Mary (Unknown) (mtDNA)

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Status summary

As of November 9, 2016

  • Page created for Mary (Unknown), wife of Elder William Brewster
  • recruitment of individuals who are mtDNA descendants of Mary (Unknown) Brewster. Folks who are mtDNA descendants are encouraged to contact MayflowerDNA1620@gmail.com

Paper Trail

For more information see: Lambert Merrick, Barbara (ed. Scott Andrew Bartley and Index by Jane Fletcher Fitch), Mayflower Families Through Five Generations: vol. 24 Brewster

First Generation

Not much is currently known about Mary, wife of Elder William Brewster. She filed an affidavit at Leydon (with her husband and oldest child Johnnathan) on 25 Jun 1609 stating she was then aged 40, so she was born circa 1569.[1] It is likely she was from either the Scrooby, Nottinghamshire area (where Elder Brewster was from) or the Doncaster, Yorkshire area (which is where the Brewster family is believed to have originated).[2] She is believed to be the only wife of Elder Brewster, and the mother of all of his children.[3] They were probably married about 1592 (as their oldest child was born in Aug 1593).[4] She died 17 Apr 1627[5] which was shortly before the 1627 Division of Land. Mary and William had at least six children:[6] Johnnathan[7] (1593), (poss.) William (c1596), Patience (b1601), Fear (c1605 m. Isaac Allerton, two children but only daughter died young), Love (male)(c1607), infant (d. 1609) and Wrestling (c1614).

Second Generation

Patience Brewster was born, presumably at Scrooby, Nottinghamshire about 1600. She married (Gov.) Thomas Prence on 5 Aug 1624, being called the "ninth marriage at New Plymouth". They had one son, Thomas (III) (1627-1672) and three daughters (Rebecca, Hannah, & Mercy).

Third Generation

Rebecca Prence was born about 1625. She married Edmund Freeman (III) at Sandwich 22 Apr 1646 and she was buried there on 23 Mar 1647/8. In this short time span, Rebecca had two daughters: Patience and Rebecca.

Hannah Prence was born in Plymouth about 1629. She married twice, first to Nathaniel Mayo at Nauset (now Eastham) on 13 Feb 1649/50. They had five children: Thomas (1650), Nathaniel (1652), Samuel (1655), Hannah (1657)[8], Theophilus (1659) and Bathsheba (1662)[9] before his death which occurred circa Feb 1662. The widow then married (Capt) Jonathan Sparrow at Eastham about 1668 and they had Patience (c1672) and Richard (1674).

Mercy Prence was born in Plymouth about 1631. She married (Maj.) John Freeman (brother to Edmund who married her sister, Patience) at Eastham on 13 Feb 1649/50. They had eleven children: John (1650-1650), John (1651), Thomas (1653), Edmund (1657), Mercy (1659), William (1660), Hannah (1664), Prince (1665), Patience (c1667), Nathaniel (1669) and Bennett (1671).

Fourth Generation

Patience Freeman was born Sandwich about 1646 and is said to have died Rochester 16 Apr 1738.[10][11] She married (likely at Sandwich) before 1667[12] Joseph Burge(ss) and they had five children (all born Sandwich): Rebecca (1667/8 m. Edward Rose), Dorothy (1670 m. Savory Clifton), Joseph (1673 d. young), Benjamin (1681) and Ichabod (1684).

Rebecca Freeman was born Sandwich before 23 Mar 1647/8[13] and died there 16 Apr 1738. She married (likely at Sandwich) by 1673[14] Ezra Perry (II) and they had nine children: Ebenezer (1673), Mary (1675 m. Isaac Bumpus), Ezra (1679), Hannah (1681 m. Samuel Maxham), Edmund (1683 d. young), Freelove (dau)(1685 likely never married), Samuel (1688), Rebecca (1689 m. Jonathan Washburn) and Patience (1691/2 m. Moses Hatch, but had no children)

Patience Sparrow was born Barnstable about 1672 and died there 25 Oct 1745. She married twice: First Harwich 27 May 1691 (Ens.) Joseph Paine (d. 1712) and second Barnstable 28 Nov 1715 John Jenkins (III). By her first husband (Joseph Paine) Patience had eleven children (first four born Eastham, all recorded at Harwich [now Brewster]): Ebenezer (1692), Hannah (1694 m. Philip Russell & Samuel Bacon), Joseph (1697), Richard (1699), Dorcas (1701 m. John Jenkins), Phebe (1703) m. Solomon Pepper, Reliance (1705/6 m. Eleazer Cobb & John Coleman), Thomas (1708), Mary (1708-b1718), Jonathan (1710) and Experience (1713 m. Joseph Studley). By her second husband (John Jenkins) Patience had one more child: Patience (1717 never married).

Mercy Freeman was born Eastham in Jul 1659 and died (probably Eastham) between 1739-1745.[15] She married Eastham in Dec 1679 Samuel Knowles and they had eleven children: James (1680), Mercy (1681 m. Thomas Rich), Samuel (1682/3), Nathaniel (1686), Richard (1688), Rebecca (1690 m. Thomas Wetherell), John (1692), Ruth (1694 m. John Avery), Cornelius (1695), Amos (1702) and James.

Hannah Freeman was born Eastham 1664 and died (likely at Harwich [now Brewster]) 16 Feb 1743/4. She married Hingham 14 May 1681 John Mayo and they had eight children (first seven born Hingham, last child at Harwich [now Brewster]): Hannah (1681/2 m. Judah Hopkins, only child died young), Samuel (1684), Mercy (1688 m. Nathaniel Hopkins), John (1691), Rebecca (1692 m. Ebenezer Paine), Mary (1694 m. Joseph Hopkins), Joseph (1696) and Elizabeth (1706 m. Ebenezer Nickerson).

Patience Freeman was born Eastham 1667 and after Jan 1719/20.[16] She married Eastham 31 Jan 1682/3 Samuel Paine and they had nine children: Samuel (1683-1706), Mercy (1686 m. Benjamin Cooke but only had sons), Nathaniel (1689-1706/7), Ebenezer (1692), Elizabeth (1694-b1712/3), Joshua (1696), Isaac (1698/9), Mary (1703/4-unm. in 1717), and Seth (1706-1722/3). In conclusion, there are no living mtDNA descendants of Patience.

Bennett Freeman was born Eastham about 5 Feb 1670/1[17] and died 30 May 1716, age 45 years, 2 months and 25 days.[18] She married Eastham 14 Mar 1688/9 John Paine and they had thirteen children: John (1690), Mary (1692/3 m. Samuel Freeman), William (1695), Benjamin (1696/7), Sarah (1699 m. Joshua Knowles), stillborn (1700/1), Elizabeth (1702 m. Jabez Snow), Theophilus (1703/4), Josiah (1705/6), Nathaniel (1707), Rebecca (1709 m. Elisha Linnell), Mercy (1712 m. Ebenezer Cook) and Benjamin (1714). In addition Bennett was pregnant when she died).


  1. NEHGReg. 18:20
  2. Caleb Johnson's MayflowerHistory.com
  3. Neither son Johnnathan nor Gov. Bradford made any mention of Elder Brewster marrying more than once.
  4. Brewster Book, written by her son Johnnathan, see the Mayflower Descendant 1:1 and ff.
  5. ibid.
  6. Gov. Bradford wrote in his journal (published as Of Plimouth Plantation) that Elder Brewster had "many" children. It is entirely possible he had children who did not emigrate over to New Plimouth with the family (but may have migrated later).
  7. This is the way he consistently wrote his name.
  8. Named in the probate of her grandfather, Rev. John Mayo in 1676, but no further known record.
  9. Named in the probate of her grandfather, Rev. John Mayo. She was NOT the wife of Thomas Freeman, as some have proposed. Her further history is currently unknown.
  10. Mayflower B&D (from Bowman Files) I:261 (no place or source listed)
  11. She deeded property to daughter Dorothy on 9 Mar 1725/6 so was then still living.
  12. First child born
  13. Mother's death
  14. First child born
  15. Her will and probate
  16. signed agreement of heirs of her father's estate.
  17. Calculated by age of death written by her husband.
  18. ibid.

mtDNA Results I4a

The Mayflower DNA Project currently lists one matrilineal (all female line) descendant of Mary and states this individual falls under Haplogroup I4a.[1] This is a relatively rare haplogroup and has been found in England & Scotland and occasionally in Finistère, Brittany, France. It supports the belief that Mary was likely from either Yorkshire or Nottinghamshire (both in northern England).

This individual's line is as follows:

 Mary ______ (1569-1627)
   Patience Brewster (c1600-1634)
     Rebecca Prence (c1625-1647/8)
       Patience Freeman (c1646-1725/6)
         Dorothy Burge(ss) (1670-c1726)
           Jane/Jean Clifton (1697/8-1751)
             Sarah Bowerman (1724/5-1802)
               Elizabeth Gifford (1744-1816)
                 Abigail Gifford (1767-1846)
                   Martha Bowerman (1795-1863)
                     Eleanor/Elnore Hathaway (1832-1908)
                       Anna Frances McTigue (1868-1926)
                         (mother)
                           (tester)  
  1. The individual tested had a "poly C" insertion at bp 573, with a total of four extra "C" base pairs added at this location. Poly C mutations at this location are fairly common within mtDNA Haplogroup I. According to the mtDNA I Haplogroup Project 42 I4a kits have at least four such insertions, and ten of these kits have five mutations or more.

Related Families

(Gov.) Thomas Prence married Patience Brewster

Edmund Freeman (III) married Rebecca Prence and John Freeman married Mercy Prence

Nathaniel Mayo was the first husband to Hannah Prence

Jonathan Sparrow was the second husband to Hannah Prence

External Links


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