Brewer Family

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Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers 1607-1635

Which Way is Heaven?

North Carolina : a History
1st generation:
William Brewer
was born 1520 and died 1618 (age 98).  He married Deannes Baker.  They had a son: Thomas

2nd generation:
Thomas Brewer was born in 1540 in Somerset, England and died in 1637, probably in London.  He married Mary Drake.  He lived in Chard, England and later moved to London.  His sons were John & Thomas.

3rd generation:
John Brewer I was born in 1565 and died in 1635 in Virginia. He married Mary Grove (daughter of Ralph).  He was a merchant and grocer in Bartholomew Lane, London, and a citizen of eminence and respectability in the City of London. John and Mary could have emigrated to Virginia with their 3 children before 1622 as there was a Petition in that year of Captain Francis West, Captain William Claybourne, John Brewer, Robert Sweet and William Capps, gents, ancient planters and adventurer in New England, for the remission of heavy duties on tobacco. 
John Brewer was the owner of two large estates, Brewers Neck (which is between Brewer's and Chuckatuck Creeks) and a tract in "Stanley Hundred" or "Brewer's Burrough" on Warwick River, Virginia, just across the James River from Jamestown. He was a Representative from Warwick in 1629-30 to the Virginia House of Burgesses. He was a member of the Governor's Council 1632-34, and a man of power and influence.
   He and Mary had 3 children: John II, Roger & Margaret (and maybe Mary).

John Brewer made his will Sept. 4th 1631 as a 'citizen and grocer of London' which was filed in London 06 May 1635. for there was no recognized probate court in Virginia It was probated 13th May 1636 as follows:
     "To be buried without any mourning apparel or gowns given to any but those of mine own household.
     To my dearly beloved father Thomas Brewer, eight pounds yearly [ long as h shoul live]
     To my son John Brewer my plantation in Virginia called 'Stanley hundred' also 'Brewer's Burough' only the third part of the profits thereof during the life of Mary my wife I give to her and also the third part of my goods and chattels, beside which is also due by the custom of London.
   To my son Roger Brewer and my daughter Margaret Brewer forth pounds apiece payable at marriage or when 21.
   To my brother Thomas Brewer 40 sh and to each of his children 10 sh.
   The residue to my said children John, Roger and Margaret, they to be executors, but as they are now young, I appoint my wife Mary and my loving uncle Roger Drake, citizen and clothmaker of London, to be overseers and guardians of my children; to each of them 40 sh to buy them a ring.
   [Testator died in Virginia]"

John Brewer I died in Virginia in 1635 and his widow soon afterwards married Rev. Thomas Butler "Clark and Parson of Denbie", or later Warwick County. Thomas died in 1637.

4th generation:
John Brewer II, married Anne Skinner(?).  He settled on the 1000-acre grant of his step-father, Rev. Thomas Butler.  He also held his father's plantation "Stanley Hundred" in Warwick.  He served in the House of Burgesses from 1637 to 1658 (like his father).  He and Anne had several sons, including John Brewer III, and probably Thomas and Paul.

5th generation:
John Brewer III was born in 1635 in Virginia.  He died in 1701 in Isle of Wight County, Va.  His wife's name is unknown.  His only known child was George. These are also probably his sons: John, Peter, James, Horace & William

6th generation:
George G. Brewer (son of John Brewer III)  b abt 1685 in Isle of Wight Co, VA, married Sarah Lanier.  Sarah was born abt 1686 in Charles City County, Virginia abt 1686, the daughter of John Lanier, Jr. and Sarah Edmunds, the widow of William Edmunds.  Sarah died between 1724 and 1729. George's will (1744) names ten children by his wife, Sarah.   George died Aug. 2, 1744 in Surrey Co, VA

Children: (birthdates vary)
1. William Brewer,  b abt 1706, m Ann ?
2. Oliver Brewer, b abt 1708, m Rebecca Smith, d 1792, ch: George, Oliver, Christopher, Frances, Hannah, William, Henry, Rebecca, Edward (1762-1845 Rev. War soldier)
3. Henry Brewer, b abt 1710, m  Mary ? ; His will was written in 1778.  He patented land in North Carolina in 1756 & 1759.  He was on the poll Tax list for 1755 Orange Co, NC.  Ch: George, Henry, Hubbard, Isaac, Oliver, sarah, Amanda Rebecca, Frances, Mary, Ann (m ? Parker), Allison
4. Nathaniel Brewer,  b abt 1710; ch: David, Nathaniel
5. Sarah Brewer,  b abt 1712; m Matthew Vick
6. Lanier Brewer, b abt 1714; m Joanna ?; ch: Lanier Brewer Jr, b abt 1746. Lanier Jr is said to have had 30 sons, but only John and George are certain, others may be Henry M, Wiley, Solomon, Cornelius & Julius
7. George Brewer Jr. , b abt 1716, m Mary ?, d 1757; ch: Rawle, George III, Matthew, John
8. Nicholas Brewer, b abt 1718, m Sarah ?, ch: William
9. John Brewer, b abt 1720, m Mary  ?
10. Howell Brewer, b abt 1722, m Marian ?

After Sarah's death abt 1727, he married Alice Burrell and they had 2 more children:
11. Burwell Brewer, b abt 1730
12. Joseph Brewer, b abt 1732

Not sure who this is:
1740 - On July 16, 1740, Thomas Cowan of Bartie Precinct, NC appointed Howel Brewer of Brunswick County, Va as his attorney to represent him over some cattle he had raised for James Wyche. Witnesses were: William (x) Brewer and James (x) Wise.

  Howell Brewer, Sr.
7th generation

Howell Brewer was probably born about 1722 in Surrey Co, VA. , the son of George Brewer and Sarah Lanier. 
Some time around 1755 he moved to Orange County, North Carolina.

Orange Co, NC was formed in 1752 (parts of it were later broken down into new counties). See progressive map of Orange County formation.
In 1755, Orange Co, NC there was a Howell Brewer living alone. There was also a Henry Brewer living there (with 3 people in his household). This was probably his brother.
Howell married about 1757 to Marian (or Mary) May and had children.  Then he married 2nd to Rebecca Willis (or the other way around)

There are huge discrepancies on the internet about this man, his wives and his children.  But here are some ideas:
One list of his children was  (there are other varying lists):
1. James
2. Orville
3. Polly
4. Ambrose, b 1753 Brunswick Co, VA, m Sarah Cobb.  Was with Col. Cleveland in the Battle of King's Mountain in Catawba Co, NC.   He died 1873 Hancock Co, TN.   His son Howell Cobb m Nancy Short.
5. Howell Jr., b 1762?
6. Isaac, b 1763 Wilkes Co, VA
7. Simon
and maybe also Ann, Reuben and George.

Orange County Court Records:
1756, Dec - A deed of sale from Henry Brewer to Charles Clinton for 156 acres of land was proved in open Court. . .
1756, Dec - A deed of sale from the Earl of Granville unto Henry Brewer for 456 acres of land was proved in open court. . .  [these 1st 2 records are from 2 different books, the first one doesn't make sense; seems like he would be buying land]
1757, Sept - A deed of sale from John May to Howlet (sic) Brewer for 100 acres of land was proved in open court . . . [not sure if this was Howell.  There was also a family in the vicinity with the last name of Howlett.]
1758 - Henry Brewer was bondsman for Philemon Edwards
1758, Dec - Howell Brewer accused by John Williams (for assault?), Brewer found guilty, ordered to pay 1 pound 10 shillings.
1759, June - William Spruce sues Howell Brewer for unpaid debt.  Brewer says he has paid it, but when a jury is assembled he admits he has not, and is ordered to pay 3 pounds 14 shillings plus court costs.
1761 - Henry Brewer was bondsman for Joseph Fooshee
1765, Feb - Howell Brewer admits the he owes Nathaniel Edwards 2 pounds 12 shillings and 1 penny, ordered to pay plus court costs.
1765 - "ordered that the following Jurors (Henry Brewer, Oliver Brewer, etc.) lay our a road. . . from Wm. Johnston's Store on Little River to Henry Brewer's ford on Haw River. . ."   "Charles Saxon appointed overseer of Road in the room of Howell Brewer". . . . Sackfield Brewer appointed overseer of road.

William and Dorothy Brewer were married in 1765 in Chatham county.
Chatham (NC) Regimental Return made Sept.  23, 1772 - [Chatham was part of Orange Co until 1770, and it is just to the east of Randolph Co, which makes it seem that the Brewers lived in the SE corner of Randolph & maybe the SW corner of Chatham.]
A List of Men on the Muster role of Capt. Joab Brooks Company included Howel Brewer
A Role of Captain Isaiah Hogans Company at a Muster Sept 19th 1772 included Henry Brewer

Phillip Howell and Mary Brewer were married Oct.17, 1782 in Orange Co., N.C.
William Brewer and Dorothy moved to Orange Co. from Brunswick Co.,Va. According to the will of william.
William Brewer moved to Orange Co, NC 1787. Isham Brewer, his son, died in Orange Co in 1816.  his son Joseph Brewer moved to Carroll Co Tn by 1830.

The petition mentioned below lists several Brewer men.  Some of them could have also been Henry's sons.
A petition signed in Randolph Co, NC in 1785 had several Brewers on it: (the east 1/4 of Randolph Co had been part of Orange Co until 1770)
Howell Brewer, Sr.
Nimrod Brewer
Howell Brewer 
Isaac Brewer    
Reuben Brewer  
Their complaint was that they lived at a large distance from the courthouse which was then located in the NE corner of the county, and they wished the courthouse to be moved closer to the middle of the state. [so maybe they lived in the SE corner of Randolph Co?]

[1790 legend: men 16+ / boys -16 / women / other free / slaves]

1790 Randolph Co, NC, Hillsborough district -
, Howell  - 3-0-8 (p290)
Brewer, John        - 20211 (p278, had 1 slave)

[John Brewer b abt 1774, sons were: Elijah & Howell Athen (b 1790 Randolph Co, NC, m Patience Strickland). 
Howell Athen's children were: James Henry, Jackson, Greenberry, Drury, Howell (1824), William Nathaniel, Mary Catherine, & Simeon.]

1790 Moore Co, NC, Fayette district -
Nimrod Brewer   - 1-0-0 (p164, b bef 1774)
Ambrose Brewer - 2-3-4 (p162)
Drury Brewer      - 1-3-3 (p164)
Lanier Brewer      - 2-4-4 (p162)

1790 Orange Co, NC
St. Thomas district:
Ezekial Brewer
Sackfield Brewer [1793 was executor for will of Richard Cate]  [Ezekiel Brewer had son Sackfield Brewer who died after 1880.]
Thos Brewer   (p31)
Caswell district:
Henry Brewer   (p23)

Evidently Howell Jr. moved south to Georgia before 1793 where his son Nimrod was born.

In Telfair County, Georgia there are two cemeteries that seem to be
named  "Green Brewer" and  "Henry Brewer"
[Joel Brewer, b 1780, Ga; d bef 1840 in GA, m Nicy (Elizabeth, Betsy) abt 1800.
had 1 son  "Green" who m Sarah Bennett]

Henry Brewer, b abt 1777, m Nancy Dole; ch:
    Henry Brewer Jr, b 1808, ch:
        Green Brewer, b 1820, m Sara Bennett; d abt 1866

Green Brewer, b1826-1830 Ky; moved to Ark. in 1860 census has in his home Isaac Brewer, age 73, b NC (1787)

8th generation:
maybe Howell (Nimrod?) Brewer, Jr.

1.     Nimrod BREWER Sr., b: 1793 in Georgia; married Mary Louisa ?
2.     Nancy BREWER, m John Baptiste Deguire
3.     Green? BREWER, must have died before 1832 since he wasn't in Howell Jr's probate records.

Howell Jr. brought his family to Missouri Territory bet 1793-1815.

1815 Tax List Lawrence County, Missouri Territory:
(Lawrence Co, Mo was created in Jan 1815 from New Madrid Co and included the southern strip of Missouri and all the northern part of Arkansas; Arkansas Territory was then created in 1819)
List included Nimrod Brewer

Howel sold land to Babtiste Deguire in Jan 1826, this land is said to be "the same land" purchased from Joseph Lachance. [Baptiste was probably his son-in-law]

Nancy [Brewer] & John B. Dequire, and Mary Louisa [unknown] & Nimrod Brewer are listed as Howel's beneficiaries in 1832 probate records.

So, Nimrod died after his father's probate settlement in 1832 and before Feb. 26, 1835 in Madison Co, MO.


There was a Howell Prentiss Brewer in Kentucky, who married Elizabeth "Betsy" Barger, 1846 Kentucky. Betsy died in KY in 1892.  See:

This Howell was later in Perry Co, Mo (Campbell district) in 1850:
Howel BREWER 23 M Farmer 500 Tenn.
Elizabeth 23 F
Hannah 3 F
George 3 M
Polly 2 F
Martha BREWER 16 F
Polly BARGER 62 F
(Jesse Barger & family was living next door)

There is also a Howell Brewer (& other Brewers) in 1840 Hawkins Co, Tn:
Howel Brewer            1110001000000 * 0101010000000
This Howel was witness to the will of John Vaughan, Apr 10, 1820, Hawkins Co, Tn.

Also in 1840 Wayne Co, Tn:
p87 - Howel Brewer    00001-/-
and many other Brewers

There also was a Howell Brewer, b 1790 in Green Co, MS; d 1829 Wayne Co, Mo.; married Patience Stickland

If you would like to check my database to see if the information on your family is correct, go to my ancestor file then search for the name of one of your ancestors. (Only those born before 1930 or no longer living are listed by name. I have names of the living, but they are not displayed in the online database.)  Please email me if there are any corrections or additions!!

since July 2, 2007