Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Jeremiah John Brower (1815-1887), Y-DNA Test Update

Jeremiah John Brower (1815-1887), was originally covered in the post of January 29, 2012. He initially lived at Clinton, Cass County, Indiana, and in about 1853 relocated to Jackson Twp., Lucas County, Iowa. We know from previous Y-DNA test results of a direct male descendant that Jeremiah John Brower is a descendant of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island.

The descendant of Jeremiah John Brower was initially tested at the 37 marker level. Over the past couple of years we have been finding that this level of testing and lower (12 or 25 markers) is too limited when attempting to place the tested descendant within the large tree of the earliest known ancestor's descendants. The 37 marker level of testing is useful for pointing to who the earliest known ancestor is (or is likely to be), but it is less useful for pointing to just where to place the descendant among the other descendants. It gets us into the ballpark, but it can't show us to our seat. An upgrade to at least the 67 marker level can help us better define the numerous lines of descendants and can narrow down the possible lineages for those whose complete ancestry is still unknown.

In this case of Jeremiah John Brower, the descendant has upgraded from the 37 marker test to the 67 marker test. What the additional results first tell us is that much of what was previously suggested, in the post of January 29, 2012, still holds up. That is, the tested descendant, and therefore his direct ancestor, Jeremiah John Brower, is most likely, and I would say near certainly, a descendant of Adam Brouwer's son, Nicholas Brouwer. This placement was previously expected because the tested descendant had an allele value of 14 at maker number nine (DYS439), as did other known descendants of Nicholas Brouwer. (Tested descendants of other sons of Adam Brouwer have the value of 13 at this marker). Over the past year, and previous to the upgrade of this test, two other participants who are descended from Adam Brouwer, and who also have the value of 14 at marker nine, had taken the 67 marker test. The first, kit #285309, is a known descendant of Jeremiah Brower (Brewer) of Highgate, Vermont. The second, #293571, is a descendant of Mathew Brower of Greene Co., Pennsylvania. These two tests match on only 63 of 67 markers with each other, and so the question coming into this was, which kit would the descendant of Jeremiah John Brower more closely match at 67 markers.

The answer is, the descendant of Jeremiah John Brower matches the descendant of Jeremiah Brower of Highgate on 66 of 67 markers (a "one-step difference") and matches the descendant of Mathew Brower on only 62 of 67 markers (a "five-step difference"). As both of the descendants previously tested at 67 markers are descendants of Nicholas Brouwer (by reason of the appearance of value 14 at marker nine), we can now, with these additional test results, state with confidence that the descendant of Jeremiah John Brower is a closer cousin of the descendant of Jeremiah Brower of Highgate, the two share a common ancestor somewhere between the tested descendants and Nicholas Brouwer.

As was first stated in the post of January 29, 2012, was born in 1815, in New York (State). He is first seen in his marriage record dated 4 February 1849 at Cass County, Indiana. His wife was Sarah Jane Woods, and they are found on the 1850 U. S. census at Clinton, Cass County, Indiana. It is believed that Jeremiah John Brower, is a son of John Brower, who is found on the 1840 census in Cass County, Indiana, with a household of 1 male age 20-30 (Jeremiah John, assuming he is the son of John), 1 male age 70-80 (John, who then would have been born between 1760 and 1770), and 1 female age 20-30 (presumed to be a sister of Jeremiah John). What we take from this is that, if we accept the notion that John Brower was the father of Jeremiah John Brower, then he is the earliest known ancestor of the tested descendant, and was born in the decade of the 1760s.

Jeremiah Brower (Brewer) of Highgate, Vermont, is the earliest known ancestor of the descendant tested in kit #285309, which is a 66 of 67 match to Jeremiah John Brower's descendant. Jeremiah Brower of Highgate was born in 1738. His first known child, a son William, was born in 1766. The first thought is that it is possible that John Brower of Cass County, Indiana, is a son of Jeremiah Brower of Highgate. However, Jeremiah Brower of Highgate, did have a son named John George Brewer, born in 1792. It is not impossible that Jeremiah could have named two sons, John. Especially if the second John was born to a different mother and over 22 years after the first John was born. But, it is not common, and thus far we have not seen anything else that would tell us that Jeremiah Brower of Highgate had a son John who was born in the 1760s. I do not think it is likely that John Brower of Cass County, is a son of Jeremiah Brower of Highgate. However, we still have the fact that his tested descendant is closely related to a descendant of Jeremiah Brower of Highgate.

Jeremiah Brower of Highgate is likely a son of Jurge Brouwer and Elizabeth Holmes. This placement has not been, and likely cannot be proved. Reason for this belief is covered in an earlier post on Jeremiah Brower of Highgate. In his Loyalist Claim of 1786, Jeremiah Brower of Highgate names a Nicholas Brower of Newtown, as a witness. This Nicholas Brower has been one of the more allusive Browers of the mid 1700s. I do have a mention of a Nicholas Brewer and a Jeremiah Brewer on tax lists in the Half Moon District, Albany County, New York on 2 March 1779 and 29 October 1779, but have been unable to find the original source. In 1790, a Jeremiah Brewer is on the U. S. census at Half Moon, Albany Co. (1 male over 16, 1 male under 16, 3 females), and in 1800 a Jeremiah Brewer is at Stillwater, Saratoga Co. Neither of the last two are Jeremiah Brower of Highgate, but they could be sons of the Nicholas Brewer who he references in his Loyalist Claim. In 1800, 1820 and 1830, there is a John Brower at Petersburg, Rensselaer Co., New York. In 1830 he is aged 60-70, placing his birth at between 1760 and 1770. There is also one male aged 15-20 (so born between 1810 and 1815) in the household, along with two females age 20-30 and one age 60-70. In 1840, no man named John Brower is found at Petersburg, New York, but, John Brower, age 70-80 does make his first appearance in Cass County, Indiana. Newtown, Half Moon, Stillwater, and Petersburg are all within the same area of what was originally Albany County, which was since split into Saratoga and Rensselaer Counties. There is nothing conclusive in any of the above, however, I think that all of these records, taken as a whole, offer a possible answer to where Jeremiah John Brower fits into the larger picture of descendants of Adam Brouwer's son Nicholas Brouwer, and is consistent with the DNA test results that demonstrate that he is most closely related to descendants of Jeremiah Brower of Highgate.

Based upon what is known now, the best placement for Jeremiah John Brower (1815-1887) is that he is a son of John Brower (b. 1760-1770) of Cass County, Indiana, who may have previously been of Petersburg, New York (1800-1830). In turn, John Brower may be a son of Nicholas Brewer (Brower) of Newtown in 1786 (and Half Moon in 1779). Nicholas Brewer, may then be a brother of Jeremiah Brower (Brewer) of Highgate, Vermont. The common ancestor of the tested descendant of Jeremiah John Brower and of the descendant of Jeremiah Brower of Highgate (kit #285309) would be the presumed parents of Jeremiah Brower of Highgate, namely, Jurge Brouwer and Elizabeth Holmes.

The difficult part will of course be trying to prove the above with actual records and genealogical analysis and reasoning that meets present day standards. In fact, considering the scarcity of records form the mid to late 1700s in the area of Half Moon, New York, it might be impossible. But still, we can look, and hopefully that will be augmented by more descendants of Adam Brouwer signing up and taking Y-DNA tests with the Brewer DNA Project.

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