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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Brower

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 875-876 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The first mention of the Brouwer family in the Mohawk Valley is in 1655, of one Philip Hendrickse Brouwer, a brewer and an original proprietor of Schenectady in 1664. Adam Brouwer was of New Amsterdam in 1642, but he remained there. William Brouwer owned property in New Amsterdam, was in Beverwyck (Albany) in 1657, and was buried there August 3, 1668. His two sons, William and Hendrick, settled early in Schenectady. The Browers of Montgomery county, New York, here considered, descend from New Jersey ancestors.

(I) Adam Brouwer immigrated to America from Coulen (Cologne) in 1642, and married in New Amsterdam, New York, March 19, 1645, Magdalena Jacobs Verdan. Berkhoven was probably his correct name, and Brouwer (Dutch for brewer) refers to his occupation. He wrote his name Adam Brouwer Berkhoven, the latter name being dropped by his descendants, and Brouwer now written Brower. Adam resided in Long Island. His will names children: Pieter, Jacob, Aelttie, Mathys, William, Adam, Abraham, Nicholas, Mary, Fytie, Helena, Anna, Sara and Rachel. He must have owned a great amount of land and property, for he devises the use of it to his wife during her life and then to be equally divided among the children, except the first three, whom he styles "disobedient children," and whose shares he devises to their children.

(II) Jacob, son of Adam and Magdalena Jacobs (Verdan) Brower, married, at Brooklyn, January 29, 1682, Annetje Bogardus, baptized October 3, 1663, daughter of William and Myntje (Sybrants) Bogardus, and granddaughter of Rev. Everardus Bogardus and Anneke Jans (of Trinity Church memory). On the marriage records he is recorded as from Gowanus; she from New York. They are said to have had ten children. He died in 1733.

(III) Adam (2), son of Jacob and Anna (Annetje) (Bogardus) Brower, was born in Brooklyn, March 29, 1696, died in 1769. He settled in Monmouth county, New Jersey, in the vicinity of Farmingdale. He married Deborah, daughter of George and Elizabeth Allen. In old Shrewsbury township, Montgomery county, in 1764, among the taxpayers were George, Jacob, Lazarus, William, William Jr., Samuel and Adam Brewer, which name may mean Brower. Adam Brower served in the revolution from Monmouth county, New Jersey, as did others of the Brower family.

(IV) Nicholas, son of Adam (2) and Deborah (Allen) Brower, was born in Monmouth county, New Jersey. He married Marytie Boom, and had sons: William H., Aaron and John, all of whom settled in Montgomery county, and reared families. William H. and John settled on adjacent farms in the town of Mohawk. William H. had a son Harmon, who married Mrs. Ten Eyck, and had issue. Aaron settled farther up the valley, in Stone Arabia, where his descendants may yet be found. John, see forward. The family were noted for thrift and industry, great physical endurance and unusual longevity.

(V) John, son of Nicholas and Marytie (Boom) Brower, was baptized January 6, 1760. He settled in the town of Mohawk, Montgomery county, New York, prior to the revolution. The land he secured was virgin soil, heavily timbered, located on what has always been known as Switzer Hill. This he improved and cultivated until his death in 1830. He was a soldier of the revolution and noted for his daring Indian exploits. In fact at that period agriculture was not the peaceful occupation it now is, for the rifle was as familiar to those hardy pioneers as was the hoe, and required to be used almost as frequently. He married, in Montgomery county, ———— Zeilly, of a pioneer Mohawk Valley family. She died previous to the death of her husband. Children:

  1. John (2), married Dorothy Slater; children: Elizabeth and John (3).
  2. Peter, see forward.
  3. David, married Rebecca Groat; both lived and died in the town of Mohawk; children:
    1. Gertrude E., deceased, and
    2. Anna, married Haslet Post; children: Abraham, Gertrude and Mary Post.
  4. Sarah, died unmarried.
  5. Elizabeth, married (first) Hermann De Wonderlier; (second) Henry Gross; daughters: Margaret and Elsie Gross, both married and are deceased.
  6. William, died unmarried.

(VI) Peter, son of John Brower, was born in 1797, died in 1836. He had a part of the homestead farm and spent his life in agricultural pursuits. He married Hettie Gardiner, born 1798, died 1827, daughter of Henry Gardiner. They had one child, John Henry, see forward.

(VII) John Henry, only child of Peter and Hettie (Gardiner) Brower, was born February 13, 1825, on the old homestead farm, cleared and improved by his grandfather, John Brower. This farm of one hundred and thirty-eight acres he yet owns. He grew up on the farm, and was educated in the common schools and Van Olinda Academy. When he was two years of age his mother died, and he was eleven when left an orphan by the death of his father. At an early age he assumed the management of the farm he inherited, which he cultivated until 1896. He was a careful and industrious man and his management was such that from his acres he secured a competence that enabled him in 1896 to retire from active life. He purchased a pleasant home in Fonda, on Prospect street, overlooking the beautiful Mohawk Valley, where his long life has been profitably spent. Now, at the age of eighty-five (1910) he is in remarkable health, with his faculties alert, memory good, and fully capable of enjoying the fruits of a well-spent life. The family, including grandfather, John, father, Peter, and son, John Henry Brower, have each in turn been active members of the Reformed church and liberal supporters of the same. While Democracy has been the family politics, John Henry, in 1840, became a Whig, and voted that ticket from 1846, when he became of age, until the formation of the Republican party, when he allied himself with that organization and has always since supported their men and measures.

He married (first) in Lewis county, New York, Elizabeth Dense, born in Montgomery county in 1828, died in the town of Mohawk in 1854, daughter of David and Margaret (De Wonderlier) Dense, both of whom died in Lewis county. He married (second) in Mohawk, Mrs. Eliza (Brower) Van Vrankin, widow of Garrett Van Vrankin, born in 1823, died at the age of thirty-five, leaving one son, Nicholas Van Vrankin, of Visscher's Ferry, Saratoga county, New York, who married Hattie Cronkright, and has sons Garrett and Brower Van Vrankin. Children of first wife:

  1. Hattie, born in 1849; married Edward Heimberger, who resided on the Brower homestead; no issue.
  2. Margaret, born 1851, died 1889; married Luther Coleman, now deceased, as is their large family of children.

By his second wife Mr. Brower has no issue.

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