no image

Brouwer-Brewer Family Mysteries

Privacy Level: Public (Green)

Location: Berkeley County, Virginia, Adams County, Ohio & Greenup County, Kentuckymap
Surnames/tags: Brouwer Brewer free-space_profiles
Profile manager: Connie Graves private message [send private message]
This page has been accessed 776 times.

The parents listed for this individual are speculative and may not be based on sound genealogical research. Sources to prove or disprove this ancestry are needed. Please contact the Profile Manager or leave information on the bulletin board. The identity of Henry, Margaret, Sophia, and Mary Brower's parents and their ancestry is unknown. Claims they were siblings and children of Abraham Brouwer and Mary Wilts, are undocumented and unproven.



The purpose of this page is to determine the parents and ancestry for Henry Brewer, Margaret Brouwer, Sophia Bruer and Mary Brewer.

The Mystery

Are Henry, Margaret, Sophia and Mary related? Who were their parents?

Early Research Proven False

Claim of descent from Anneke Jans and Everadus Bogardus is disproven

The parents of Henry Brower have not been proven. One researcher wrote: "It has been claimed that the parents of Henry Brewer are a couple named Abraham Brower and Mary Wilts. This claim has long been circulated among descendants and appears to have originated sometime in the early 20th or late 19th century with descendants wishing to establish a lineage from Anneke Jans. Charles Brewer and John W. Timmonds together filed a claim, in 1841, to land on Manhattan Island once in the possession of Anneke Jans. [1][2] Their claim as well as the genealogical information gathered by them has subsequently been regarded as unreliable. Undocumented family papers have claimed a family for Abraham Brewer and Mary Wilts with 8 children born between 1758 and 1770. A genealogy prepared for James W. Gray (1856-1919) claims a descent from Anneke Jans, though great-grandson Sybrant Brouwer, for Abraham Brewer and gives dates of birth for the children of Abraham Brewer.

Today it is accepted that no independent, first account record, of a couple named Abraham Brower and Mary Wilts has been found and the couple is probably fictitious. [8] [9]

Claim of descent from James Williams and Margaret Brower has been disproven

The handwritten manuscript of Patterson Williams II dated 1982[3] while an entertaining story has been proven to be a collection of rumors entwined with bits of family gossip derived from the same researchers who proposed the relationship to Anneke Jans as previously described. While colorful and filled with details about his grandfather and great grandfather's lives the Patterson Williams statements of the their early ancestors cannot be substantiated with documented evidence.

Claim of military service by Henry Brewer in the War of 1812 has been disproven

Mention of his record of service in the War of 1812 was made by Miss Mary Orpha Farmer in her application for membership in the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution in 1916. Miss Farmer stated Henry Brower entered the War of 1812 at the beginning and served to the close. Also serving with him was his son-in-law, James Williams who was also his nephew. These statements as well as others made on Miss Farmer's application that Abraham Brewer and Mary Wilts were the parents of Henry Brewer have also been shown to be inaccurate. The DAR has since acknowledged the inaccuracy of this information and future applicants cannot use the information when applying for membership. [4]




A descendant of Henry Brewer participated in the Brewer DNA Project.[5] [6]

DNA test proves to Adam BrouwerMagdalena Verdon[7][8]

  • Descendants of Adam Brouwer, Gowanus, L.I.. Kit Number 182867. Paternal Ancestor Name: Henry Brewer b 1765 and d 1829 Adams County, Oh United States Haplogroup E-L117

Suggested possibilities for lineage

1.) Henry Brewer is a possible descendant of Pieter Adamsz Brouwer (a son of Adam Brouwer) because Y-DNA testing resulted in matches on 36 of 37 markers, to four different descendants of Pieter Brouwer. Just how Henry descends from Adam and Peter Brouwer, is not yet known.

2.) Reviewing the data another possibility was recently suggested by the research of Chris Chester [10] Henry Brewer may be a son of Abraham Brouwer, probably born about 1745, son of Daniel Abraham Brouwer and Maria (Marietje) "Maritje" Koning Koning. He would be a great-grandson of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island. Abraham was married twice and his first known wife was Sara Van Orden. No record of marriage has been found, but the couple had their first known child, Daniel, baptized on 24 Aug 1770 at Schraalenburgh, Bergen Co., New Jersey. Abraham and his family were among a number of Dutch families that left New Jersey for a new settlement at Conewago (then in York Co.), Pennsylvania. Abraham and Sara's son, David, was baptized there in 1775. In 1774, an Abraham Brewer is found on a list of tithables at Berkeley Co., Virginia (see the January 15, 2012 post).

The descendant of Henry who took a DNA test ([[Brewer-3941|Robert Carrol Brewer, Kit #182867 Y-DNA37) has this documented line:

1. Henry Brewer (1765-1829, Berkeley Co., VA, Adams Co. OH) – Sarah Hawke
2. Charles Brewer (ca. 1802, Adams Co. OH) – Hannah Cook
3. Elijah Brewer (1825-1902, Adams Co. OH) – Christina Cook
4. Charles Brewer (1860-1953, Adams Co. OH) – Nancy Jane Noble
5. Arthur Noble Brewer (1892-1952, Adams Co. OH) – Vela Ruby Hohn
6. Robert Carrol Brewer, born 11 Sep 1930 Adams Co., Ohio. [9]

also see charts for Brouwer DNA participants:[10]


Although several persons have been tested nothing conclusive has been surmised thus far and no matches have been found.

For example: Connie (Daniels) Graves a descendant of Henry Brewer has a match on Family Tree DNA Family Finder with Wesley J Clarke on chromosome 6 from position 81,331,055 to 90,717,040 for a total of 7.98 cM. (Estimated relationship 5th Cousin - Remote Cousin). This location also matches William R. Daniels III, the half brother of Connie (Daniels) Graves.

Wesley Clarke's family tree posted on Family Finder (with no sources given and reliability for accuracy uncertain) details his connection from Antje (Annaca, Anney) Brower who married Samuel Johnson (1760-1848). Antje descends from Jan Brower (a1628- a1702) m Jannetje Jans (1635-1683).

Persons taking Autosomal DNA tests who are descendants of Henry Brewer and are on Wikitree include:

Berkeley County, Virginia

There is evidence there were two men named Brewer (Abraham and Henry) in Berkeley County, Virginia in the 1770's. In addition there are two marriages recorded in Berkeley County, Virginia, one in 1786 for Henry Bruer and the other in 1792 for Sophia Bruer. Because these marriages occurred so close together and because the surname in both cases was spelled Bruer it seems to indicate these individuals are related and possibly brother and sister.

Henry Brower stated 1818 in a declaration he made for his pension application for Revolutionary War service that he served at Martinsburg, Berkeley County, Virginia, first in 1779 (when he was age 14) and again in 1782, and that he was born in March 1765. [11]

An Abraham Brewer was found on the 1774 tax list of Berkeley County, Virginia. [12] Being on the tax list in 1774 means Abraham was an adult and makes him a likely candidate to be related to Henry Brewer who would have been a nine year old child in 1774. [13]

Margaret Brower

There have been several mis-guided family histories about Margaret Brower's origins that drew on the earlier inaccurate information that has since been debunked. Researchers need to tread warily when studying Margaret.

First of all, unproven are records that attribute a birth date for Margaret of 3 January 1764. There is no documentation to verify it.

Another item, a handwritten manuscript, circulated among members of the Williams family in Greenup County, Kentucky, includes several good family stories and mixed in is a tale for the origin of Margaret Brower that has since been disproven. The document was innocently written by her descendant Patterson Williams II about two hundred years after Margaret's death. Mr. Williams stated: "Margaret Brower first married James Williams and had two sons John and James Madison Williams. She (Margaret) had a brother; Hendricks Brower; who had a daughter Sarah Brower. Sarah married James Madison Williams. (They were first cousins.) I have eight generations farther back on the Brower's if needed.....Margaret Brower Williams divorced James Williams Sr. and married Sam Simmons." [14] This information is inaccurate because there is no proof for the statements about Margaret Brower. The only thing in the story that has been proven is Sarah Brewer was a daughter of Henry Brewer and she did marry James Williams.

Trying to make sense of the swirling mass of mis-information other researchers have stated James Williams never married Margaret Brewer or Brouwer but she was married to John Williams, the brother of James. This information seems dubious because we do know the Revolutionary War pension declaration for John Williams shows he was married to Hepsabeth Piatt and Mrs Elizabeth Sharon Greene and does not mention a marriage to Margaret Brower. The James Williams most researchers have attached to Margaret is James Williams who settled in Adams County, Ohio. He stated in his declaration for a Revolutionary War pension that he was living in Washington County, Pennsylvania 1780-1781 and then in Ohio County, Virginia until about 1786. He went out to St. Louis in 1790 then back to Ohio County, Virginia.[15] During all these years he was actively involved in the military fighting Indians and certainly not a family man. He married Nancy Piatt about 1791 based on the birth of their first child, John in 1792. [16] The same newspaper article lists the children of James Williams and Nancy Piatt and includes a son James that must have been born about 1786 the generally accepted marriage date for his parents.

Finally, Chris Chester, the pre-eminent authority on the Brouwer/Brower/Brewer family recently commented [11] Further research on the early Williams families in Ohio have satisfied me that James Williams was married first to Nancy Piatt and second to Elizabeth (Murphy) Miller, and could not have married Margaret Brewer. John Williams has been stated to be the husband of Margaret Brewer and we will go with that claim with the caveat that no original records have been located to substantiate the claim, and any relationship between John Williams and James Williams (1759-1842) has not been determined.

Sophia Bruer/Brower

Sophia Bruer married Alex Cameron on January 14, 1792 in Berkeley County, Virginia. Marriage performed by Dd Young at the church of the German Congregation in the town of Martinsburg. [17][18]

Sophia has been included as a possible sibling because she was married in the same county (Berkeley County, Virginia) as Henry and she spelled her last name Bruer on the marriage record just as Henry did. Henry married in 1786 and Sophia 1792. Of course there is the possibility Bruer could be Sophia's married name which would open a whole new range of considerations. At any rate, use of the surname Bruer is significant and needs to be studied further.

Mary Brewer

One other person has been included in this family mystery. That is Mary Brewer who married Patrick Timmonds. A birth date has been attributed for Mary of 4 February 1762 (location unknown) [19] which places her in the same time frame with Henry, Margaret and Sophia. The household of Patrick Timmonds in the 1820 census for Scioto County, Ohio shows a female in the of 26 and under 45 category that should be his wife Mary Brewer. [20] This would place her birth after 1755 and before 1784 which is in line with the birthdate attributed to her. In addition her location in Scioto County places her next door to Henry Brewer's family in Adams County, Ohio and across the Ohio River from Brewer descendants in Greenup County, Kentucky. For these reasons Mary Brewer should remain under consideration as possibly being connected to Henry, Margaret and Sophia.


  1. Anneke JANS and Everardus BOGARDUS Descendants Association.Most Frequent Errors and Incorrect or Unproven Lines of Descent from Anneke Jans. [1]
  2. Letter from John Frederick Brewer (Mogadore, Ohio) to William B. Bogardus, 2001-2002; William B. Bogardus Collection (Anneke Jans and Everardus Bogardus Descendants Association, Wilmington, Ohio). Box 8, File D, 394-B. Includes descendant "charts" and correspondence with Robyn Brewer-Ritz. Source of his information is stated to be two papers copied by John Frederick Brewer's grandmother in 1933. One paper having been written by John Timmonds (II) in 1891. The second paper's author is unknown. Letter of John Timmonds II (1891).
  3. Manuscript of Patterson A. Williams II, written 6 April 1982, Greenup County, Kentucky.
  4. Copy of Application for Membership to The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Washington D.C. Application submitted by Miss Mary Orpha Farmer, Portsmouth, Ohio, a descendant of Hendricks Brower, dated 1 April 1916. National number 123173. Accepted 15 April 1916.
  5. Brewer, group FTDNA [] [2]
  6. Brouwer DNA Project. Adam Brouwer Pedigrees [3]
  7. Chester, Chris,"Unplaced" Brouwer Genealogy Database.
  8. Chester, Chris. "Review of our Unplaced Genetic Descendants of Adam Brouwer" May 4, 2017.
  9. "Brewer DNA Project (Includes Bruer, Brower, Brew, etc.)",
  11. "Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Applications", National Genealogical Society Quarterly Vol. 33 (1945): 33:55. Brewer (Brower), Henry (S42093, Va. and Cont. service, O. Agcy.; Cert. 6257 issued 2 Feb 1819 at $8 per mo.; BLwt. 1631-100)
  12. Rice, William H. 2006. The 1774 list of tithables and wheel carriages in Berkeley County, Virginia. Parsons, WV: McClain Publishing. 2006. p 39.
  13. Chester, Chris, Discovery of an Abraham Brewer in Berkeley County, Virginia [4]
  14. Manuscript of Patterson A. Williams II, written 6 April 1982, Greenup County, Kentucky.
  15. Pension papers, an affadavit filed in the Court of Common Pleas, Adams Co., Ohio, dated Oct 25, 1832
  16. Evidence of Nancy's origin and family are found in an Adams County, Ohio newspaper article mentioned on the website Captain Jacob Pyeatt.[5] "In 1875 and again in 1975 an Old Timers article was published in the local newspaper. John Williams said that his mother, Nancy Piatt Williams, was the daughter of Jacob Piatt. Williams said his family moved to Manchester, Adams County, Ohio, when he was 2 1/2 in 1795 and that his grandfather, Jacob Piatt, moved from Ohio County, Virginia, to Manchester in the fall of the same year. It was his earliest recollection and told that he remembered his grandfather Piatt laughing at his attempts to help the men unload the boat. John Williams, an old timer in 1875 (age 82), then he was born before 1817."
  17. West Virginia Culture, Marriage Records. [6]
  18. Berkeley County, Virginia Marriage Records, p 49. [7]
  19. William B. Bogardus Collection of Brouwer, Brower and Brewer Family Material and Correspondence, Anneke Jans and Everardus Bogardus Descendants Association, Wilmington, Ohio, 411-D, Abraham Brower-Mary Witt. Letter of 7 June 2003. Information taken from a genealogy prepared for Kathleen Borne's great-grandfather James W. Gray (1856-1919) of Pittsburgh, Pa. The purpose of the genealogy was for his participation in one of the law suits involving the Anneke Jans property.
  20. US Census 1820 Town of Portsmouth, Wayne Township, Scioto County, Ohio, p 114A, Patrick Timmonds (online indexes interpret the surname as Termonds)
  • Ancestry tree for Henry Brewer of Adams County, Ohio by Chris Chester. [12]
  • Chester, Chris. "The Brouwer Genealogy Database"[]. [13]
  • Chester, Chris. The Brouwer Genealogy Blog: [14]

*Life of Adam Brouwer [15]

  • Brewer Descendants of Johannes (Jan) Brouwer. [16], August 2008.


Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.