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Cornelius Brewer, and others
Posted by: Thomas Murray (ID *****5502) Date: February 28, 2008 at 10:55:59
In Reply to: Re: Brewers in Aroostook County by Carla Cummings of 8988

This is a very difficult question, and one I am not qualified to answer, not having access to the relevant records. The following may provoke a discussion which will deal with this and similar questions. The general question being the composition of the first three generations of the Brewer family. My search devolved into a question of distinguishing between the various Cornelius Brewer’s. This would seem a digression, but if such issues are not sorted out, then the general question, and your specific question, cannot be answered. It seems to me that, if the Cornelius’ could be sorted out, much about the early family would be clarified as a result.

As I stated in the beginning of the earlier posting, nobody seems to know for certain who the parents were of Thomas Brewer b. 23FEB1819, d. Ohio 23DEC1894, m. 6OCT1842 Esther Clark (b. ca. 1823.) Thomas and ‘Estter’ were in Douglas Parish, York Co., NB in 1851; when their children were: Thomas A. (ca. 1844), ‘Ester’ Ann (ca. 1846) and Henry ‘Amsey’ (ca. 1848.)
The three most likely candidates as Thomas’ father are John, Adolphus and Cornelius Brewer. Since Adolphus arrived in 1783 with a wife and two children (one over the age of 10 and one under), I suspect he was the father of John and Cornelius; one of who was b. ca. 1772, and one ca. 1774.

The IGI has John ‘Brower’ and Elizabeth Day as the parents of Thomas H. Brewer b. 12JUL1818, d. 14OCT1904, m. 1st by the Hon. John Allen 30DEC1847 Rebecca Woodworth, 2nd d/o James Woodworth; m. 2nd Susannah _____?. This Thomas is supposed to have lived in the Fredericton area, but if he married a Woodworth, it would not likely be ‘in’ Fredericton’, so much as ‘near’ Fredericton; at least at that time, Fredericton being a relatively small town. Certainly Thomas H. Brewer (b. ca. 1819) and his wife, Susannah, were in Douglas Parish, York Co., NB in 1881; across and up the river from Fredericton. John Brewer m. York Co., NB Elizabeth Day. Thomas (b. ca. 1818) and Rebecca (b. ca. 1825) Brewer were in Douglas Parish, York Co., NB in 1851. Very near by lived Cornelius (b. ca. 1799) and Lana (b. ca. 1800) Brewer.

Cornelius Brewer b. ca. 1769, m. Rebecca Burtt (b. ca. 1768, d. Keswick, York Co., NB 19MAY1850 age 82 years.) When Rebecca died she was the mother of 12, grandmother of 72 and great-grandmother of 32. This indicates 116 descendants living when she died. Assuming half of these had the surname, Brewer, the about 60 of the Brewer’s in the 1851 census of Douglas Parish are likely her descendants. There were about 130 Brewer’s in 1851; suggesting, as might be expected, two, large, related families; i.e., descendants of brothers, John and Cornelius. Cornelius is given as b. 1771 Leeds Co., Ontario; obviously impossible. The date might be correct, but Ontario, not even as Upper Canada, simply did not exist at the time.

A son of Cornelius and Rebecca is given as Cornelius Brewer b. ca. 1790 or ca. 1799 or 1800, m. 23JAN1823 Mary Morehouse. They are given as the parents of Cornelius Brewer (b. 20JAN1817) (obviously impossible), whose parents are also given a John and Elizabeth (Yerxa) Brewer who are also given as the parents of Cornelius (b. ca. 1790-1800.) It seems more likely that John and Elizabeth (Yerxa) Brewer were the parents of yet another Cornelius Brewer b. 25NOV1827, m. 10JUL1856 Mary Ann Crouse; although this Cornelius is also given as a s/o Cornelius b. 1817; which is obviously impossible. It becomes increasingly clear that nobody has done the necessary, genealogical work to sort these people out; resulting in a tangle of relationships.

Of Cornelius Brewer’s, I can find:

Cornelius Brewer b. ca. 1769 (1772-4), m. Rebecca Burtt (b. ca. 1768, d. Keswick, York Co., NB 19MAY1850 age 82 years.)
Probably a s/o Adolphus Brewer.
Cornelius, in 1851, in Douglas Parish, York Co., NB, was age 82, supposedly b. NB (very unlikely) and infirm; and was living with his daughter and son-in-law, Moses (b. ca. 1795) and Mary (b. ca. 1795) ‘Laurence’.
The 1867 directory shows, in the Upper Keswick area of York Co., a Cornelius Brewer and a Cornelius Brewer 3rd. This rather suggests, as might be expected, that Cornelius had a son, Cornelius, who also had a son, Cornelius. Since the four Darius Brewer’s are not so distinguished; it further suggests that the elder Cornelius in the area was the s/o the first Cornelius; and that the ‘Cornelius 3rd‘ was his son. This is highly speculative; but gives me the impression that Cornelius b. ca. 1790-1800 was the ‘Jr.’, and Cornelius b. ca. 1829 the ‘3rd’. See below.

Cornelius Brewer b. ca. 1790-1800, m. 23JAN1823 Mary Morehouse (b. 1APR1784? (ca. 1803), d. ca. 1853), d/o? Theophilus and Mary (Fowler) Morehouse.
Mary would appear to be the widow b. ca. 1803 in Douglas Parish in 1851:
Brewer Mary F Wid 48 Native Birth
Brewer Darius M Son 25 Native Farmer (Prop) Birth
Brewer Cornelius M Son 22 Native Birth
Brewer Thelath F Daughter 20 Native Birth
Brewer Archibald M Son 18 Native Birth
Brewer Anna F Daughter 16 Native Birth
Brewer Nathan M Son 14 Native Birth

with a possible son in the next household:

Brewer Nehemiah M Head 28 Native labourer Birth
Brewer Mary Ann F Wife 28 Native Birth
Brewer Darius M Son 3 Native Birth
It is possible that Mary Morehouse may have been confused with an aunt of the same name, as, in 1851, there was a Daniel and Charlotte Morehouse who could have been her parents. At:
http://www.newirelandnb.ca/ppns002_m04.html
a second Daniel (who obviously existed) is not indicated suggesting he may have been missed and confused with his father. Mary is given, in some case, as the d/o Daniel and Jane (Gill) Morehouse. A genealogical website makes her as Mary Morehouse b. ca. 1803, d/o Theophilus and Mary (Fowler) Morehouse. Theophilus was the s/o the first Daniel, and following the links, Daniel, Sr.’s son was Daniel Morehouse b. 15JUN1785, m. Charlotte Arnold Fowler. This latter site, however, does not list a daughter, Mary, for Daniel. Sr.
The youngest child in the family (Nathan) was b. ca. 1837, so her husband appears to have d. ca. 1838-1850.

Cornelius Brewer b. ca. 1799 , m. DeLaney (Lana) _____ (b. ca. 1801.)
In the 1851 census of Douglas Parish, York Co., NB, living near Thomas H. Brewer (b. 12JUL1818.) This appears to be the same Cornelius variously given as b. ca. 1790-1800, except if Mary Brewer b. ca. 1803, a widow in 1851, is Mary Morehouse; then this must be yet another Cornelius. The matter is significant to our question as: if they are the same and both are related to Thomas H. Brewer (i.e., father?), and if these/this Cornelius is Cornelius, Jr., then Thomas Brewer (1819), is more likely a s/o John Brewer. However, if they are two, different Cornelius’, and if Mary (b. ca. 1803 in 1851) is the widow of the other Cornelius (who would be Cornelius 2nd), then this Cornelius is likely a s/o John; as is Thomas H. Brewer; therefore Thomas Brewer (1819) is more likely a s/o Cornelius Brewer. I realize that such ideas give one a headache, but it is by considering these options that one arrives at a tenable hypothesis.
In Douglas Parish, in 1881, is Cornelius Brewer b. ca. 1800 and his wife, DeLaney (b. ca. 1801.) What this demonstrates is that this is not the Cornelius who m. Mary Morehouse; and also that there were two, contemporaneous Cornelius’ in 1851. This raises several issues.
If Cornelius b. 1817 was, as per the 1851 census, the s/o John and Elizabeth Yerxa:
and if Cornelius b. ca. 1790-1800 was the 2nd Cornelius, therefore likely the son of the first Cornelius:
then, who was this Cornelius b. ca. 1799-1801?
The suggestion is that, in addition to brothers, John and Cornelius, there was a 3rd brother who also had a son, Cornelius; thereby creating massive confusion. While the question of a 3rd brother, and who he was, is of interest, it may be irrelevant, as this Cornelius appears (by proximity) to be closely associated to Thomas H. Brewer; therefore the 3rd brother, regardless of who he was, is unlikely to be a father of Thomas Brewer who m. Esther Clark. If this is correct, however, then Thomas Brewer may still be the son of either John or Cornelius (1); and by his existence, Cornelius (ca. 1799-1801) deprives us of making a guess as to who Thomas’ father is.

Cornelius Brewer b. 30(or 20)JAN1817, bpt. as an adult Anglican Church, Douglas Parish, York Co., NB 4FEB1889 age 72 years (ca. 1817-8.)
In 1881, in Douglas Parish, Cornelius Brewer b. ca. 1818 lived with Annie Brewer (b. ca. 1858.) Cornelius is a widower, so Annie may be a daughter.
In 1851, Cornelius b. ca. 1817 was the s/o John and Elizabeth Brewer.
There is a Mary Ann Brewer b. ca. 1835, d. 21AUG1861 age 26 years, bur. St. Paul’s Anglican Cem., Zealand Station, York Co., NB; wife of Cornelius Brewer. A. Cornelius Brewer m. Douglas Parish, York Co., NB 1NOV1855 Mary Ann Whitehead (b. ca. 1836), d/o John and Margaret Whitehead.

Cornelius Brewer (3rd?) b. 25NOV1827 (ca. 1829), m. 10JUL1856 Mary Ann Crouse (b. 10DEC1837 (ca. 1839)), d/o Philip and Elizabeth (Brewer) Crouse.
Cornelius, b. ca. 1829, is the s/o the widow, Mary Brewer (b. ca. 1803) in the 1851 census of Douglas Parish.
A Cornelius and Mary Brewer of Upper Keswick, Bright Parish, York Co., NB had bpt. Anglican Church, Douglas Parish, York Co., NB:
Alexander Brewer, b. 6MAY1889, bpt. 30JUN1889
Matilda Brewer b. 27AUG1857, bpt. 24JUL1860
Walter Lee Brewer b. 14AUG1884, bpt. 30JUN1889
The birth record for Walter Lee gives him as b. 13AUG1885, and as the son of Cornelius and Mary (Crouse) Brewer. Matilda, in the IGI, is also given as the d/o Cornelius and Mary Ann (Crouse) Brewer.
In 1881, the family was:
Brewer Cornelius M 52 NB Episc English Farmer M
Brewer Mary F 42 NB Episc English M
Brewer Jeffry M 21 NB Episc English Farmer
Brewer Huldah F 17 NB Episc English
Brewer William F 14 NB Episc English
Brewer Minnie F 12 NB - English
Brewer Sterty M 9 NB - English
Brewer Bruce M 11m NB - English
Cornelius (3) (entered as such in the baptismal records, which, combined with the directories, suggests he was commonly known as Cornelius 3 or 3rd) and Mary Brewer of Upper Keswick had bpt. Anglican Church, Douglas Parish, York Co., NB:
Hedley Vickers Brewer bpt. Douglas Parish Anglican Church 24MAR1868, d. 9MAY1880 age 18 years, bur. St. Paul’s Church Cem. (Zealand, Bright Parish, York Co., NB.)
Minnie Adelaide Brewer bpt. 27MAY1869
William Herbert Brewer bpt. 24MAR1868
Huldah Elizabeth Brewer bpt. 24MAR1858
This is obviously the same family, therefore Cornelius, b. ca. 1829, was Cornelius 3rd.

Most Brewer’s, in York Co., in the 1865 directory, lived on the Upper Keswick. Thomas H. Brewer was the only Thomas listed, so his namesake seems to have left NB by that time.

The result of the above is that that father of Thomas Brewer, who m. Esther Clark, is most likely:

JOHN BREWER b. ca. 1772 (ca. 1774 in 1851), d. Upper Keswick, Douglas Parish, York Co., NB 24OCT1863 age 91 years, m. ELIZABETH YERXA (b. ca. 1772 (ca. 1775 in 1851), d. 1JUN1860 age 88 years.
See:
http://www.rootsweb.com/~nbyork/church/doug-ang-bur.html
for burial records.
A son appears to have been:
Cornelius Brewer b. 30(or 20)JAN1817, bpt. as an adult Anglican Church, Douglas Parish, York Co., NB 4FEB1889 age 72 years (ca. 1817-8), m. Douglas Parish, York Co., NB 1NOV1855 Mary Ann Whitehead (b. ca. 1835-6, d. 21AUG1861 age 26 years, bur. St. Paul’s Anglican Cem., Zealand Station, York Co., NB), d/o John and Margaret Whitehead.

or:

CORNELIUS BREWER b. ca. 1769, m. REBECCA BURTT (b. ca. 1768, d. Keswick, York Co., NB 19MAY1850 age 82 years.)
Apparently the parents of:
Cornelius Brewer b. ca. 1790-1800, d.? ca. 1838-50, m. 23JAN1823 Mary Morehouse (b. ca. 1803?.) Who were apparently the parents of:
Cornelius Brewer (3rd?) b. 25NOV1827 (ca. 1829), m. 10JUL1856 Mary Ann Crouse (b. ca. 1839.)

with the strong possibility of there being a third or even fourth brother who might have been Thomas’ father. That Adolphus, in 1783, had only two children, both close to the age of ten, suggests he did not have any other children (if any) until 1784 or later.

A second possibility is that Thomas Brewer was not of the 3rd, but of the 4th generation in NB. Since the earlier generations have not been sorted out with any certainty; this makes determining Thomas’ father extremely problematic.

There are, for someone willing to do the work, potential solutions. The first step would be a thorough survey of the York Co. probate records 1785-1850; perhaps later. Not only for Brewer’s, but their father’s-in-law (Burtt’s, Yerxa’s, etc.) Note that Douglas Parish, although the geographical centre for investigations, was created from St. Mary’s and Queensbury Parishes in 1824, and that Bright Parish (1869) was partially in Douglas Parish. Thus, in 1820, one seeks Brewer’s in St. Mary’s and/or Queensbury Parish. It would also be worth reviewing marriage registers, especially noting witnesses for clues to relationships. Often the fathers were the witnesses.

A little used, but effective, technique is to follow the ownership of land. Generally as land is subdivided or changes ownership, these are registered. By determining the original owner of a piece of land, including land petitions, grants, cadastral maps, key maps, etc.; the land, as it passes through generations, can be traced; and thereby the generations themselves. There are businesses which specialize in such traces and who are familiar with land registries.

“Registry Office Records (RS98) York County Registry Office Records cover the years 1784-1980 and include copies of leases, mortgages, liens and other land transactions. A number of wills (those which transfer title of land) are also found in this series. There is a multi-reel grantor-grantee index at the Archives. At present, land registry office records are not available through interlibrary loan.”

this means that land title searches necessarily must be done in Fredericton. The advantage is that the PANB and the land registry are probably both there, simplifying the task.

The following indicates some relevant microfilms at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, which may be had by interlibrary loan:

Probate:
Index F-10958
1786-1837 F- 11752
1837-1848 F-11753
1848-1855 F-11754
1794-1846 F-6212
Probate records prior to 1786 are likely in Halifax, NS. Even if wills are not available, there will be inventories, land dispositions and appointments of executors. These will often give some hints to relationships and dates-of-death.

Marriages:
1812-1837 F-15550
1838-1850 F-15551

Possibly worth consulting are:
the Anglican Church records at Christ Church on film F1114.
Kingsclear Parish Anglican records: F-8508, F-1096, F-32.
Queensbury Parish Anglican records: F1056, F-1094, F-8508
Burtt’s Corner Baptist: F-8312
Keswick Ridge Congregational: F-1142

and that would be to start.

Thomas


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