The Brewer DNA Project at Family Tree DNA is a Surname Project and now has well over 200 members. As a Surname Project our interest is to study the different Y-Chromosome (Y-DNA) lineages associated with families named BREWER, BROWER, BRUER, BROUWER, etc. The Brewer DNA Project was started by Grant Johnston back in 2005. The current Administrator for the Project is Richard Brewer, and myself (Chris Chester) and Terry White, are co-administrators.
Recently, in an effort to better serve the members of our project, and to hopefully bring new members in, we have engaged in a bit of website cleaning, and began with creating a new website to better present to our members and potential members, the pedigrees (or lineages) represented by males who have taken Y-DNA tests. The result is the Brewer DNA Project Pedigrees website.
At the new Brewer DNA Project Pedigrees website we have divided the tested participants and their lineages into (currently) twelve Groups. The link for each Group, found on the left of the Home page, will take you to that Group's individual page where the pedigrees are listed, and identified by kit number. The corresponding Y-DNA test results, also identified by kit number, are still found at the original Brewer DNA Project website under the tab, Y-DNA Results. Note that there is both a "Classic" and "Colorized" option for viewing the results table. The "Colorized" option highlights the allele values that vary from the modal value for each different marker.
The pedigrees were submitted by members who participated by taking a Y-DNA test. The pedigrees, in conjunction with the Y-DNA test results, help us identify Groups. Once we have at least two members who have close Y-DNA test results and who have similar known, or believed to be known, pedigrees, we can define a Group. Certainly the more tested members we have in a particular Group, the better we can define the Group, and so, we are always looking for new participants. As stated above, we have currently identified twelve groups. It is our goal to identify more in the future, but presently those twelve groups are:
Adam Brouwer - Currently 20 members (a 21st is pending some more research), 19 of who have submitted pedigrees. The Haplogroup E, to which descendants belong, is relatively uncommon in northern Europe (Adam Brouwer's origins are in Cologne). Currently this is the only Group in the Brewer DNA Project who belongs to this haplogroup. (See the note dated January 19, 2014 below)
Adam Brown Brewer - There are three members in this Group, two of whom have provided pedigrees. Adam Brown Brewer's origins are stated to be in Randolph Co., North Carolina. The descendants belong to Haplogroup R1a which is very common in central and eastern Europe, and Scandinavia. More descendants are needed here for testing, and more traditional genealogical research is needed on Adam Brown Brewer himself.
Ambrose Brewer - There are seven members in this group, six of who have provided pedigrees. Their haplogroup R1b is the most frequent Y-Chromosome haplogroup found in western Europe. Some descendants show in their pedigrees, an ancestry back to a couple named George Bewer and Sarah Lanier, which is also claimed by the Brewer-Lanier Group (below) as their earliest known ancestors.
Arthur Brewer - Five members belong to this group, and four have submitted pedigrees. Of these four, three trace their ancestry to Arthur Brewer, born ca. 1765, perhaps in Martin Co., North Carolina. Each of the three are descendants of different sons of Arthur, and this is exactly the type of data we seek to collect for a project (multiple tests for different lineages from the same common ancestor). The descendants belong to Haplogroup J2 whose largest concentrations are found in western Asia, more specifically in Anatolia (modern Turkey) the nearby Mediterranean region, and the Arabian peninsula.
Brewer/Lanier - By far, this group has the largest number of members. Their pedigrees have not yet been updated for the new website, and a link is provided on the page to the Brewer-Lanier site which currently hosts the pedigrees. By my count we have 57 members in this group. I believe we have pedigrees for 39 of the members, a few of who have the surname WHITE, but who are certain recent cousins of the BREWERs in this Group. The earliest ancestor is claimed to be George Brewer (b. 1685), who with his wife, Sarah Lanier, were at Brunswick Co., Virginia in the early 1700s. Some of the pedigrees have not been able to trace their ancestries completely back to George Brewer using traditional research, but the Y-DNA test results place them in this group. The descendants belong to the larger Haplogroup I1, which has been described as the original paternal lineage of Nordic Europe. It is clear that the members of the Brewer/Lanier Group and those of the Ambrose Brewer Group (above) are not related, yet some members of both groups claim George Brewer and Sarah Lanier as their ancestors.
Jacob Brewer - There are two members in this group, we have pedigrees for both, and would like to see more descendants join. Jacob Brewer lived at Unity, Westmoreland Co., Pennsylvania, and some descendants went to Ohio and then Indiana during the first half of the 1800s. Jacob Brewer was expanded upon in the post of December 20, 2013, on this website. The descendants belong to the Haplogroup I2b1 which has its highest concentrations in western and north-central Europe (Germany) and Scandinavia (especially Denmark and Sweden).
Jan Brouwer - We have 28 members in this group (27 if we count a pair of tested brothers as one), including two who are related to the American descendants of Jan Brouwer at a time previous to Jan Brouwer's appearance in America. The other surnames found among the members of this Group are ROSE, OLSEN, EMBODY and MacDOUGALL. There are pedigrees for 24 members. Descendants belong to Haplogroup I2b1 (concentrated in western, north-central Europe and Scandinavia). Descendants of Jan Brouwer carry a unique STR 565 value which is found when a Y-DNA67 marker test is completed. This rare value was the key to identifying the two pre-American cousins in the Jan Brouwer Group.
Jeremiah Brewer, NC - There are two members in this group, and both have submitted pedigrees. We need additional descendants who are interested in being tested to join. Jeremiah Brewer was born about 1787 and lived in Chatham Co., North Carolina. The descendants belong to Haplogroup R1b1, the same as the Ambrose Brewer Group listed above. However, there is enough difference between the two groups to assume that any common ancestor pre-dates the colonial period in America.
Joel Brewer - This group has three members, each a descendant of a different son of Joel Brewer (b. 1826, lived in Polk Co., Georgia). All three have provided us with pedigrees. The descendants also belong to Haplogroup R1b1, but any common ancestor with the Ambrose Brewer or Jeremiah Brewer Groups is far in the past.
John Brewer, Sudbury, MA - Two members are in this group, both have provided pedigrees. This is our only group descended from a New England Brewer family (I personally wish we could descendants of other New England Brewer families get involved with this project). They also belong to the Haplogroup R1b1, but are not related to the other groups with the same haplogroup (mentioned above) within a traceable genealogical time period.
Unassigned Members - We currently have 47 members who are "unassigned." That is, there is no other Brewer male with whom the tested member has a match. The page has been organized by haplogroups and eleven members have provided pedigrees. It is hoped that others who recognize the names in these pedigrees will join and take Y-DNA tests so that additional groups can be established. We would also encourage those who have not submitted pedigrees to do so.
Need Y-DNA Test - We have created this page for members who have joined the Brewer DNA Project because they have a Brewer somewhere in their ancestry, but have not been able to locate a male Brewer relation to take a Y-DNA test. There are two pedigrees here. One leads us back to a Jeremiah Brewer (b. ca. 1759) who lived in Bibb Co., Alabama. The second pedigree takes us back to the Brewer family found in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland beginning in the 1600s. We would like to find direct male descendants of any of the Brewer men listed in these pedigrees who are interested in taking a Y-DNA test.
We created this last page because over the past year a number of persons have joined the Brewer DNA Project, yet they have not ordered a Y-DNA test kit. In addition, none of them had contacted any of the administrators with an explanation or reason for their joining the project. I guess it has to be emphasized that the Brewer DNA Project is a Surname Project, in other words, a Y-DNA Project. We do not investigate direct maternal lineages (mtDNA testing) nor do we involve ourselves with autosomal DNA testing (Family Finder). We would love to have each of these new "non-Y-DNA" members find a Brewer relation willing to be tested. This would justify their joining the Project. In an effort to help, we have recently asked each to supply us with a pedigree. If their pedigree does not match up with an already existing Group, then we will add it to the Need Y-DNA Test page in the hope that it will be discovered by some other descendant who would like to join. We ask, that if you would like to join the Brewer DNA Project, yet do not presently have a male Brewer relation who will take a Y-DNA test, that you at least provide us with a pedigree of your direct Brewer ancestry. Our intention is to help find a relation who will take the Y-DNA test. But, we cannot help you unless you help us by providing your Brewer pedigree.
- A note on the haplogroups mentioned above - In each group I briefly described the larger haplogroup which the members belonged to. The Y-DNA testing available from Family Tree DNA can narrow down a participants haplogroup to a subclade of that group, and these subclades are mentioned on the individual pages.
- A handful of members have chosen not to submit pedigrees. While submitting one is not a requirement for taking a Y-DNA test, it is a hindrance to identifying the group you might belong to. It also frustrates the general advancement of understanding these groups. Submitting a pedigree is beneficial to you, and to others, who might be unsure of their correct ancestry. Y-DNA testing works best when it it combined with traditional genealogical research, and both are best used when they are shared with others.
The administrators can be contacted through the Brewer DNA Project webpage.
Update, January 19, 2014: Three pedigrees were not included on the original Pedigree Page for Adam Brouwer. They have since been added. The Project has 24 descendants of Adam Brouwer, 23 have submitted pedigrees.