Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Brewer Families of New England: Update

The Brewer Families of New England Database website has been updated. A new DNA Analysis page has been added. This addition became possible by the participation of our first known descendant of one of the New England Brewer families in the Brewer DNA Project. I would like to thank the descendant for his participation and hopefully this will encourage other descendants of New England Brewer families to participate as well.

The participant is a descendant of John Brewer (1621-1646) who was at Cambridge and Sudbury, Massachusetts. Very little is known of John Brewer. He lived a very short life, dying at age 24 or 25 if the statements as to his birth and death dates are correct. His wife's name was Ann, and they had two known children, daughter Hannah who was married to Daniel Goble and then to Ephraim Roper, and son John Brewer, who married Elizabeth Rice and through whom all direct male descendants of the progenitor descend. Among John Brewer's descendants is U.S. President Calvin Coolidge.
The participants haplogroup subclade was predicted (by Family Tree DNA) to be R1b1a2. The Haplogroup R1b is the most frequently found Y-chromosome haplogroup in Western Europe. The subclade R1b1a2 (defined by the presence of SNP marker 269) is found in particularly high concentrations in Scotland and south-eastern England, and especially in north-western Ireland. It has certainly been assumed that John Brewer came to Massachusetts from the British Isles, and now the Y-DNA testing of a descendant is in agreement with that belief. The participation of additional descendants of John Brewer in the Brewer DNA Project would be helpful in confirming these results.

We would also like to see descendants of all of the other progenitors of New England Brewer families participate as well. Please see the Brewer DNA Project website for details on how to join the project.

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