Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A New Y-DNA Tree

The Genographic Project, in partnership with Family Tree DNA, has just released a new Y-DNA Tree. Here is a news announcement regarding the new Y-DNA Tree posted to the Genographic Project website yesterday, April 25th.

Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) made the announcement with an e-mail to its customers. If you have taken a Y-DNA test with Family Tree in the past, and have a current account with FTDNA then you should have received this e-mail. Those who have taken the Y-DNA test can view their placement on the new Y-DNA Tree by logging into their account, selecting the Y-DNA tab, and then selecting the "Haplotree and SNPs" option. You will then be taken to a new page that has significantly more detail then the old Haplotree and SNPs page. You may also see that the letter-numeric designation (used to label SNPs) that is used to identify your haplogroup (or predicted haplogroup) has changed. For example, those who are genetic descendants of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I., were, up until April 25th, designated as belonging to haplogroup E-M35.1. You will now see that you are categorized as belonging to haplogroup E-L117. Genetic descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, on the other hand, are still categorized as belonging to haplogroup I-M223, or I-P78, depending on the level of SNP testing that each of you have done (I-P78 is a sub-group of I-M223).

What does this change in designation mean for genetic descendants of Adam Brouwer? In the context of using Y-DNA testing (genetic genealogy) as an aid in determining whether or not you are a descendant of Adam Brouwer, and in determining which other Adam Brouwer descendants you are more closely related to, it means nothing. Think of it along the lines of "a rose by any other name is still a rose." All that has changed here is the name. Your relationship to others in the Adam Brouwer Group has not been changed.

I am not an expert, and I certainly was not among those making the decisions on how to reorganize and relabel the Y-DNA tree, but it appears to me, that what happened with regards to the labeling of haplogroup E-M35, is that a new SNP was found and was given the designation E-L117. The two, E-M35 and E-L117, are on the same "level" so to speak. In other words, E-L117 is not a sub-group of E-M35. They are different SNPs but neither appears to be further along the Y-DNA Tree than the other. But now, E-L117 has been chosen as the SNP to identify this haplogroup. 

What has changed is that many more SNPs have been identified by the Genographic Project. In their news release they state that the number of branches in the Y-DNA Tree has grown from 667 to 1200. When you look at your new Haplotree and SNP page, you will see that "downstream" of your own haplogroup there are many new SNPs that have been identified and tests are available for them. You will also notice that when you go to your Haplotree and SNP page, FTDNA will recommend which SNP or SNPs you might test for in order to refine your haplogroup. For those in the Adam Brouwer group they are recommending a test for the SNPs labeled E-M78 and E-L142. The cost for the two tests is normally $78, but FTDNA is running a sale and the current sale price is $62.40 for the two (I'm not certain as to how long this sale will last). While testing for either, or both, of these two SNPs will refine your place on the Y-DNA Tree, there is no guarantee that the tests would shed any new light on genetic relationships within the Adam Brouwer Group. Perhaps if every member in the Group took the tests, it might, but even then it may be that all of the members will have the same result. It may be that any distinguishing SNP, within the Adam Brouwer Group, is further down the line. In other words, even further testing would be needed.

As a side note, FTDNA is also having a sale on the basic Y-DNA 37 marker test for new members. The sale price is $135.20, compared to the regular price of $169. If you are a male descendant of one of the many Brouwer, Brower, Brewer and Bruer families found worldwide, and have not yet included genetic genealogy in your family history research, now might be an advantageous time to join. Should you chose to join, please do so by going to the Brewer DNA Project webpage and selecting the Join Request tab to order your kit.

Update as of 4:30pm: Before ordering any new single SNP tests, please read the comment by Richard Brewer, Administrator of the Brewer DNA Project, below (just click on "comment"). And here is a link to the report mentioned by Richard Brewer in the comment, "The new 2014 Y-DNA haplotree has arrived."

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.

PDF version of this post

Monday, April 14, 2014

Brewere Family Deed

File no. 49 from Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, Part II, is a deed involving the Bruere (recorded as Brewere) Family of Upper Freehold.

No. 49, Brewere Deed

In this deed dated 2 April 1808, Sarah Brewere, the widow of James Brewere, who died on 19 April 1807, quitclaims real estate to John H. Brewere, Price Brewere, James Brewere, Richard Brewere, Jonathan Brewere,and their heirs. The grantees in this deed were all sons of James and Sarah Bruere.

It had been mentioned previously that Part II of the Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Deeds had been grouped, by William B. Bogardus, as those that most likely referred to descendants of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island. This file is one case in which that is not correct. James Bruere is not a descendant of Adam Brouwer. He is a son of Peter Bruere who came to America, first arriving at New York City, in 1709. Peter Bruere settled at Upper Freehold in Monmouth County where he became a very large land owner. The spelling of the family name is generally accepted as BRUERE, however, records from the colonial period often spell the name differently. In this example it is spelled, BREWERE, but I have also seen it as BREWER and BRUER.

James Bruere was born 9 February 1751 in Monmouth County, New Jersey. He is the only known son of Peter Bruere, whose wife was Ellinor Price, a daughter of David Price. James Bruere's wife was Sarah Horsefell, and she was a daughter of John Horsefell and Ruth Rogers. James and Sarah Bruere had eight children, six sons and two daughters. Descendants are known for four of the sons, John Horsful Bruere, Peter Bruere, Price Bruere and Jonathan Bruere. The daughters, Mary and Ruth were also married. Mary was married to Joseph Holmes, while Ruth married Senica Sennickson. Both left descendants.

Peter Bruere, the father of James, was a son of Jacques Bruyere and Louise Doussot. Research on the first generation of this family was conducted and published by Mary Emma Burt and Robert Eugene Burt in Jacque Bruyere, a French Huguenot and Descendants (Baltimore: Gateway Press, 1997). A digital version can be viewed online at the FamilySearch website. According to the Burts, Peter Bruere was born on 10 August 1697 at Greifenthal, then in the German Palatinate, which is now a center in Lahn-Dill-Kries in Hesse, Germany (a Kries is a district, while Hesse is a present day German state). He was baptized at the Reformed Church of Daubhausen.

Peter's sisters, Jeanne and Susanne, and his brother Jacque, are recorded in New York City on a list of Palatines in the city in 1710/11*. A birth and baptism records for another son of Jacque Bruyere, named Jean, was also found at Daubhausen by the Burts, however, there is no evidence that Jean made the trip to America. It is suggested by the Burts that Jacque and Louise Bruyere either died during the voyage to America or shortly after arriving. The Burts state that Peter's sister, Susanne was married to William Baker, Sr., while no marriage has been found for Jeanne. There is also no further record found for Peter's brother, Jacque Bruyere, although if he remained in the New York City area (which would include Westchester Co., Long Island and northern New Jersey) his name could have been anglicized as James Brewer, or even dutchified as Jacob Brouwer. Given the fact that there are still numerous unplaced Brouwers, Browers, and Brewers from the colonial period in the greater New York City area, it may be that Peter's brother, Jacque Bruyere, survived into adulthood and left descendants.

To date, no known descendant of Peter Bruere has joined the Brewer DNA Project. It would be a valuable addition to future research regarding this family, and for Brouwer, Brower and Brewer research in general, if we could get a direct male descendant (or two) of Peter Bruere to join the Project and take a Y-DNA test. A Y-DNA genetic signature for the Bruere family would be a great help to current and future researchers.

A chart of some descendants of Peter Bruere, as well as additional info and sources, can be found on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website.

*This list can be found in, O'Callaghan, Edmund Bailey. Lists of Inhabitants of Colonial New York, Excerpted from The Documentary History of the State of New York (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1979, 1989, 1999), pages 184-185. They are recorded as Jeane Bruiere, orph(an), age 18; Jacque, age 15; Susannah, age 6.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Two Documents Related to the David Brewer Family

I'm using this post to list two files from Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, Part II. They are file nos. 48 and 50, and relate to the family of David Brewer and Ann Morris. Though out of sequence, file no. 49 will follow in the next post.

File no. 48 is a deed dated 20 June 1804, in which David Brewer and his wife Ann, conveyed a lot of land and meadow in Howell Township to John Brewer and Samuel Hulet.

File No. 48, David Brewer to John Brewer

David Brewer and his wife Ann Morris have been covered in numerous past posts involving this collection of court documents from Monmouth County. The John Brewer to who they are conveying this land is most likely David's brother. John Brewer was born about 1761 and died either in late December 1811 or early January 1812. John Brewer's wife was Miriam Allen, and she was a distant cousin of John Brewer's mother, Sarah Allen. Among the children of John and Miriam is a daughter Elizabeth who married Samuel Hulett on 14 May 1808. Although David Brewer also had a son named John Brewer, it seems likely here that he is selling the lot of land to his brother and his brother's future son-in-law. David Brewer wrote his will only two months after this sale and was deceased by September 19th of 1804. The deed is found in Monmouth County Deeds, Book O, pages 928-930.

File no. 50 is a petition filed by Richard M. Freeman. It is found in Monmouth County Orphans Court, Book G, page 69.

File No. 50, Petition of Richard M. Freeman

This petition was filed during the April 1825 session of the Monmouth County Orphan Court. Richard M. Freeman's petition begins at the bottom of the first page in the file. It is short. He is asking to be appointed guardian of David Brewer, Morris Freeman Brewer and Robert Brewer, "infant" children of Isaac Brewer, deceased. In the vernacular of that day, an "infant" was a legal term for a child under the age of 14.

The deceased Isaac Brewer was a son of the above mentioned David Brewer and Ann Morris. He had died in 1816. His wife was named Margaret, but nothing else of her identity has yet to be found. Their three sons, David, Morris Freeman, and Robert, are identified by this short petition. Records of their births or baptisms have not been found, and so I estimate that the sons David and Morris Freeman were likely born between 1810 and 1816. Robert D. Brewer is found on the 1850 census at Brick in Ocean County, New Jersey, and his age is given as 32. He may well have been born posthumously in early 1817 or late 1816. While some descendants of Robert D. Brewer have been researched, the same cannot be said of his brothers. David is mentioned in the April 1845 division of the estate of his grandfather, David Brewer (Brower), but Morris Freeman is not mentioned. Morris Freeman Brewer may have died previous to April 1845.

More details and source citations for those mentioned above can be found on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Petition of Elazerus Brewer

File no. 47 from Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, Part II, is a petition from Elazerus Brewer.

No. 47, Petition of Elazerus Brewer

In this petition which is dated 10 January 1810, Elazerus finds himself in the Monmouth County "Goal" (jail) because of unpaid debts. Elazerus claims that he does not have the funds to pay his debts but is willing to appropriate property he owns to satisfy the debtors. A previous petition dated three years earlier, 30 April 1807, included an inventory of property.

Elazerus Brewer has been covered in earlier posts, and has mentioned previously, descendants claimed that he died in 1820, in Ontario, Canada. There is other evidence to suggest that he went there, and he may well have gone to Canada because of his financial troubles in Monmouth County.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Jacob Brewer Deed, East Jersey Land Records

File no. 46 from Abstracts of Monmouth County Court Papers, Part II, is not a copy of any original document. It is simply a piece of correspondence that was received by William B. Bogardus. I have included it because it does provide a source for the location of the original should anyone wish to view it. It also provides the opportunity to mention a valuable set of books for researching in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

No. 46 East Jersey Land Records: Jacob Brewer

The author of this letter cites page 439 of East Jersey Land Records, Book A-3, for a deed dated 25 April 1755, in which Jacob Brewer of Swan in Monmouth County, purchased land from Joseph Kinnan and his wife, Ruth, of Somerset County. The land was located in Shrewsbury. It appears that part of this land was later sold by Jacob Croxson to Joel Lippincott in 1808, and in that deed, Jacob Croxson mentions his grandfather, Jacob Brewer (see the previous post).

I am not certain whether the author of the letter viewed the original deed itself, or if he/she is referring to a published abstract of the deed.

Richard S. Hutchinson has authored a series of books abstracting East Jersey Land Records. They are published by Colonial Roots and are available through They are also available at Colonial Roots' own website (and possibly other retailers although I have not checked for them). East Jersey was a province in British colonial America from 1674 until 1702. It consisted of the land area that had previously been claimed by the Dutch colony of New Netherland, and encompassed the counties of Bergen, Essex, Middlesex and Monmouth. After 1702 it was combined with the Province of West Jersey to form the Province of New Jersey. The land records from the colonial period are located at the New Jersey State Library in Trenton. The Genealogical Society of Utah has filmed the records and the microfilm is available through the Family History Library. To date, the FHL has not placed digital images of the film online, and until they do so, locating a specific deed can be a time consuming task. The books of abstracts of these deed records created by Richard S. Hutchinson are a terrific aid for locating deeds and for getting a preview of just who and what is mentioned in them before one spends the time and effort required to view the original. The various volumes cover a stated range of years, however, many of the transactions were actually conducted in earlier years. For example, this deed was drawn up in 1755, but is found in East Jersey Deeds vol. A3 which covers the years 1763 to 1766 (see FHL film #460037). Although I have not viewed it myself, I would guess that the abstract of this deed would be found in Richard S. Hutchinson's East New Jersey Land Records, 1763-1766.