BROUWER-L ArchivesArchiver > BROUWER > 2005-10 > 1128328432
From: "Lilly Martin" <>
Subject: #1: Adam Brouwer Berchoven, immigrant to Manhattan, settled at Gowanus
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 11:35:35 -0700
My ancestor was Adam Brouwer b. about 1621, who sometimes used the name
Berchoven added. His descendants mainly used Brower, but some retained the
Brouwer spelling and a few lines used the English variation of Brewer.
It is thought that he was the son of Peter Brouwer, who was the First
President of the Dutch West Indies Company. If that is true, then Adam was
just a small boy when his father died in 1625 at Hoorn, Netherlands. It is
thought that Adam's mother was Helena Mey, d/o Adam Mey, Cape May, NJ having
been named for her brother, a navigator, Peter Cornelise Mey. If that is
correct, then Adam was named for his maternal grandfather, and also Adam
himself named his eldest son for his father's name (Pieter) and also named a
daughter for his mother (Helena). If the Dutch naming pattern is to be
considered, then this builds a good case for Adam Brouwer being the son of a
couple named Pieter and Helena.
Adam Brouwer arrived in Manhattan from Cologne, Rhine Province, in 1642
aboard the ship "Swol". He was a soldier for the Dutch West Indies Co. He
bought a house in Manhattan, from Hendrick Jansen, a Blacksmith, 2-21 or
31, 1645. Because Jansen did not deed the house to him, he had to file suit
against him in May, 1645. Hendrick Jansen (aka Hendrick Janszen van
Jever(en)) and Adam Brouwer were both soldiers and were both in Brazil in
1641. They knew each other prior to
arriving in Manhattan, Adam remained in Manhattan, but Hendrick later left
for the Delaware River, and later to Baltimore County, Maryland.
On 2-7-1647 Adam bought a property located on the north side of Beaver st.,
east of Broadway, this patent came from the government and he sold this lot
on 8-19-1656 to Dirk Schilluyne, it was described as between Jan the Cooper
on the West and Egbert Woutersen on the East.
Adam married Magdalena Verdon, d/o Jacob, on 3-21-1645, in Manhattan, at a
home that was used as a Tavern, and the marriage was performed by Reverand
Everardus Bogardus, who was the second husband of Anneke Jans. The marriage
was recorded by the Reformed Dutch Church.
Adam Brouwer left Manhattan for Gowanus, located in Brooklyn, Kings Co., NY.
On 4-1-1654 Teunis Nyssen, a Farmer of Gowanus, sold to Adam Brouwer a piece
of land which Adam used to build his house upon. Jan Evert Bout held the
patent to the land in Gowanus were Adam built a Flour Mill about 1661..
Adam was in partnership with Isaac De Forest, he later bought out the
interest of Isaac. Adam was still leasing the land where his Mill was
located , from Jan Evertse Bout, on 7-6-1665. It wasn't until 1707 that
descendants of Adam Brouwer were finally given a deed to the land that the
Mill sat upon, by the heirs of Tuenis Nyssen and Jan Bout.
The original Mill and houses were destroyed in part by
destruction by fire during the Revolutionary War, according to eyewitness
accounts that are part of the military war records of soldiers (see military
records of Christopher Brower).
Adam Brouwer signed the Oath of Allegiance in 1687 at Brooklyn, stating he
had been in the country for 45 years.
Adam Brouwer was the sole owner and operator of the Brower Mill from 1663 to
1693. His Will was written 1-22-1691. The estate was admistrated by Gov.
Benjamin Fletcher 4-15-1693
He was buried in the Brooklyn Churchyard, he lies there with his wife
Magdalena Verdon, and her mother Mary Thomas Baddie, and her mother Alten
Braconie. It has been said that Mary Thomas Baddie was the wealthiest woman
in New Amsterdam.
Adam Brouwer and his wife were members of the Dutch Church at Brooklyn in
1677 and were censured later for leaning toward the Catholic faith. The Mill
was located near or at the water's edge, on the creek called Gowanus creek.
The Old Mill was located just North of Union, between Nevin and Bond. In
the Will of Adam Brouwer he does not specifically name one son to take over
the sole operation of the Mill. Adam gives his estate to his wife and
children, but specifically names 3 of his kids as disobiediant. His first
son Pieter and his second son Jacobus are both rebuked by their father in
Adam and Magdalena had 14 children. I will list the boys only, in birth
order, by rank of age: Pieter, Matthys, Willem, Jacobus , Adam, Abraham,
I have named the SONS only because I am focused on the surname and
descendancy of the Brouwer/Brower line. I am actually also a descendant of
Annetje Brouwer, d/o Adam, m. Willem Hilton. So I do personally value the
daughter's of Adam Brouwer, the immigrant, but in this study I will only
name and discuss the sons of Adam.
Under normal customs of the day, we might think that the Eldest son of Adam
the immigrant would naturally take over the operation of the Mill his father
had established in Gowanus. But that was not to happen. Pieter went off to
Albany, NY and married and settled there, and eventually followed his family
to New Jersey. In his father's will he is specifically given 3 shillings on
account of his disobiediance. We might guess the reason is that he did not
stay put in Gowanus and help Father run the Mill and his 'running off' to
Northern NY was what angered and disappointed Adam. The old custom was for
the eldest boy to get the best of everything to offer, and the younger boys
to make their own way in life. That is not always the case, but many
families did observe that unspoken habit.
Finally on August 12, 1698 the sons and son in laws of Adam Brouwer, deeded
the land that the Mill stood on, and the neck of land and meadows belonging
to it, to Abraham and Nicholas, the 2 youngest of the brothers.
In this instance, the Father's Mill was eventually placed into the hands of
his 2 youngest sons, of a total of 7 sons. It must have been these 2
youngest brothers who stuck with the Mill and learned the tricks of the
trade and descided that they wanted to make the Milling business their
These 2 brothers, Abraham and Nicholas, were partners together in the daily
operation of the Mill, and they were also united by marriage, because they
both married sisters. This would make these 2 families tied even closer
together. I would imagine that they could have built one large home there
and all shared it together, or perhaps they built 2 homes not far from the
Mill. I have noticed the word 'houses' used when talking about the Mill and
land there on Gowanus Creek.
Jochem Caljer immigrated in 1640 to New Amsterdam. His son was Jeurian
Caljer, m. Elizabeth Van der Hoven. Jeurian was the father of Cornelia
Caljer who married Abraham Brouwer, and the father of Jannetje Caljer who
married Abraham's brother Nicholas Brouwer.
The Caljer name is sometimes seen as: Colyer, Collier.
My next report will focus on Abraham Brouwer, s/o Adam. This is my
Lilly Martin, great great grandaughter of Emma Brower.
|#1: Adam Brouwer Berchoven, immigrant to Manhattan, settled at Gowanus by "Lilly Martin" <>|