remove parents of William Brewster

+9 votes
I propose separating the parents entered for William Brewster, father of the William Brewster of the Mayflower emigration to Plymouth Massachusetts. (Robert Brewster 1440-1505 & Mary Edmunds)

There is no evidence for their connection, & those preceding them is an imagined genealogy often repeated in other online genealogies, but dubious at best. The individuals themselves are real enough but the connections made here is simply an oft repeated hopeful stringing together of names found in ancient records.

I have begin a Brewster name study which can keep these early English Brewsters together, allowing them to exist as individuals who may eventually acquire sourced biographies and perhaps families on their own account. I know from family experience, that Brewsters are already thick on the ground in East Anglia in the 15th C. Allowing this lot to exist as unconnected individuals seems the only way to cope with the problem of unsourced profiles entered to create an unproven family tree.
WikiTree profile: William Brewster
asked in The Tree House by Valerie Willis G2G6 Mach 6 (60.5k points)
edited by Valerie Willis
I don't think Prudence Perkins should be married to 129, she was a theory about the 2nd wife of 131, ie Mayflower Brewster's stepmother.

Probably Prudences Perkins and Peck should both be merged into Prudence Unknown.
Yes - took me a while to see that prudence perkins has found herself attached in wrong generation - she only arrived with one of the half dozen or so merges for William-129

She's not any more - merge proposed with Prudence Brewster formerly Peck aka Perkins - 64 as same profile manager involved.

I see Prudence Peck's alleged mother "Prudence (Gascoigne)" has been given ancestry.  But her ex-father John Gascoigne-16 has been disconnected, so now it looks like her mother got pregnant by the moat cleaner or something.

Mayflower Brewster is given a half-sister Prudence who married a Robert Peck, from Everton, like there's a cousin-marriage theory.  But Robert Peck hasn't been connected to Edward Peck.
Geni makes Robert the son of Edward, so he marries his niece.  I expect she got a lecture from her brother on what her parents would have thought about it if they'd still been alive etc
The original parents in Valerie's question (Robert and Mary) are no longer there. Before I make this disconnect I want to double check. Disconnect Brewster-129 and Harvey-40 from William Brewster-128
Robert and Mary are the grandparents of 128
Hi Valerie,

The Brewster Surname Project is affiliated with FamilyTreeDNA, as a repository for y-DNA results. Within the project, there are currently several haplotypes (men of different haplotypes are not related within thousands of years), so it may be worth your while to email the admin, Arlin Brewster, to see if he can help you with your particular Brewsters.


Thanks, Michael, interesting, had the most intriguing experience of meeting a lady in Kiel who looked exactly like my mum. Always wondered if my lot were Brits or Saxon.
Anne B - thanks for stepping in

2 Answers

+1 vote

Here are four sources for you

  1. ^ Jump up to: a b Stratton, Eugene Aubrey (1986). Plymouth Colony: Its History and People, 1620–1691, p. 251, Salt Lake City, UT, US: Ancestry Publishing.
  2. ^ Jump up to: a b Merrick, Barbara Lambert [Ed., Comp.] (2000). William Brewster of the Mayflower and His Descendants for Four Generations, 3rd Rev. Edn., pp. 1–5, 30-35, Plymouth, MA, US: General Society of Mayflower Descendants.
  3. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e A genealogical profile of William Brewster, (a collaboration between Plymouth Plantation and New England Historic Genealogical Society)[1]
  4. Jump up ^ "Brewster, William (BRWR580W)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
I have to think that a more worthwhile endeavor would be for you to research the surname of his wife, so she does not go through history as Mary "unknown"
answered by Richard Baker G2G3 (3.2k points)
Perhaps your project Richard? I am interested in the Brewsters of East Anglia - William Brewster ex the Mayflower is just one descendant.

Re the links above, they do not include an ancestry for the Mayflower William Brewster beyond his parents which we agree are probably legit.
+1 vote
I agree. The Mayflower Society in its Descendant Series refuses to identify parents for Elder William Brewster. They say no birth records have been found for him. Mayflower Families in Progress, William Brewster of the Mayflower and his descendants for Four Generations, 1997, p 1.
answered by Carol Smith G2G Rookie (230 points)
I have the 2014 GSMD silver book for Elder William Brewster. It does identify his parents: "William Brewster, son of William and Mary (Smythe) (Simkinson) Brewster, was born..." --Merrick, Barbara Lambert, ''Mayflower Families Through Five Generations Descendants of the Pilgrims Who Landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in December 1620'', Vol. Twenty-four The Descendants of Elder William Brewster, Part 1, Pg.1.
For those of us too far removed from this family line, please tell us here what the General Society of Mayflower Descendants has to say with reference to the parents of Elder William Brewster including the sources in which the information is located.

In going back over this discussion, I see that the two Williams you link are the Elder's father and grandfather, and that I didn't understand exactly whose parents you referred to in your original question. The Mayflower Society does not address the Elder's grandfather at all in the Silver Book which I quoted. 

What it does say on page 1 (quoted in my previous comment, above) refers to Elder William's parents, William and Mary (Smythe) (Simkinson) Brewster. The footnote for this refers to his birth date being calculated from an affidavit which was cited in NEHGR [New England Historical and Genealogical Register], 18: 53 (Registry of Affidavits, Letter k, fol.26); MD [Mayflower Descendant], 1:161-163; Dexter [Henry Martyn Dexter and Morton Dexter, "The England and Holland of the Pilgrims, 1821-1890" (Boston, 1905)] 253, 605; MQ [The Mayflower Quarterly (journal), started in 1935], 36: 57.

On page two it says "No birth records have been found for William Brewster or for his wife Mary. Each of their birth years have been determined by calculation from two separate affidavits, which were made by the Brewsters while residents in Holland: (7)

'On 10/12 June 1609, William Brewster made an affidavit, giving his age as "about forty-two." The contents of this instrument pertained to the guardianship of [his reputed niece] "Ann Peck, native of Launde [next Scrooby], when the aldermen of Leiden granted to Thomas Simkinson (8) of Hull, merchant, the power to receive seven pounds sterling that Ann had left in the hancs of william Watkin, pastor of Clarborough [approximately six miles south-east of Scrooby], when she left England.' "

Footnote (7) refers to TAG [The American Genealogist], 41: 1-2 (affidavit #1); NEHGR, 18: 53 (affidavit #2); Dexter, 605.

Footnote (8) Says: "Additional research on the surname of Simkinson may prove and support a relationship to the mother of William Brewster, Mary (Smythe) (Simkinson) Brewster. NEHGR, 124: 250-254 published the present status of research."

Thank you very much for going to this trouble; it is very useful to have this explained so concisely here for the sake of others interested in this pedigree.
We also know he entered Cambridge University in 1580.  Probably one of those precocious types.  James arrived in 1582.

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