Brewster (Y-DNA)

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Status summary

As of December 30, 2015:

As of June 30, 2020:

  • Three Big Y-700 tests results for descendants of Elder William Brewster (two for descendants of Johnnathan and one for descendant of Love)

IMPORTANT: Read me First

Paper Trail

For more information, see Lambert Merrick, Barbara, ed. by Scott Andrew Bartley, Mayflower Families Through Five Generations: vol. 24 Brewster. Names in bold text have had a Y-DNA descendant Y-DNA tested.

First Generation

(Elder) William Brewster was born circa 1566[1] in or near Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England, the son of William (II) Brewster & Mary SMYTHE Simkinson.[2] He is the grandson of William (I) and Maud Mann and this William is said to be son of another William who died at Bently cum Arksey (next to Doncaster), Yorkshire in 1521.[3] Elder William died at Plymouth on 10 Apr 1644[4], and Bradford called him "nere fourskore years of age" (ie nearly age 80).

Brewster married about 1592[5] to Mary _____ (maiden name unknown despite an extensive search) and they had: Johnnathan[6] (1593), Patience (c1600), Fear (c1605), infant (bur 1609), Love (son, c1614) and Wrestling (c1614, never married). Y-DNA descendants of both Johnnathan and Love have completed DNA testing and verified the Y-DNA of Elder William.


  1. Brewster deposed in a Leyden affidavit dated 25 Jun 1609 that he was then "aged about forty two years", NEHGReg 18:20
  2. NEHGReg 124:250-51
  3. TAG 41:1-5 and NEHG Reg 124:250-54
  4. Gov. Bradford erred, when he stated Brewster died about 18 April. The "Brewster Book" (written by his son Johnnathan) stated William died 10 April 1644. See also NEHGReg 18:18-20
  5. Johnnathan Brewster is believed to be the eldest son. He recorded his birthdate in a bound volume now called the "Brewster Book" where he states he was born 12 Aug 1593. See MD 1:Frontspiece as well as article 1-ff.
  6. He consistently wrote his name with this unusual spelling in his "Brewster Book" and in other records.

Y-DNA Descendants

First Generation

William and Mary had three sons, but their son, Wrestling never married. Thus the Y-DNA descent comes down through their two sons Johnnathan & Love. Y-DNA STR and Big Y-700 testing have been done on both lines, and they match up, thus proving the Y-DNA signature for William Brewster. Currently, the descendants of Johnnathan (18 in number) have DYS19=16 while descendants of Love (7 in number) have DYS19=15. There are some unconnected Brewsters who have done Y-STR testing who are DYS19=14, so it appears Love has the ancestral value (DYS19=15) while Jonathan (or his son Benjamin, or Benjamin's son William) had a mutation to DYS19=16.

Second Generation

Johnnathan was born presumably at Scrooby 12 Aug 1593[1] and died Brewster's Neck, Norwich (now Preston), CT 7 Aug 1659. He married[2] New Plimoth 10 Apr 1624 Lucretia Oldham and they had eight children: William (1624), Mary (1627), Johnnathan (1629), Ruth (1631), Benjamin (1633), Elizabeth (1637), Grace (1639) and Hannah 1641. The two oldest sons (William[3] and Johnnathan) are believed to have emigrated back to England, and their further history is unknown. This line continues through son (Capt.) Benjamin.

Love was born prob. Leiden about 1607 and died Duxburrow (now Duxbury) abt Dec 1650. He married Plymouth 15 May 1634 Sarah COLLIER (Parke)[4] and they had four children: Sarah (1635), Nathaniel (1637, no ch.), William (c1645) and Wrestling (c1647).

Third Generation

(Capt.) Benjamin was born Jones River (Plymouth, now Duxbury) 17 Nov 1633 and died (East) Norwich (now Preston), CT 14 Sep 1710. He married Norwich, CT "last of" Feb 1659/60 Ann ADDIS Darte[5] and they had eight children: Mary (1660), Ann (1662), Jonathan (1664), Daniel (1666), William (1669), Ruth (1671), Benjamin (1673) and Ruth (1676).

(Deacon) William was born Duxburrow (now Duxbury) about 1645 and died there 3 Nov 1723. He married Duxburrow 2 Jan 1672/3 Lydia Partridge and they had: Sarah (1674) Nathaniel (1676), Lydia (1680), William (1683), Mercy (1685), Benjamin (1688), Joseph (1693) and Joshua (1698).

Wrestling was born Duxburrow (now Duxbury) about 1647 and died there 1 Jan 1696/7. He married Mary ____ (Partridge)[6] and they had: Mary (1678), Sarah (1681), Abigail (1683), Hannah (1688), Elizabeth (1691), Jonathan (1693), Wrestling (1695) and John (1697 only son never married).

Fourth Generation

Jonathan - Two sons: Jonathan (II) and Joseph

Capt. Daniel - Four sons: Daniel (II) (no ch.), John, Jonathan and Ebenezer

William - Four sons: William (II), Samuel, Ebenezer and Peter

Benjamin (II) - Six sons: Benjamin (III), John (no sons), Jonathan (d.y.), Nehemiah (d.y.), Comfort and Daniel (both sons d.y.)

Nathaniel - Three sons: Samuel (unm.), William and Joseph

William (II) - Five sons: Oliver, Ichabod, Elisha, Seth and (Dr.) Lot

Benjamin - Seven[7] sons: William, Simon, Abel, Amos, Cyrus (no sons), Jonas (no ch.) and Elias (d.y.)

Joseph - Two[8] sons: Lemuel (d.y.) and Lemuel

Joshua - Three sons: Job (d.y.), Nathan and Job

Jonathan - Five sons: James, Peleg, Jonah, Elijah (unm.) and Jonathan (d.y.)

Wrestling (II) - Five[9]sons: Wrestling (III), Isaac,Thomas (only paternal grandson never married), Elijah (d.y.) and Elisha (unm.)

  1. from "The Brewster Book" a ledger Johnnathan kept.
  2. Some sources state he had a first wife at Leiden, but no record of this marriage has been discovered.
  3. See Mayflower "Silver Book" Vol. 24 (Brewster) part 1 p. 117
  4. After Love's death, she married second aft Sep 1656 Richard Parke.
  5. Ann married first, Boston 1653 Ambrose Darte.
  6. After Wrestling's death, Mary married Duxbury 23 May 1700 John Partridge.
  7. He also had two sons named Judah, both died young.
  8. He also had two son named Truelove, Both died young.
  9. He possibly had a sixth son, Jonathan, b c1722

DNA Results I-FT1754

Y-DNA testing[1]

The Mayflower DNA Project and the Brewster/Bruster DNA Project has recorded a number of individuals who are patrilineal (all male line) descendants of both sons of Elder William Brewster (ie Johnnathan & Love). Almost all of them have only done STR testing to date, with the majority being either 37 STRs or 67 STRs. There is one STR difference between the descendants of Johnnathan (DYS19=16) and the descendants of Love (DYS19=15).[2]

NGS/WGS testing

Currently three individuals in the project who have done the Big Y-700 test (two descended from Johnnathan and one from Love) and their results (as of 30 Jun 2020) all are under I-M253>Z17954>FGC47136>S2304> Z17942>Z17928>Z17926>Z17924>A9783>A19407>FT1754. Additionally, the two descendants of Johnnathan Brewster have tested positive for a mutation the descendant of Love has tested negative (FT759). This mutation had to occur somewhere between Johnnathan Brewster, his son Benjamin, and his son William (as the two testers descend from different sons of William).

Lineages tested[3]

The following are the lineages of the patrilineal descendants who have taken Y-DNA testing. Those in bold font have taken the Big Y-700 test. There are currently DNA results for all three grandchildren of (Elder) William Brewster (Benjamin, William and Wrestling), so we can verify these generations are genetically/biologically accurate.

 01 Elder William Brewster (1566-1644)
 02  Johnnathan Brewster (1593-1659)
 03    (Capt.) Benjamin (1633-1710)
 04      (Capt.) Daniel (1666/7-1735)
 05        Jonathan (1705-1776)
 06          (Deacon) Jonathan (1734-1800)
 07            (Dr.) Moses (1769-1809)
 08              Moses (II) (1805-1882)
 09                Edwin M. (1836-1920)
 10                  Sherman Edwin (1867-1957)
 11                    Jesse Hammitt (1894-1969)
 12                      Glenn Leslie "Bill" (1920-2006)
 13                        father
 14                          tester  
 04      William (1669-1728)
 05        William (II) (1695-p1764)
 06          (poss.)[4] Pelatiah Bruster (1741-b1806)
 07            Samuel (1762-1833)
 08              Ellet (Elliot) (1794-1851)
 09                Clark B. (1834-1902)
 10                  Horace Clark (1867-1921)
 11                    Earl (1898-1975)
 12                      tester (deceased) 
 06          John (c1746-1806)
 07            Tartulus (1775-1848)
 08              Morgan Lewis (1804-1874)
 09                Joshua (1844-1922)
 10                  William Vernon (1879-1943)
 11                    Kenneth Leon (1911-1984)
 12                      father
 13                        tester 
 05        Ebenezer (1702/3-c1774)
 06          (Deacon) Charles (1724-1790)
 07            Eliphaz (1747-1828)
 08              Lewis (1774-1837)
 09                Oliver B. (1799-c1864)
 10                  Herman (1824-p1860)
 11                    Charles H. (1852-1919)
 12                      Eugene (c1881-1913)
 13                        Francis W. (1912-1965)
 14                          father
 15                            tester 
 06          Ebenezer (II) (c1740-1818)
 07            Jeremiah F. (1771-p1830)
 08              Jesse (c1818-1882)
 09                George Franklin (1858-1911)
 10                  Robert Wesley (1896-1950)
 11                    Aubrey Lee (1910-1939)
 12                      father
 13                        tester  
 06          Comfort (c1741-1799)
 07            Ebenezer (c1773-1848)
 08              Thomas D. (c1792-1875)
 09                Hardin (1848-1922)
 10                  Howard Windsor (1887-1968)
 11                    Clarence Frank (1913-1971)
 12                      father
 13                        tester  
 02  Love Brewster (c1607-c1650)
 03    (Deacon) William (1645-1723)
 04      William (II) (1683-1708)
 05        Oliver (1708-p1776)
 06          (Deacon) Wadsworth (1737-1812)
 07            (Capt.) Silas (1767-1808)
 08              Alvin (1792-1879)
 09                Irvine R. (1822-1904)
 10                  Alvin Adelbert (1851-1926)
 11                    Emory Merton (1872-1914)
 12                      Alvin Blake (1898-1975)
 13                        tester (deceased) 
 07            (Judge) Elias Morgan (1782-1858)
 08              Sardius Clark (1833-1915)
 09                Ernest Lewellyn (1855-1950)
 10                  Albert Henry (1898-1993)
 11                    father
 12                      tester  
 04      Benjamin (1688-1752)
 05        Simon (1720-1801)
 06          Joseph (1763-1805)
 07            James (1788-1866)
 08              (Rev.) Joseph (1822-1895)
 09                James Henry (1856-1920)
 10                  Oswald Cammann (1896-1958)
 11                    grandfather
 12                      father
 13                        tester 
 03      Wrestling (c1647-1696/7)
 04        Jonathan (c1693-1753)
 05          (Capt.) James (1715-1755)
 06            David (1753-1836)
 07              James (1778-1862)
 08                Mortimer Spencer (1820-1902)
 09                  Walter Herbert (1865-1958)
 10                    father
 11                      tester  
 05          Jonah (c1721-1750)
 06            (Deacon) Jonah (1750-1833)
 07              Leonard (1786-1878)
 08                Jonah (1820-1861)
 09                  Walter J. (1858-1929)
 10                    Lewis William (1908-1996)
 11                      father
 12                        tester 
  1. See [1] for an old version of site which also gave some of the lineage of the then Y-DNA testers.
  2. There are some members of the Brewster/Bruster DNA Project who are unable to trace their ancestry back to Elder William Brewster, but whose STR markers indicate they are certainly related to the family. Curiously, they all have DYS19=14.
  3. Two Y-DNA descendants listed on the wikitree profile for William Brewster
  4. This line has some uncertainty, but the DNA test results and traditional "paper trail" genealogy strongly support Samuel Bruster (generation 07) was a grandson of William Brewster (II) (generation 05)

Related Families

(Gov.) Thomas Prence[1]married Patience Brewster

Edmund Freeman (III) married Rebecca Prence and John Freeman married Mercy Prence E-M215>M35>Z827>V257>M81

Nathaniel Mayo was the first husband to Hannah Prence R-P312>DF19>Z302>Z35646>Z8193>FT18289>Z39896[2]

Jonathan Sparrow was the second husband to Hannah Prence

  1. Thomas and Rebecca had two daughters and one son, Thomas (III). The son Thomas apparently emigrated back to London, England. The Great Migration Begins III:1523 states family letters indicate he had a widow and a daughter, but failed to note any son. Gov. Prence married two more times, but the children by these marriages have no Mayflower ancestry.
  2. based on Big Y-700 result of a descendant of William Mayo of Isle of Wight, Virginia. STR results indicate this family is related to the Rev. John Mayo of Barnstable, Massachusetts. The descendants of William are FT137226+ (a subclade of Z39896), but it is currently unknown if the descendants of Rev. John are positive for this clade.

External Links and References

  • Lambert Merrick, Barbara, ed. by Scott Andrew Bartley, Mayflower Families Through Five Generations: vol. 24 Brewster General Society of Mayflower Descendants, Plymouth, MA. part 1 (first four generations) 2014
  • Lambert Merrick, Barbara, ed. by Scott Andrew Bartley, Mayflower Families Through Five Generations: vol. 24 Brewster General Society of Mayflower Descendants, Plymouth, MA. part 2 (fifth and sixth generation from son Jonathan) 2019
  • Silver Books Project (Silver Books & Mayflower Families in Progress) Also Facebook Group
  • Roser, Susan E., Mayflower Increasings From the Files of George Ernest Bowman at the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD, Second edition 1995, 1996. pp. 24-28.
  • Roser, Susan E., Mayflower Passenger References, (from contemporary records & scholarly journals) [ Stewart Publishing & Printing], Canada. Second edition 2015
  • The Elder William Brewster Society
  • 1908 Brewster Genealogy (2 vols.) by Emma C. Brewster Jones

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