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Peter Brewer and Polly Herkimer Update

September 11, 2009

A direct male descendant of Peter Brewer and Polly Herkimer has participated in the Brewer DNA Project. The results leave no ambiguity as to which Brouwer Family the descendant belongs. The descendant’s results match on 37 of 37 markers with Brewer DNA Project Kit no. 30185, Steve Brewer, who is a confirmed descendant of Adam Brouwer through his son Pieter. The descendant, David A. Brewer is kit no. 159021. The results, along with all of the Brewer DNA Profiles can be seen on the Y-DNA Results Page at the Brewer DNA Project website. The results, along with profiles of the direct line ancestors and charts will be included on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website with the next update in October 2009.

Participation in the Brewer DNA Project has provided a break through in genealogical research for the descendants. Bob and Caroline (Brewer) Bentley have been searching for their Brewer or Brower connection for over ten years. Caroline’s brother, David, was the participant and as mentioned his test results match the results of an already confirmed descendant of Adam Brouwer (kit no. 30185) on 37 of 37 markers. Such an exact match equates to a 97.28% likelihood that the two participants share a common ancestor within eight generations, and a 99.55% likelihood that the common ancestor lived within twelve generations. As Steve Brewer (kit no. 30185) is twelve generations removed from Adam Brouwer, the conclusion can be made that David Brewer (kit no. 159021) is also a descendant of Adam Brouwer. The exact 37/37 match also suggests that David Brewer is descended from Adam Brouwer the the same son through which Steve Brewer descends. That son is Pieter Brouwer (b.1645).

With these results in hand we can now begin a focused search to find the genealogical paper trail to complete David Brewer’s ancestry back to Adam Brouwer. The success of this test has allowed us to eliminate numerous possibilities that would no doubt have ended up as dead ends, or worse, an incorrect conclusion. Any thought that Peter Brewer (and his descendants) was a descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, possibly through Elias Brouwer and Phebe Lucas (as suggested in segment No. 1.0 of this study) can be regarded as impossible. The focus now is placing Peter Brewer among the descendants of Adam Brouwer’s son Pieter Brouwer.

An initial search of the known descendants of Adam Brouwer’s son Pieter has provided us with a primary candidate who would identify as Peter Brewer. This candidate would be Petrus , born 19 September 1781 in Rensselaer County, New York, the son of Matheus Brouwer and Annatje Ouderkerk. Petrus Brouwer, a.k.a. Peter Brewer or Peter Bruer, is of the right age and is found, through his adult life, in the right locations to be the Peter Brewer who married Polly Herkimer. Already, the now focused effort, has yielded a number of new clues and documents as to Peter Brewer’s movements and has given us leads as to where to look for additional documents that may provide a confirmed genealogy. Genealogical details will be added to the profile of Petrus Brouwer (b.1781) and will be included when the BGD is updated in October.

Finally, this study has also demonstrated the advantage obtained when using Y-DNA testing as another tool in anyone’s efforts at discovering their correct direct line ancestry. As more and more Brewer and Brower descendants join the Brewer DNA Project we will have even more DNA data and confirmed genealogical lineages available for newcomers to compare with. We are then certain to see more success stories, as has been the case here.

Chris Chester

Brouwer Genealogy