardian of David Brewer, Morris Freeman Brewer and Robert Brewer, "infant" children of Isaac Brewer, deceased. In the vernacular of that day, an "infant" was a legal term for a child under the age of 14.

The deceased Isaac Brewer was a son of the above mentioned David Brewer and Ann Morris. He had died in 1816. His wife was named Margaret, but nothing else of her identity has yet to be found. Their three sons, David, Morris Freeman, and Robert, are identified by this short petition. Records of their births or baptisms have not been found, and so I estimate that the sons David and Morris Freeman were likely born between 1810 and 1816. Robert D. Brewer is found on the 1850 census at Brick in Ocean County, New Jersey, and his age is given as 32. He may well have been born posthumously in early 1817 or late 1816. While some descendants of Robert D. Brewer have been researched, the same cannot be said of his brothers. David is mentioned in the April 1845 division of the estate of his grandfather, David Brewer (Brower), but Morris Freeman is not mentioned. Morris Freeman Brewer may have died previous to April 1845.

More details and source citations for those mentioned above can be found on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Petition of Elazerus Brewer

File no. 47 from Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, Part II, is a petition from Elazerus Brewer.

No. 47, Petition of Elazerus Brewer

In this petition which is dated 10 January 1810, Elazerus finds himself in the Monmouth County "Goal" (jail) because of unpaid debts. Elazerus claims that he does not have the funds to pay his debts but is willing to appropriate property he owns to satisfy the debtors. A previous petition dated three years earlier, 30 April 1807, included an inventory of property.

Elazerus Brewer has been covered in earlier posts, and has mentioned previously, descendants claimed that he died in 1820, in Ontario, Canada. There is other evidence to suggest that he went there, and he may well have gone to Canada because of his financial troubles in Monmouth County.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Jacob Brewer Deed, East Jersey Land Records

File no. 46 from Abstracts of Monmouth County Court Papers, Part II, is not a copy of any original document. It is simply a piece of correspondence that was received by William B. Bogardus. I have included it because it does provide a source for the location of the original should anyone wish to view it. It also provides the opportunity to mention a valuable set of books for researching in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

No. 46 East Jersey Land Records: Jacob Brewer

The author of this letter cites page 439 of East Jersey Land Records, Book A-3, for a deed dated 25 April 1755, in which Jacob Brewer of Swan in Monmouth County, purchased land from Joseph Kinnan and his wife, Ruth, of Somerset County. The land was located in Shrewsbury. It appears that part of this land was later sold by Jacob Croxson to Joel Lippincott in 1808, and in that deed, Jacob Croxson mentions his grandfather, Jacob Brewer (see the previous post).

I am not certain whether the author of the letter viewed the original deed itself, or if he/she is referring to a published abstract of the deed.

Richard S. Hutchinson has authored a series of books abstracting East Jersey Land Records. They are published by Colonial Roots and are available through They are also available at Colonial Roots' own website (and possibly other retailers although I have not checked for them). East Jersey was a province in British colonial America from 1674 until 1702. It consisted of the land area that had previously been claimed by the Dutch colony of New Netherland, and encompassed the counties of Bergen, Essex, Middlesex and Monmouth. After 1702 it was combined with the Province of West Jersey to form the Province of New Jersey. The land records from the colonial period are located at the New Jersey State Library in Trenton. The Genealogical Society of Utah has filmed the records and the microfilm is available through the Family History Library. To date, the FHL has not placed digital images of the film online, and until they do so, locating a specific deed can be a time consuming task. The books of abstracts of these deed records created by Richard S. Hutchinson are a terrific aid for locating deeds and for getting a preview of just who and what is mentioned in them before one spends the time and effort required to view the original. The various volumes cover a stated range of years, however, many of the transactions were actually conducted in earlier years. For example, this deed was drawn up in 1755, but is found in East Jersey Deeds vol. A3 which covers the years 1763 to 1766 (see FHL film #460037). Although I have not viewed it myself, I would guess that the abstract of this deed would be found in Richard S. Hutchinson's East New Jersey Land Records, 1763-1766.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jacob Croxson to Joel Lippincott, Deed

File no. 45 from Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, Part II, is an indenture, or deed, in which Jacob Croxson (Croxon) transfers land to Joel Lippencott. There is an important piece of genealogical information in this deed.

No. 45, Indenture Jacob Croxon to Joel Lippincott

I have seen the Croxson surname recorded both as CROXSON (with an S) and as CROXON (without the S). Despite the label I've given the file, it appears that the surname is spelled with the S, as CROXSON, more frequently in this document.

The photocopied and scanned copy presented here is difficult to read. I would suggest to anyone who is seriously interested in pursuing research on this family that they seek out the original. According to the source who located this document for William B. Bogardus, it is found in Monmouth County Deed Book R, pages 137-138.

The indenture is dated 2 January 1808, and it records that Jacob Croxson and his wife, Elizabeth, of Shrewsbury, conveyed for the sum of $4000, to Joel Lippincott, land lying in Shrewsbury. There is a lengthy description of the property which I will not attempt to transcribe here. The statement of genealogical significance that is found in the indenture mentions that Jacob Croxson has right to the land being conveyed by the last will and testament of his grandfather Jacob Brewer. This statement is the only evidence found to date that can place Jacob Croxson as a descendant of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island. The indenture also states that he owns part of the property by quit claim from his brother William Croxson, and Garret Wikoff and Rachel Wikoff, his (Garret's) wife.

Jacob Croxson is found on the 1830 U. S. census at Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, New Jersey with a household of 1 male 10-15, 1 male 30-40, 1 male 50-60, 1 female 5-10, 1 female 10-15, 1 female 50-60, and 1 free colored female age 10-23. Jacob would have to be the male aged 50-60 (the male aged 30-40 would have been too young to execute a deed in 1808), and therefore he was likely born sometime between 1770 and 1780. His birth was more likely closer to 1770, and may have been prior to 1770, as his daughter, Hannah Croxson, was married in 1811 (implying that she was probably born around 1790). Jacob Croxson died before April 1842. In that month, William W. Croxson, applied for the assignment of the dower for Elizabeth Croxson, widow of Jacob Croxson, dec'd. He had purchased the real estate of Jacob Croxson, dec'd., subject to the dower being set aside (Monmouth County Orphans Court Book K, page 368).

The identity of Jacob Croxson's parents has not been determined. His mother would have been a daughter of Jacob Brewer. I have seen one undocumented tree on that called her Hannah Brewer, but I have been unable to confirm this identification. Jacob Croxson's grandfather, Jacob Brewer, is most likely a son of William Brewer/Brower (a.k.a. Willem Brouwer) who was baptized on 8 May 1687 at Brooklyn, Long Island. He was a son of Jacob Brouwer and Annatje Bogardus, and a grandson of Adam Brouwer. This would make Jacob Croxson a great-great-great grandson of Adam Brouwer. Although no record of baptism has been found for Jacob Brewer, his mother would have been Maritje Van Oort (Van Nordt). It is likely that Jacob Brewer was born between 1715 and 1720. On 19 June 1746, William Brower conveyed to Jacob Brower of Mansquan in Shrewsbury Twp., property in Monmouth County. In 1748 and 1755, Jacob Brewer is listed as a Freeholder in Shrewsbury. On 25 April 1755, Joseph and Ruth Kinnan of Somerset County, conveyed to Jacob Brewer of Swan in Monmouth County, land in Shrewsbury (see the following post). On 30 March 1772, Jacob Brewer was a bondsman on the administration of the estate of William Vannorte of Shrewsbury. William's widow was named Magdalen, and it is suspected, but not proved, that she was Magdalena Brouwer, baptized 8 March 1704 at New York, a daughter of Jacob Brouwer and Annatje Bogardus. If correct, Magdalen would be Jacob Brewer's aunt.

According to John E. Stillwell,  Historical and Genealogical Miscellany, Early Settlers of New Jersey and their Descendants, Vol. 5. (New York:, 1932), page 452, Jacob Croxson married Elizabeth Woolley, born 20 Jan 1776, daughter of Nathan Woolley and Zilpah White. Stillwell identifies two children, the daughter Hannah, mentioned above, who married Peter T. Wolcott, and a son Nathan W. who married Mary Haggerty. In addition, Jacob and Elizabeth had a son William (likely the William mentioned in the April 1842 Orphans Court record) and a daughter Deborah. From this deed we also know that Jacob had a brother named William Croxson, and a sister Rachel who was married to Garret Wikoff (Wyckoff). The brother, William Croxson, had married Catharine Wyckoff who was a brother of Garret Wyckoff. Garret and Catherine were children of Samuel Wyckoff (1732-1826) and Gertrude Shipman (1735-1820). For additional information and sources regarding the ancestors and some descendants of Jacob Croxson please consult the Brouwer Genealogy Database website.