Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Friday, February 27, 2015

An Application of FTDNA's Big-Y Test to our Brewer DNA Project

Back in late 2013, Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) began offering a new Y-Chromosome DNA test called Big-Y. Over the past months Richard Brewer, Administrator of the Brewer DNA Project, has led a comparison test involving three descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I., utilizing the Big-Y test. Our initial question, the reason why this three-way comparison was first considered, was could we determine, from Big-Y test results, whether or not one of the three participants, a descendant of John Rose who closely matched descendants of Jan Brouwer on earlier Y-DNA tests based on STR matches, was in fact a descendant of Jan Brouwer (post 1600), or was he a descendant of some ancestor previous to Jan Brouwer (pre-1600). We also wished to discover whether or not Big-Y testing would enable us to determine when the Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) for the descendant of John Rose, and the two descendants of Jan Brouwer, lived.

The Big-Y test, executed by FTDNA, produced results that were then forwarded to YFull for additional analysis. Richard Brewer then took this analysis and further applied it to our specific questions. His conclusions are now available online in the form of two papers which can be accessed by the links that follow.

An Application of FTDNA's Big-Y Test to our Brewer DNA Project - Executive Summary (short form, 4 pages)

An Application of FTDNA's Big-Y Test to our Brewer DNA Project - Complete Report (34 pages)

For some background on the Big-Y test, see FTDNA's Learning Center page, published in January 2014. Also see Debbie Kennett's post of 9 November 2013 at Cruwys News.

The above two reports are also found on this website's page, "By Richard Brewer."

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Brewer in Wayne County, Tennessee, Inventories, Settlements and Wills, 1856-1868

The following links are for persons named BREWER as found online in the Family Search Database titled, "Tennessee Probate Court Books, 1795-1927," and listed under Wayne County. This post focuses on the book of records titled, "Inventories, Settlements, Wills, 1856-1868"

Wayne County, Tennessee was created in 1817 from parts of Hickman and Humphreys Counties. It is found in the western half of the state, between Lawrence County to the east, and Hardin County to the west. The southern boundary is the state line with Alabama (Lauderdale County). Two men named BREWER (Cornelius Brewer and George Brewer) are found as heads of households in Wayne County on the 1820 U.S. census. The 1830 U.S. census includes nine BREWERs (Henry, Henry Jr., Julius, Solomon, James, Cornelius, and three men named George Brewer). The 1840 census finds 24 households headed by BREWERs. The families are headed by 22 men (Jno. H., Andrew J., Henry [2x], King, Sampson, William [2x], David, George [2x], George W., Hiram, Howell, Jones, Willie [2x], Joseph, Solomon, William J., John, and Cornelius, and by two women, Julia Brewer, and Martha Brewer. A searchable index at for the 1850 U.S. census includes 151 persons named BREWER, and the 1860 census has 123 persons named BREWER.

Found in Inventories, Settlements, Wills, 1856-1868:

Index Page (image 4)

Sanderson Brewer, administrator of the estate of Enoch Brewer, settlement, page 32 (image 44)

Rial Brewer Guardian to Lucy Brewer, settlement, page 63 (image 59)

Lewis A. Brewer Guardian to Richard L. Brewer and Wm. H. H. Brewer, heirs of George W. Brewer, settlement, page 70 (image 63)

Henry J. Brewer, Inventory and account of sale, page 87 (image 71)

William R. Brewer, Letters of Administration on estate of Henry J. Brewer, page 100 (image 79)

A.J. Brewer guardian to Tennessee Hensley, Benjamin Hensley, minor heirs of Mary Hensley, settlement, pages 106-7 (image 82), also page 158 (image 108)

Louisa J. Brewer, widow of Henry J. Brewer, provisions from husband's estate, page 209 (image 133)

L. A. Brewer guardian to the minor heirs of G. W. Brewer, settlement, page 245 (image 150)

Rial Brewer, Inventory of estate, pages 292-93 (image 175)

George M. Brewer, Receipt to guardian received of Sanders Brewer, page 294 (image 176)

Sanders Brewer, Letters of Administration on estate of W. R. Brewer, page 295 (image 176)

James H. Brewer, Letters of Administration on estate of J. P. Broomly, page 296 (image 177)

L. A. Brewer, Inventory and sale of estate, page 309 (image 183)

W. R. Brewer, Inventory and sale of estate, signed by S. Brewer, page 371 (image 214),
also page 381 (image 219)

H. J. Brewer, administrator of the estate of Henry Brewer, settlement, page 449 (image 254)

Solomon Brewer, Inventory and sale of estate, sworn to by Lott Daniel, administrator, pages 459-60 (image 259 and 260)

A. J. Brewer, Guardian settlement, page 506 (image 284) [see above]

The Brewers of Wayne County, Tennessee are believed to be, and very likely are, descendants of George Brewer of Brunswick, Virginia. A handful of descendants of the Wayne County, Tennessee Brewers have participated in the Brewer DNA Project, and results of Y-Chromosome DNA tests closely match others who are, or who believe they are, descendants of George Brewer. However, the complete line of ancestry for many of these Brewers, back to George Brewer, has not been proved by traditional genealogical research. It is hoped that additional research, and advanced Y-DNA testing will eventually identify the complete ancestries for the descendants of the Brewers of Wayne County, Tennessee.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Corrections and Additions to the Family of Jacob Brouwer and Abigail Yerks

This correction and update of the family of Jacob Brouwer and Abigail Yerks comes via e-mail from John Brewer who is a descendant of the couple. John can be contacted by others researching descendants of Jacob Brouwer and Abigail Yerks, by e-mail.

Jacob Brouwer, a.k.a. Jacob Brower and Jacob Brewer, is a great-great-grandson of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island. His direct Brouwer ancestry, starting with his father, being Johannes4, Samuel3, Matthys2, Adam1 Brouwer. The current edition of the Brouwer Genealogy Database (BGD) has Jacob Brouwer with a family of eight children, none of which are followed further. John's research adds two additional children, provides a birth and baptism date for Jacob's daughter Sarah/Sally, adds spouses for daughter Jenny and son John (who is new) and a family for the son John.

The two new children are sons John and Abraham. Their records of birth and baptism are found in the published records of the Old Sleepy Hollow Dutch Reformed Church [First English Record Book of the Dutch Reformed Church in Sleepy Hollow: Formerly the Manor Church of Philipsburgh, Now the First Reformed Church of Tarrytown. Tarrytown, N.Y.: Tarrytown Historical Society, 1931]. John is found at page 27, no. 106, born 20 August 1786, baptized 18 April 1787 with sponsors John Yorks and Susanah Fashie, his wife (the child's maternal grandparents). Abraham is at page 43, no. 431, born 1 December 1794, baptized 8 December 1796 (no sponsors recorded). This son John is the second son of that name for Jacob and Abigail and so it is assumed that the older child named Johannes, who was born and baptized in 1774, died young. In addition, Jacob's daughter Sally, the only daughter named in his will (dated 31 March 1815), was recorded in the Old Sleepy Hollow records as Sarah, daughter of Jacob Brewer and wife, with the birth date 14 July 1798, and the rather late baptism date of 23 June 1805 (page 60, no. 782 of the above cited publication).

From the above additions we now know that Jacob Brouwer and Abigail Yerks had ten children.

John adds a spouse for the daughter Jenny, who is likely the child, unnamed in the record, born in 1784. He is Joseph Hammond. In John's words, "In the FRB (First Record Book, Sleepy Hollow) on page 150, entry 2505 says "__________, daughter of Jacob Brower and Abigal Yorks, was born Feb. 10, 1784, and was baptized Sept. 18, 17__."  Penciled underneath in the book - I actually have in my possession copy 169 from the original printing - someone has written "Jane - Aunt Jennie Hammond".  I also have in my possession a copy of the burial register for the Brewer Family cemetery plot in Sleepy Hollow New York where I will be buried some day.  The register lists "Jane Hammond, sister of John Brewer senior" as being in grave no. 7 of the plot.  Unfortunately, the date of either her death or internment is not listed in the register and her name is not on the plot monument so I do not have anything that corroborates her birth date in the FRB, if in fact, the entry is for Jenny Brouwer.  I also found a listing for the burial of Joseph Hammond in the book called the Old Dutch Burying Ground of Sleepy Hollow published in 1926 in entry 117a on page 42.  In that listing it states that he married Jenny Brewer, so I assume that's where the name Hammond came from."

The second son named John, born in 1786, was married to Mary Smack on 24 December 1810 at New York City's Trinity Church  ["Records of Trinity Church Parish, New York City," New York Genealogical and Biographical Record Vol.67-93 (1936-1962), 79:220]. This couple had six children buried with them in the same plot in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. From John, "My grandfather's notes state, 'Johannis or plain John Brouwer born in Van Cortlandt Manor Aug. 20th, 1786 came to New York where he married Mary Smack.'  This John Brewer is assumed to be the John Brewer listed in the burial register of the Brewer Family plot in grave 3.  His burial was recorded on 7 Dec 1877.  His birth and death years are listed on the monument as 1786 - 1877."

In addition, a memorial at Find A Grave, for the family of John Brewer, was added on May 3, 2010. The above couple, John Brewer and Mary Smack, can be found in the current edition of the BGD, however, John Brewer had not been placed in any known Brewer, or Brouwer family. The information brought to my attention by John leaves me with no doubt that he is the son of Jacob Brouwer and Abigail Yerks who was born in 1786.

Thanks again to John Brewer for the above corrections and additions to the family of Jacob Brouwer.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Brewer Probate Files in Madison County, Tennessee

The following files for persons named BREWER are found in the Probate Court Files in Madison County, Tennessee. The links below are to digital images found at Family Search, Tennessee Image Only Historical Records. [You must sign in to Family Search to view the records that follow. There is no charge].

Found in "Tennessee, Probate Court Files," under Madison County:

Name - Year - File No. - Image no.- Brief description
James William Brewer - 1846 - No. 182 - 199. Minor over age 14 and under age 21. Oliver H. Willis appointed guardian. John J. Brewer and William White, securities. The order is recognized in the September 1846 term of the court in Lawrence Co., Alabama.

Winifred Brewer - 1844 - No. 183 - 204. Deposition of Absolom Deberry, assigns of John and Benjamin Brewer, heirs and "distributus" of Winifred Brewer, deceased, who received from Elizabeth Rogers, "Administratrix De-bonus-non," of Winifred Brewer, deceased. Settlement of the account of "Mrs. Elizabeth Rogers, administratrix De-bonus-non, of Winifred Brewer, deceased, late of the State of Georgia. Amount due upon settlement with James H. Rogers, dec'd, former administrator of said Winifred Brewer. Shares of John and Benjamin Brewer ($287.24). Share of Eliz Rogers administratrix of Jas. H. Rogers, dec'd ($287.23). Final settlement with Elizabeth Rogers (etc.) - paid J. J. Brewer atty in fact for Susanna Brewer ($143.60); paid Absolom Deberry ($50); allowed administratrix ($20), paid clerks for recording ($2); paid clerks for report & settlement ($2.75). Receipt of Absolom Deberry (Jan 1847) witnessed by Oliver H. Willis, guardian for "Wm Brewer a minor."

Found in "Tennessee, Probate Court Books," under Madison County, and then Wills, 1822-1835: (Note: this is a book of typed copies of the wills and not the originals)

Will of Benjamin Brewer of Madison Co., Tennessee, dated 24 June 1833, pages 283-284, images 358-359. First: Just debts to be paid. Second: to my granddaughters Rebecca Rogers children (not named) one fifth of estate, and remainder to Benjamin Brewer, Winford (sic) Brewer, John Brewer and William Brewer heirs of my son Buckner Brewer. Third: Estate to be kept together until grandson Benjamin Brewer comes to age of 21. Appoints Benjamin Brewer and James F. Roberson as executors. Witnesses: Elisha Dismukes, James McCauley. Proved November 1833 by James McCauley. Inventory and sale of property is found at page 293, image 368.

Administrator's settlement of the Estate of Benjamin Brewer, Wills, 1839-1843, Vol. 3, p. 87 (image 73). Account of Absalom Rogers, Administrator of the estate of Benjamin Brewer. Includes note on Benjamin Bridges. "Balance due on note given by B. Brewer to Benj. Brewer and assigned by said Benj. Brewer to Martha R Rebecca Brewer now the wife of A. Rogers including int and all."

The Benjamin Brewer of Madison Co., Tennessee (will above) is mentioned by Foy E. Varner, Jr. in Brewer Families of Southeast America (2003) at page 442. He cites a 2003 post by Carol Brewer to who believes that this Benjamin Brewer is  Benjamin3 Brewer (Nicholas2, George1) who is found in Greensville Co., Virginia on the 1810 U.S. census.

Brewers on the 1810 U.S. census in Greensville Co., VA
 From some cursory research it appears that this link is likely. Benjamin was found on the 1830 census in Chatham Co., North Carolina, and is not found on that same census in Madison Co., Tennessee where his will was written and proved. Buckner Brewer would then be his son. Buckner married Susanna Robinson in Greensville Co., Virginia in either 1803 or 1808 (depending on which record is consulted) and their children, as named by Benjamin, would be Winifred, Benjamin, William and John. Benjamin's granddaughter, Rebecca (a.k.a. Martha R.) Brewer was married three times, first to Absolam Rogers who died in 1840 or 1841, second to Gideon Kirksey in July 1841 in Madison Co., Tennessee, and third, in 1852 at Lawrence Co., Alabama, to John McMichael. Rebecca's father, apparently a son of Benjamin, has not been identified. The James Willliam Brewer, mentioned in the first record above, is somehow related to this family, but exactly how is not yet clear. It may be that he is the grandson called William Brewer, in Benjamin's will, but that is not certain. James William Brewer can be found in Lawrence Co., Alabama in the household of John J. Brewer (apparently the son of Buckner), and in 1860 he is in Freestone Co., Texas where he appears to have remained for the remainder of his life, dying there in 1892. His household in 1860, includes Susanna Brewer, age 74, born in Virginia. She is apparently the Susanna Robinson who had married Buckner Brewer. Additional info and sources regarding this family will be found online with the next update of the Brewer-Lanier Database.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Brewer Wills in Orange County, North Carolina

Family Search has a browse-able database titled "North Carolina, Probate Records, 1735-1970." The database contains digital images of the filmed probate records from the various North Carolina county court houses. They have not been indexed by Family Search and therefore is no convenient search engine is available. The records are arranged by county and within each county page there are various probate books to search through. Some of the probate books have indexes, others do not. Here is a direct link for the Orange County page.

The Orange County Will Books do have indexes, however, they are somewhat tedious to use. They are arranged alphabetically by the testators first letter of last name, and then for the most part by date, or the order in which they appear in the will books. The Will Book volume and page number, along with the names of others mentioned in the will are recorded in the index along with the name of the testator. Once a particular will is found in the index you then have to go to the specific book and find your way through the images (which do not correspond to the page numbers). This too can be tedious. I have located the various wills belonging to persons named BREWER and have provided direct links to the first page of the wills as found online at Family Search.

Testator, Date of Will, Will Book:Pages (Images at Family search)

Katy Brewer, 10 July 1800, D:30 (image 16)

Sackfield Brewer, 2 June 1810, D:384-386 (images 206-207)

Patsey (Martha) Brewer, 22 May 1822, E:27-28 (images 15-16)

Elizabeth Brewer, 5 September 1827, E:220 (image 112)

William Brewer, 2 April 1826, E:303-305 (images 153-154)

Thomas Brewer, 5 May 1838, F:224-226 (images 135-136)

Biddy Brewer, 3 November 1857, G:191 (image 108)

William Brewer, 24 April 1875, H:128-129 (image 86)

Marvin T. Broyhill provided the barest of abstracts for these wills in his Brewer Families of Colonial Virginia, 1626-1776, Supporting Documentation Part II (1996), at pages 73 to 75, however, he failed to provide a source or location for the original documents.

The above wills are found in the Will Books whose various volumes are identified by letters of the alphabet. If I'm not mistaken, I believe these are the wills found at the court houses in each county. I also have the impression that they were copied into the will books by a clerk, probably at some later date. There is another set of volumes, found on the same page at Family Search, that are identified by numbers. These volumes, which I believe are all found at the state capitol of Raleigh, appear to contain the original wills. For example, here is the will of Katy Brewer, dated 10 July 1800, as found in Will Book Vol. 1, and online as image 75. Here again is the link to the version found in the Orange Co., Will Book, Vol. D. Compare the two. You will note that the handwriting in volume D (filmed at Hillsborough) does not vary from will to will, while the handwriting in the wills from volume 1 (filmed at Raleigh) varies from will to will. There are also no page numbers in the Raleigh versions, but instead it appears that each will is in a separate file. I would conclude that the original wills are found in the books housed at Raleigh, while those that are found in Orange County, at Hillsborough, are copies. Since we are all aware that errors can creep in whenever a document is copied, I'm sure the more thorough genealogists out there will make the effort to locate the original copies.

As an aside, note that the will that follows that of Katy Brewer, in the Raleigh Vol. 1, is that of a Lewis Brower, dated "twentieth day of fourth month in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and one" (image 77). I do not know who he is, and I do not believe that Broyhill included him, or this will, in his work mentioned above (although he did make mention of the Browers found in Randolph County, NC). Judging from his use of the phrase "fourth month" (rather than April), I would suggest that Lewis Brower may have been a Quaker.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

A New Brewer-Lanier Pedigree Page

We have published a new Brewer/Lanier Pedigree page for use in conjunction with the Brewer DNA Project's sub-group labeled "Lanier-Brewer." This new page replaces the old page found at the website titled "Welcome to the FTDNA Project Page for George Brewer/Sarah Lanier Descendants." So that it is clear, we no longer recognize this page at the website. The official, and to the best of our ability, correct pedigrees are now found at Brewer/Lanier Pedigrees.

Brewer DNA Project Pedigrees is the main page for this website. Here you will find links to pedigrees for participants arranged by group as determined by the participant's Y-Chromosome DNA results.

The Y-DNA Results Chart is found at the website hosted by Family Tree DNA.

We strongly suggest that all participants in the Brewer DNA Project, especially those in the Brewer/Lanier Group, upgrade their tests to at least the 67 marker level, and preferably to the 111 marker level. We are finding that test results reported at the 37 marker level or less (25 and 12), are insufficient for identifying markers that may point to a specific line of ancestry. In other words, we need more results at the higher levels in order to try and identify specific mutations that could identify certain descendants, and specific lines of descent from the progenitor, George Brewer.

We would welcome corrections and updates to the pedigrees as currently published, and would of course welcome pedigrees from those who have already tested but have not yet submitted a pedigree. We presently have seventeen Brewer/Lanier participants who have not submitted a pedigree. For some guidance on compiling a pedigree please see the post of December 26, 2014.

We also welcome new members to the project. For specifics on joining please see the main page at the Brewer DNA Project website.