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About us

 NEWS Highlights

Dear Brewer/Brouwer Project Members:

Your administrators ask all members to observe the following policies and procedures.  Thank you for your cooperation.

We strongly encourage all members to designate a beneficiary for their accounts, which will give a trusted survivor control over your kit sample in the event of your own death.  Frequently family members can carry on our work for future generations, but your sample may not be subject to future testing or use as technology continues to improve, unless you designate an account beneficiary.

 To make or update your designation, please go to your account page.  Open account settings in the drop down menu in the upper right corner of the account page, then click on the box for "beneficiary designation," and enter the appropriate information.  If you need help, let us know.  Our goal is to facilitate the preservation of all samples in accordance with the preferences of our members.

While maximum success depends upon pairing Y-DNA matches with pedigrees and ancestor information, each member of the project is an individual, and each member has their own level of interest, curiosity, commitment and time that they choose to spend on collaborating with others in the project.  Therefore, the administrators ask, and expect, all to respect the right of each fellow member to choose their own level of participation.  This is in line with FTDNA's general policies.  All members should review and update their privacy settings.  To do so please go to your account page, and click on "privacy settings."  Please check each of the setting boxes to make sure that your information is current and accurate.  In your "personal profile" and "genealogy" boxes, please authorize the maximum amount of data sharing that you are comfortable with as to what information appears in your pedigrees and who can see that information, including non-matches.

No member will be permitted to publish the identity and data of another member without that member's prior approval.  And it goes without saying that no member should attempt to change or ask the administrators to change the security and privacy setting for any other member.

 Here is a link to FTDNA's privacy policy.

Please let us know if you have any questions.  Thanks!

To get the most out of your membership in the Brewer Project, we encourage you to share information about your family trees with other members.  Member pedigrees appear in the family tree icons of a member's matches on their account pages.  If you open your YDNA matches page from your own account home page, you will see your matches.  If you click on the "tree" icon for a matching member, you will see that he/she has posted his tree, which should be available for your inspection.   For communication purposes, you should have the name and current e-mail addresses – if provided by the member -- for each of your matches on your matches page (the envelope icon), which allows you to create your own matches email group for purposes of information exchange within that cohort.  You can change the sorts to view similar match information for folks who have tested at different marker levels (i.e., 37, 67, 111, etc), as well as screen results with the Brewer or Brouwer surname.

In addition, any member who desires to do so is encouraged to share their direct Brewer lineage on the Activity Feed.  Members who have placed their own trees online are encouraged to share links with others in the group by posting the link to the Activity Feed.


For those who would like to see an upgrade to another member's account, and are willing to pay for it - please contact the fellow member directly and privately (not through the Activity Feed).  If the member has their privacy settings set to a high level that might prevent direct contact, respect that, and instead ask an Administrator to contact the member, on your behalf, with your offer.  If there is no reply, or a negative reply, then please accept that fact and move on.  Do not deposit money into the General Fund until an offer is agreed to.  If the member approves the upgrade, please let Hank Graham know the details of the plan.  Hank will then contact FTDNA with written or verbal approval from the member for an order on their behalf — including payment details.  The donor then transfers money into the Brewer/Brouwer Project General Fund and Hank will pay FTDNA from that fund.  This process typically will take up to a week or so to complete.  

FTDNA’s New Test: “The Big Y” 

At the project administrators' conference in Houston, Texas, 9 November 2013, Family Tree DNA announced a new product. They are calling it the BIG Y. According to Family Tree DNA:

The BIG Y product is a direct paternal lineage test. We have designed it to explore deep ancestral links on our common paternal tree. It tests both thousands of known branch markers and millions of places where there may be new branch markers. We intend it for expert users with an interest in advancing science.

It may also be of great interest to genealogy researchers of a specific lineage. It is not however a test for matching you to one or more men with the same surname in the way of our Y-DNA37 and other tests.

The Product cost is $595 and is: 

  • For men only.
  • Most comprehensive Y-DNA test available.
  • Provides your deep ancestral origins.
  • Uncovers new branches (SNPs) on the paternal tree.
  • Find recent branches (SNPs) unique to your direct paternal line, your family, or you.
  • 10 million base-pair coverage.
  • Nearly 25,000 known SNPs tested.
  • We store your DNA for free, so that you can upgrade the tests in the future.
  • NO subscription fee.

What does that mean for us? Estimating that it will find SNP mutations every 1 to 4 generations, then there is the chance to correctly map the many branches of our direct paternal lineage through recent generations, historic events, and deep ancestry. The test price is steep but not as expensive as the Walk Through the Y which it replaces, but to have many results in one place will prove priceless. It will be most effective where people from the same sectors, groups or clades order the Big Y so that results can be compared for shared SNPs and family or private SNPs. 

Project members wanting to know if they should order this new test, how it compares to Family Tree DNA's other products and if it would benefit them and why, we recommend the discussion by Roberta Estes who has tried to combine most of these questions and answer them in this article.

You can find additional answers to questions about BIG Y in the Family Tree DNA Frequently Asked Questions section here.

To order Big Y or any Special Offers, log into your Family Tree DNA kit or family member's kit, select Order An Upgrade, then from the new page, select Special Offers.


We continue to see increased
Project Membership

As new members join the project the chances of finding a match increases and each new member adds to our ability to define family ancestral groups. With the greater participation much more information regarding the various Brewer family ancestors is available to assist family genealogical researchers. Many earlier members previously identified as “unassigned” have now found genetic matches and have been assigned to their own ancestral family groups. 

With this data we have been able to significantly expand in scope the pedigrees of two early 17th century immigrant settlers of New Netherland, Adam Brouwer Berckhoven and Jan Brouwer, to include information on their first four to five generation lines of descent. New information, both genetic and genealogical continues to be unearthed. See the "RESULTS" page for more detail.

  • PEDIGREE information for the above groups as well as seven additional smaller groups plus "Unassigned" members can be found on the "RESULTS" page under the "About This Group" pull down menu at the top left of this page.
  • To see additional examples of how your DNA signature may help you trace your own family ancestry, you are invited, and encouraged, to view the web pages at ADAM BROUWER SITE and Descendants of JAN BROUWER. Examples of what can be learned about your own deep time genetic history (through your haplogroup) are provided along with introductions to the terms used in genetic genealogy and how to understand and interpret your own genetic signature (Haplotype). The web sites hosting these patriarch’s pedigrees provide explicit examples of the utility of DNA testing for identifying family groups, matching genetic signatures, identifying and resolving incorrect lineages, as well as testing speculative conjectures. With DNA as an adjunct to standard paper documentation methods, genealogy has become an empirical science. 
  • Site for Researchers of the Brewer/Brouwer/Brower surname. Established by Chris Chester, this Brouwer Genealogy Blog Site provides a broad source of information and a gateway to discovering and tracking the descendants of the original New Netherland Brouwer progenitors, namely Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Jan (or Johannes) Brouwer of Flatlands and Willem Brouwer of Beverwijck (Albany). All three have descendants living today with the surnames Brower or Brewer. You can view the site at: Brouwer Genealogy
  • See also Brouwer Genealogy Database an associated resource provided by Chris Chester that is indispensable in helping researches discover their correct Brouwer, Brower or Brewer ancestry. Descendants are encouraged to use this database in conjunction with their participation in the Brewer DNA Project. The objective is to gather an accurate account of all lines of descent from the original Brouwer family progenitors. 

  • mtDNA Effective 11/17/2013 The mtDNA page option has been removed from this website because it does not contribute to the goals of the surname project and can not be adequately monitored by the administrators. Those interested in their mtDNA are best served by joining the appropriate mtDNA Project at FTDNA and/or by pursuing their matches through their own personal "MyFTDNA" page.