Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Friday, June 19, 2015

Reviewing the Unplaced Genetic Descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I.

I have been researching Jan Brouwer, of Flatlands, L. I., and his descendants now for roughly ten years. In addition the Brewer DNA Project has been in existence for about the same period of time. Of the Project's total of 239 members, thirty (12.5%) are included in the "Jan Brouwer/Hermans Group". Among the members there are a handful who can reliably trace their BREWER/BROUWER ancestry completely back to Jan Brouwer. However, there are many others who cannot. After ten years, I felt that this was a good time to consolidate what is known about the earliest generations of the descendants of Jan Brouwer (i.e. his sons and grandsons) and match that with what is known about all of his unplaced genetic descendants. The result is a twenty-three page document that I felt was best made available by placing it as a PDF online.

The document is free to download, in fact I recommend that those interested do just that. There are numerous links embedded in the document and it is easier to access them from the downloaded PDF. Using this method a new window will open when a link is selected. I also realize that large numbers of footnotes can be distracting and can hamper the reading experience, so I have chosen to try and limit the number and present them as endnotes. Source citations for the genealogical statements made can be found on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website, and are not included in the endnotes. The endnotes that are included are important to the document and I suggest that the reader not ignore them. 

Presently, the document is a bit out of sync with the current edition of the Brouwer Genealogy Database which was last updated on May 16, 2014*. In the thirteen months since the last update we have had a number of new participants taking Y-Chromosome DNA tests with the Project, and the data from their tests, and the accompanying lineages are not found in the May 16, 2014 edition. The Brouwer Genealogy Database will be updated within the next week or so, and once it is, this document will be in line with what is found in the database.

My intention with this document is to provide suggestions on the placement of all of the unplaced genetic descendants of Jan Brouwer among is known descendants. This is done based upon the best, known, genealogical evidence available at the time of the writing (June 2015) in conjunction with the data obtained from Y-DNA testing of Jan Brouwer's descendants. As of now, various placements can be described as "most probable", "probable", "possible", and so on, and in general they range in degree from what I would call "tentative" to "speculative." None of them have been fully proved to the extent that meets modern day genealogical research standards. Hopefully the day will come when they can be proved, but that, I leave to others. I am not a descendant of Jan Brouwer. And I have limited time available for continuing research on his descendants. Please use the document as a source of suggestions and possibilities, and as a guide for locations on where to look for confirming evidence and documentation. That is how this document can best be used. And if you do make a new find, or prove a link, PLEASE share it with others in an open and easily accessible way.

As mentioned, you are free and encouraged to download and save the document to your own computer or device for your own use. You are also free to share it with others. However, if you do use it for any work of your own, whether that be publishing your own genealogical work in whatever format, or adding documents and files to one of the numerous online "Family Tree" accounts (like or you are expected to give proper attribution to me, the author. That can be as simple as a link to this blog post.

Good luck with your continued research into the descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I.

Chris Chester
June 19, 2015

Link for a PDF of this Post

*The Brouwer Genealogy Database has now been updated (June 22, 2015).

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