Open Issues

The following defines several issues specific to the Johannes Brouwer Family lines



Richard D. Brewer

September 9, 2009 

( Nex-us:  a connection or series of connections linking two or more things

ORIGIN mid 17th century ; from Latin, ‘a binding together’ )

Abstract:  The recent addition of two more genetic descendants of the Jan Brouwer family to the Brewer Surname Project and the interrelationship of their Y-DNA signatures with prior members has raised several issues regarding previously posted lines of descent and the validity of some of the participants genealogical pedigrees, at the same time hinting at some possible resolutions to outstanding problems. In this discussion I review the problems as I perceive them and suggest some directions for future research.


For some time now, we have been struggling with four related problems:

         A. Linking John Brewer/Elsie Lewis of Adam Co. OH to Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, 

         B. Finding assumed connections of Rose/Olson/Embody to the Brewer family, 

         C. Linking David Brewer (1762)/Euphemia Warner to a Jan Brouwer lineage, and 

         D. Connecting William. L. Brewer (b. 1826 in LA) to the early Brouwer family. 

In August of 2009 the 37 marker Y-DNA test results for Gregory Laurence Brewer, Kit # 159573, and Michael Brewer, Kit# 157835, became available and identified them as genetic descendants of the 1657 Dutch immigrant Johannes (Jan) Brouwer of Flatlands and provided new possibilities regarding the earlier problems while raising new questions.  

    Michael Brewer has an exact match (37 of 37 markers) with Glen L. Brewer, Richard Olson, and David R. Embody, and all four match the assumed ancestral signature of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands in 36 of 37 markers. See the information under the MRCA tab for a discussion and derivation of Jan’s ancestral signature. Michael’s exact match and his pedigree has far reaching implications for the presumed connection between the four participants and their line to Jan Brouwer. 

    Gregory L. Brewer matches  35 of 37 markers. One mismatch, DYS#393, with a value of 14, raises interesting, but puzzling, questions for the Jan Brouwer group and Gregory’s posted 4th generation common ancestry with William L. Brewer of LA.

In the “Read More links” that follow I review the following interrelated questions:

         1) The pedigree and signature of Gregory and the implications of his distinctive allele value of 14 at DYS #393 where everyone else in the Jan Brouwer group has a value of 15. The need for another descendant to be tested is indicated.  .... Read More Here


        2) The possible lineal descent of Michael Brewer from Elias3 Brewer and Lena Willemse via their son Dirk4/Derrick (1732) and its implications for the Olson, Embody descendants.  Questions regarding the 4th generation ancestors of Michael and Glen L., both named Richard and both b. ca. 1790, are they really distinct? Michael’s Richard claims to be one of 14 children, Michael and Glen L. both match exactly, could John/Elsie be born later ca. 1753 (1733 being a typo?) and be directly related to Richard?        

         How do we account for the exact match and possible connection between Olson, Embody and both Michael and Glen L. Brewer in spite of their different surnames. Is the connection genetically valid? If so, could any ancestral connection (adoption?) be more recent than previously expected? ....Read More Here


        3) Problems with the John Brewer/Elsie Lewis connections and claims (born ca. 1733, residing in Bullskin, PA, and dying in Adams Co., PA)  ....Read More Here


         4)  The strongly implied connection of David Brewer (1762) /Euphemia Warner to the family of Derck Brouwer. The possible connection to Gregory and William L. through David’s son Samuel. The need to locate a living male descendant willing to take the DNA test. The potential implications of such test on the many problems enumerated above.... Read More Here

Take-home facts:


We know that Gregory Brewer has an allele value of 14 at DYS#393 whereas everyone else has a 15. The simplest solution is to assume a random mutation decreasing the  value from 15 to 14 in one of the four descendants of William (1826): Elias (1854), Jasper (1890), Jasper (1919) or Gregory. We should make a serious effort to locate another descendent related via a separate line from William to take the test to prove or disprove that idea.

There is strong support for the idea that both David Brewer (1762)/Euphemia and Richard Brewer (1790)/ Nancy are descended from Elias3 Brewer/Lena via their son Dirck4/Derrick Brouwer (1732) . 

The most pressing needs are Independent DNA evidence for William (1826) and David Brewer (1762) by finding descendants to take the Y-DNA test. Two big questions --does William (1826) have a 14 or 15 at DYS#393 and does David Brewer (1762) match the Jan Brouwer DNA, and does his signature carry a 14 or 15 at DYS#393?  That would have big consequences.

Current genealogical status --taken together all the current data provides evidence for possible resolution of the Glen L. Brewer match to Michael and the Rose/Embody/Olson puzzle if we can locate additional lines of descent from the presumed 12 children of Derrick Brouwer (1732) and the male children of Richard Brewer (1790).  We should not be too quick to accept the limits (birth, birth place, early residences, etc.) placed on John Brewer/Elsie Lewis of Adams Co., OH by incorrect data passed on via internet posts. Re-evaluation may lead to new, currently unrealized, paths linking John back to Johannes Brouwer; paths that are indicated by the DNA signature of Glen L. Brewer, Dean Alan Brewer, and Donald Brewer. 

I know I have presented here more questions than answers but I hope it will help in our quest for correctly identifying our mutual lines of descent back to Johannes Brouwer of Flatlands. It is a worth while quest, and I hope all of you will join me in pursuing it -- it will take all of us working together and with genealogical friends and resources to gather the needed information (including the signature of critical male descendants) to crack the hard nut this nexus of problems presents.