• 436 members

About us


With the number of members exceeding 200, we observe three major groups and seven smaller groups of matching signatures and matching haplogroups. We have one set of "Unassigned" participants who do not yet connect together or with the others. Family Pedigree information for the members of each of the groups is provided at the bottom of this summary.

        (1)  Two of the groups are believed to represent descendants of two unrelated early 17th century Dutch immigrants to New Amsterdam (New York). Their genealogical paper trail identifies the separate family patriarchs as Adam Brouwer Berkhoven (~1620-1693) and Johannes Brouwer of Flatlands (~1628-1702). Each family has been able to determine their ancestral haplotype (the genetic signature of the earliest known ancestor) and haplogroup. These results already show how effective DNA testing can be. DNA evidence has revealed that although the two immigrant ancestors have the same surname, and lived in the same region at the same time, they are unrelated and have not had a common ancestor in thousands of years -- contrary to erroneous beliefs passed down in genealogical pedigrees for over 200 years. 

For more information see the article published in the New York Genealogy and Biographical record Vol 138, No.4, (2007) “DNA Analysis: Adam Brouwer Berckhoven, Elias Brouwer of New Jersey, and John Brewer of Ohio.” and a Compiled Genealogy for “Jan Brouwer of Flatlands and Descendants.”  More detailed results for these families are available on the updated web pages at the  ADAM BROUWER SITE and  Descendants of JAN BROUWER 

        NOTE: Sharing of research and family information among the matched members has helped some individuals extend their pedigree three or more generations and clear up mistaken connections, while others have discovered connections they were previously unaware of. DNA testing has proved a fruitful genealogical tool for all of us. You may contact and share information with participants in this project by joining the project and taking the Y- DNA test yourself.

        (2) Two additional groups, Brewer/Lanier and Ambrose Brewer  appear to represent descendants of early 18th century Brewer immigrants, generally of English descent, to southeast America, i.e the southern colonies of Virginia and North Carolina. They both claimed circumstantial evidence of a connection with a George and Sarah Lanier Brewer. However, the DNA evidence showed the two lines to be unrelated. For thirty years or more, family researchers have been stymied in their efforts to validate their purported descent from one of the nine sons of George Brewer mentioned in his will.

Now for the first time the Brewer/Lanier subgroup has three descendants of George Brewer who have been able to not only establish their genealogical paper trail back to the founder but, as a result of BIG Y DNA tests, validate that paper trail. This breakthrough for the Brewer/Lanier family group, is a continuation of our Brewer DNA project efforts to resolve genealogical problems by making use of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology introduced by FTDNA in 2013 called “BIG Y” providing massive sequencing of the Y-Chromosome at reasonable cost.

The Ambrose Brewer family group, based on matching Y-DNA results and (unverified) pedigrees, are believed to be descended from Ambrose Brewer (1753-1855), possibly of Brunswick Co., VA. who is considered a likely familial, but not genetic, descendant of George Brewer or one of his sons. Traditional genealogical research for documentary evidence is still the key here, supported by the indisputable evidence of close genetic relationship among the Ambrose Brewer descendants.

Also of interest is a web site by James H. Brewer posted here  providing data on the early descendants of George Brewer and Sarah Lanier who migrated from North Carolina to Wayne and Lawrence Counties in Tennessee. 

        (3) The Unassigned group seems, so far, to represent various independent families arriving in later waves of immigration from a variety of locations. It is anticipated that as participants are added, these “unassigned” members will find matching signatures placing them within additional separate ancestral branches. 

        (4) All members have obtained insight into their own “Deep” ancestry, prehistoric origins and geographic migrations, by learning their Haplogroup assignment. Our Brewer surname members represent Haplogroups I1, I2b1, E-V13 (formerly E3b), R1b, and J2, and so we know those distinct male lines have had no common ancestors for many hundreds of generations. 

 FAMILY PEDIGREE INFORMATION: Keyed to Kit Numbers found on the Y-Results page

NOTICE: The Brewer Surname Project uses Y-DNA test results to identify family groups of genetically related living male participants through their matching haplotypes (genetic signatures). These signatures are provided by Kit number and color code genetically related family groups under the tab Y-RESULTS. DNA testing can show a definite relationship exists between two or more males and that they share a common ancestor within genealogical time spans, but not with whom or when.  Documented genealogical pedigrees add the missing information.  The two sets of data (paper trail and DNA results) compliment and support one another.  

On January 13, 2014, we established a web site BREWER DNA PROJECT PEDIGREES listing the pedigrees submitted to the project by the descendants of the family groups listed below. Clicking on any of the highlighted names takes you to the individual pedigree page for that family group. 

  1) JAN BROUWER of Flatlands, NY  color coded Yellow in the Y-DNA results chart. This group, which belongs to Haplogroup I2b1 (concentrated in western, north-central and Scandanavia), descends from a 1656/7 immigrant to New Amsterdam from Holland. Jan and wife Jannetje settled in Flatlands, Long Island where they raised their family. Two members are related to the American descendants of Jan Brouwer but from a time prior to Jan Brouwer's appearance in America. Additional detailed information is found at the website  Descendants of JAN BROUWER dedicated to this family group and discusses a unique & rare DNA marker for this group, and much more. 

  2) BREWER / LANIER LINE, color coded light blue in the Y-DNA results chart. These participants all have a close DNA match and belong to Haplogroup I1. This is the largest group in the project. Several of them trace back to a George BREWER and Sarah LANIER Brewer family of the early 18th century Virginia colony. Further family information and the individual pedigrees associated with the KIT numbers in this family group are posted for viewing at: BREWER-LANIER SITE .  Of interest also is a database web site posted here by Chris Chester providing data on the early descendants of George Brewer and Sarah Lanier who migrated from North Carolina to Wayne and Lawrence Counties in Tennessee. 

  3) ADAM BROUWER of Gowanus , color coded Plum in the Y-DNA results chart. These members are all in Haplogroup EV13 (E1b1b1, previously designated E3b), relatively uncommon in northern European haplogroup. (Adam Brouwer's origins are in Cologne, Germany).These participants have a common ancestor in the 17th century immigrant to New Netherlands, Adam Brouwer Berckhoven who with wife Magdelena settled in Gowanus  (Brooklyn) on the Western end of Long Island along New York's Upper Bay where the majority of their children were born. Further family information on this family group can be viewed at: ADAM BROUWER SITE

NOTE: We have identified several smaller family groups of genetically related participants listed below by paternal patriarch and by clicking on the name, you will be directed to the associated descendant submitted pedigree information page.
  • AMBROSE BREWER  (color coded orchid) - 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 as their earliest known ancestors.
  • JACOB BREWER  (color coded red) - 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).
  • JEREMIAH BREWER (Color coded orange) -  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  (color coded pink) - 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.
  • ARTHUR BREWER (color coded grey) - 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.
  •  ADAM BROWN BREWER  (color coded khaki) - 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.
  • JOHN BREWER of Sudbury, MA (color coded Teal) - Two members are in this group, both have provided pedigrees. This is our only group descended from a New England Brewer family (We hope that 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 PEDIGREES  - 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. It should 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 the larger haplogroup which the members belonged to has been described. 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 is combined with traditional genealogical research, and both are best used when they are shared with others. 

Compiling a Pedigree for Submission to the Brewer DNA Project

The Brewer DNA Project is now in its ninth year and has 226 members. It is a surname project (BREWER, BROWER, BROUWER, BRUER and other variations) that invites males with the just mentioned surnames to join and take a Y-Chromosome DNA test. Females, of course, do not have the Y-Chromosome, but can join by recruiting a close male relative, such as a father, brother or close cousin, with the BREWER (etc.) surname to take the Y-Chromosome DNA test.

The Y-DNA test results collected since the Project's inception has allowed us to identify eleven unique groups of BREWERs who are closely related genetically within each group, but who are significantly different, or unrelated, to the other groups. In addition we have about 50 individuals, who despite having the surname BREWER (etc.) have yet to find a Y-DNA match with any other male currently in the Project. While the genetic data reported by each individual's Y-DNA test helps us to create these various groups, the only way we can give each group a name (Adam Brouwer, Adam Brown Brewer, Ambrose Brewer, and so on) is by collecting pedigrees of the direct paternal ancestry of the males who have taken the Y-DNA test. Without a associated pedigree, the Y-DNA results of any individual's Y-DNA test is of very limited value. Most of those who join the Project do so because they have run into a brick wall only a few generations back in their paternal ancestry. If we are to be in anyway helpful to you as someone who joins the Project for the purpose of solving a paternal ancestry problem, we will need a pedigree.

When we ask a new member for a pedigree, what we are asking for, is a direct paternal ancestry for the male being tested, back to the earliest paternal ancestor that can be reliably proved and supported by traditional genealogical research. We post the pedigrees online (we do not include data on living persons) so that comparisons in the actual ancestry between tested participants who have close genetic matches, can be easily viewed by all those who are interested. The pedigrees that have been posted online can be used as an example, or a template, for what we would like to receive from every new Project member. Pedigrees for ten of the identified groups (and some ungrouped participants) can be found at the Brewer DNA Project Pedigrees website. Each group has a separate page which is accessed by a link in the column on the left. To get an idea of what the pedigree you will be submitted should look like, select one of the groups and you will be taken to the group's page. For example, here is the Jan Brouwer Group Pedigrees.

When the time comes for you to compile your own pedigree, we ask that you include the following information for each generation:
  1. Name of the name of the direct paternal ancestor  the name of his wife.
  2. Date and place of birth and death. (It is advisable to also include this for the spouse).
  3. Date and place of marriage.
It is understandable that you may not be able to find all of what is requested above. But, please work to complete as much of it as you can.

When compiling the pedigree, please use the NGS "Standards for Sound Genealogical Research." If you are using a published compiled genealogy as a source (this includes accepted D.A.R. and S.A.R. lineages), it is advised that you check each and every claim in that source by locating original records. In other words, look for and find vital records and church records to confirm dates and places, and probate and estate records, and/or land and court records, to confirm relationships between generations. We do not need you to submit all of these records to us, but you should use them to ensure that your own pedigree is accurate. And, if a question of an error in your pedigree does come up, you should have the needed records or documents at your disposal to address the specific concern. 

It is suggested that you submit as your Earliest Known Ancestor (EKA) only the paternal ancestor that can be proved using traditional genealogical research methods. For example, your Y-DNA test may indicate that you are certainly a genetic ancestor of Adam Brouwer, however, if your traditional research only proves your ancestry back a few generations, or not quite all the way back to Adam Brouwer (perhaps one or two generations shy), only show in your pedigree that EKA that can actually be proved. Take a look at the Adam Brouwer pedigree pagefor an example. We know, by Y-DNA testing, that everyone included on this page is a descendant of Adam Brouwer. Yet some, such as kit #182867, or #293571, can only prove their pedigree back to an EKA who lived sooner in time. In both cases, the submitter compiled a pedigree that only went as far back as the ancestor they could prove.

Please differentiate between what is proven and what is strongly suggested by circumstantial evidence. If you look at kit #s 65385, 77803, 188348, and 285309, you will see that the pedigrees can be proved back to no. 4, Jeremiah Brower/Brewer, and all though we cannot prove the pedigrees the rest of the way back to Adam Brouwer, strong circumstantial evidence suggests a very likely ancestry from no. 4 back to Adam Brouwer (no. 1). In these pedigrees we included the unproven but strongly believed generations, in italics. This is acceptable so long as that circumstantial evidence is strong. 

You, the participant, are spending a few hundred dollars on your Y-Chromosome DNA test. By also submitting a carefully researched and compiled pedigree you will help improve your chances of finding that brick wall paternal ancestor. In other words it will help improve the chances that you get your money's worth out of your purchase. It will also add to the body of knowledge that is being collected on the various BREWER (etc.) families. That in turn will help confirm and strengthen existing pedigrees and will help future participants locate their correct pedigrees.