Dedicated to discovering the descendants of the original New Netherland Brouwer progenitors: Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L.I., Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I. and Willem Brouwer of Beverwijck (now Albany, N. Y.) All three have descendants living today with the surnames, Brower or Brewer
The Brouwer Families of New Netherland and New York
Three distinct and unrelated Brouwer families are found in 17th century New Netherland. Adam Brouwer, a miller, and his wife, Magdalena Verdon, resided at Gowanus on Long Island have the largest number of descendants of the three families. Jan (or Johannes) Brouwer, a blacksmith, and his wife, Jannetje Jans, lived at Flatlands (Nieuw Amersfoort) on Long Island and has descendants through one daughter and two sons. The third family, Willem Brouwer, at one time a shoemaker, and wife, Elizabeth Drinckvelt, lived at Beverwijck (present day Albany, New York) and has descendants through two sons and two daughters. The Brouwers/Browers found in the Mohawk Valley region of New York, prior to the Revolutionary War, descend from Willem Brouwer. During the 1600s and into the early 1700s the surname is most often found in records of New Netherland and New York spelled as B-R-O-U-W-E-R. As the 1700s progressed the spelling B-R-O-W-E-R was predominant in communities and towns dominated by families of Dutch ancestry, while the spelling B-R-E-W-E-R is found in English dominated areas, especially in New Jersey in counties other than Bergen County (where Brouwer and Brower were still used). Post Revolution, as families migrated westward, those moving into new territories such as Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, etc. find their name settling as B-R-E-W-E-R. Meanwhile those who remained in New York, particularly in the eastern part of the State and in Bergen County, New Jersey settled on the B-R-O-W-E-R spelling. Today, very few descendants of the three original 17th century families are found with the original B-R-O-U-W-E-R spelling. Most BROUWERS found today in North America, are descendants of 19th and 20th century immigrants. Other, less common, variations to consider when searching for records are, B-R-O-U-W-E-R-E (pronounced Brower, the final "e" being silent), this variation being found in two families descended from Adam Brouwer; and B-R-U-E-R, B-R-A-U-E-R and B-R-O-E-R, which are German spelling variations of the surname. In addition to the above three mentioned families, those searching for their BROWER ancestry must also consider Hubert Brower, an early 18th century immigrant to Philadelphia from the Palatine, whose earliest generations are found in Chester Co., Pennsylvania and later in North Carolina, Virginia/West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky and westward from there. Those researching their BREWER ancetsors must also consider the Brewer families who originated in 17th century New England (some of who had descendants in New York State soon after the Revolution) and the numerous Brewer families first found in the colonial south. By the mid 1800s descendants from all those mentioned can be found thoughout the United States.
This website, The Brouwer Genealogy Database, is an online version of notes and data that have been accumulated in pursuit of the objective stated above. It is not intended as a "finished" genealogy. It is a working database in an online format that I find to be very convenient for my own continued research, the objective of which is to gather an accurate account of all lines of descent from the original 17th century Brouwer family progenitors of New Netherlands up to the period of the mid to late 1800s. It is hoped that other researchers will find this database useful as well. Please feel free to use this site as a source of ideas, possibilities and as a source for other sources. Brower and Brewer descendants are especially encouraged to use this database in conjunction with their participation in the Brewer DNA Project.
Sources and references cited on this website are of varied degrees of reliability. Users are advised to independently check and verify all sources citations for themselves. Unsourced notes are typically my own thoughts, observations or opinions. Some family connections shown here have not been proved to a degree that meets present day professional genealogical standards. Relationships found here may be corrected or changed with future updates.
Launched July 29, 2008. This website will be updated periodically. Updates will be announced on the Updates Blog (link at the top of this page). The date of the most recent update can be found at the bottom of each page.