Sunset at Gowanus Bay

Sunset at Gowanus Bay
Sunset at Gowanus Bay, Henry Gritten, 1851

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lucas Brewer of Cherry Valley and Elmira, New York

Lucas Brewer was born about 1806 or 1808, he married Amanda Grace in 1832 at Cooperstown, New York and lived much of his married life at Elmira in Chemung County, New York. His ancestry is unknown, but what is known is he is not a descendant of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island.

It had been postulated in the past, by some researchers of the descendants of Adam Brouwer, that Lucas Brewer was one of Adam Brouwer's descendants. The first known record of Lucas Brewer is his marriage to Amanda Grace on 15 August 1832 at Cooperstown, New York. A notice of the marriage appeared in the Otsego Herald & Western Advertiser. In 1840, he is found on the U. S. Federal census at Cherry Valley, Otsego Co., New York. In 1840, there were 15 households headed by persons named BREWER in Otsego County. Some of the Heads of Households were descendants of Adam Brouwer, and because Lucas lived in close proximity to them, it was thought that Lucas could be related to them. For the record, an actual descendant of Lucas Brewer always doubted this theory. Family tradition had claimed that Lucas Brewer was from Ireland, or of Irish ancestry. Fortunately we now have genetic genealogy as another tool for research, and in the case of Lucas Brewer, the Y-DNA test of a direct male descendant has cleared up any confusion.

In 2010 a direct male descendant of Lucas Brewer joined the Brewer DNA Project by taking a Y-DNA67 marker test. He is represented by kit #174485 and his results clearly demonstrated that the participant, and therefore all of his direct male ancestors, cannot be descendants of Adam Brouwer. The Y-DNA test results do not match any of the known descendants of Adam Brouwer. Results, for comparison, can be seen on the Y-DNA colorized chart page at the Brewer DNA Project's website. The results are listed in the "Ungrouped" section. Our participant's predicted haplogroup is R1b1a2, now known by the short hand, R-M269. Descendants of Adam Brouwer belong to haplogroup E1b1b1, or E-M35.1. Any common direct male ancestor of the descendant of Lucas Brewer and the descendants of Adam Brouwer would have lived tens of thousands of years ago.

With the Y-DNA test results it can be stated that Lucas Brewer's ancestry is not known. In 1850, Lucas Brewer is found on the U. S. census at Elmira, New York. His age is given as 42 years and his place of birth as Connecticut. In 1860, at Elmira, Lucas' age is recorded as 51 years, while his place of birth is stated to be New York. The 1870 census at Elmira gives his age as 64 and his place of birth again as New York. Lucas has not been located with certainty in 1880, however, there is a Brewer family found at Elmira, and while the given names were (for some reason) not recorded, the head of the household is a male, age 72, born in New York. His parent's place of birth is given as "find out," and nothing is recorded for his occupation. The 1850 census recorded Lucas' occupation as Inn Keeper, while in 1860 and 1870 he was a painter. The 1880 record includes his wife, age given as 64, which is consistent with Lucas' wife's age. Also in the household is Julia Brewer, age 25, born in New York and single. Julia Brewer is also found in the household of Lucas Brewer in 1850 and 1860 with her ages given as 8 and 15 respectively. Although Julia's ages do not line up, the presence of a Julia in this 1880 household leads me to believe that this is Lucas Brewer's household.

Lucas Brewer and Amanda Grace had six children born between 1836 and 1855, although there may be as much as a ten year gap between the youngest child, Sarah, and the next youngest, Julia. Amanda Grace died on 21 December 1888 at Humboldt, Richardson Co., Nebraska. She is buried back in Elmira, New York. Lucas Brewer's date of death has not been found. Details and sources for the family can be found at the Brouwer Genealogy Database. A direct link for Lucas Brewer can be found on the Unplaced page.

Thanks goes out to the descendant of Lucas Brewer who participated by taking a Y-DNA test. This case is a clear example of how genetic genealogy, in particular Y-DNA testing, can be a valuable tool for solving genealogical questions.

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