Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Brewer DNA Project

The Brewer DNA Project, hosted by Family Tree DNA, was initiated in 2006 by Grant Johnston, a descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands. Today it is administered by Richard Brewer (also a descendant of Jan Brouwer) and co-administered by Chris Chester (author of this blog, whose wife is a descendant of Adam Brouwer).  The project is open to ALL persons surnamed BREWER, BROWER, BROUWER, BRUER and any other variation that may exist. Participation in the Y-DNA aspect of the project requires a male participant with one of the above mentioned surnames. Any female BREWERS (etc.) who are interested in testing their BREWER genetic ancestry would need to recruit a close male relation, preferably their father, or a brother, but if that is not possible, an uncle or first cousin would work.
Although those of us who are involved in the administrative aspect of the Brewer DNA Project are primarily concerned with descendants of the early New Netherland BROUWER families, a large number of participants are BREWERS or BROWERS who are descended from many other ancestors who are not at all related to the New Netherland BROUWERS. Currently the largest "group" of participants belong to the group we refer to as "BREWER-LANIER." This group has it colonial origins in Virginia and gets its name from the progenitor couple, George Brewer and Sarah Lanier. A website dedicated to research on this group as been established and can be found here.
Richard Brewer has established a website focused on the descendants of Jan Brouwer titled, "Brewer Descendants of Johannes (Jan) Brouwer," which was featured in an earlier blog posting. In addition, Richard has created the website, "Genetic Descendants of Adam Brouwer Berckhoven," for those descended from Adam Brouwer. I have created the "Brouwer Genealogy Database" website, and the "Brewer Families of New England" website, which are databases of info, facts, sources and opinions that I have accumulated on thousands of persons descended from the early New Netherland and New England colonial families as well as many others who are not related to these groups.

The Brewer DNA Project has been successful in helping place a number of participants who prior to joining were unsure of their Brewer (etc.) ancestry. It has also helped to disprove a number of incorrect lineages that were assumed by many descendants as correct in the past. The article, "DNA Analysis: Adam Brouwer Berckhoven, Elias Brouwer of New Jersey, and John Brewer of Ohio," published in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 138 (Oct. 2007) and authored by Richard Brewer, Scott Kraus and William B. Bogardus, was made possible by participants in the Brewer DNA Project.

We continue to seek out and encourage all those interested and active in researching their BREWER, BROWER, BROUWER, etc. ancestry to join the project. Those who can document their ancestry back to one of the original colonial progenitors are especially valuable in that their results can serve as a comparison to help others who are still unsure of their complete ancestral line. In addition, I would especially like to see confirmed descendants of Hubert Brower (immigrant to Philadelphia, Pa. in the early 1700s) and confirmed descendants of the New England families founded by Daniel Brewer of Roxbury, Mass.; John Brewer of Cambridge and Sudbury, Mass.; and Thomas Brewer of Glastonbury, Conn., join the project so that DNA signatures for these important progenitors can be established. If you would like to join, please see the "Join Request" page, or contact either myself or Richard Brewer through the e-mail addresses provided on the main page of the Brewer DNA Project.

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