About the Brouwer Genealogy Database

August 5, 2008 (revised Sept. 5, 2009)

The Brouwer Genealogy Database (BGD) is intended as a tool to be used by anyone interested in the genealogy of the various Brouwer-Brower-Brewer families, or for anyone who simply wants to discover their own direct line of ancestry to some Brouwer-Brower-Brewer family. The database is NOT a final product, at least not in the way you might consider a compiled, published genealogy to be one. The intention is for researchers to use the information they find on this site, which is generously referenced, as a guide to discovering more about their ancestors. Researchers are encouraged to follow up and check the sources themselves, to analyze what they find, and to come to their own conclusions which may or may not agree with my own.

The database is an accumulation of all of the information I have thus far gathered regarding the many various Brouwer-Brower-Brewer families I have researched over the past seven or so years. I use the BGD myself as an online notebook. It allows me quick and easy access to my genealogy notes from any location where I can access a computer. I don’t have to carry around pages and files of notes, and if I’m at a library and need something I don’t have with me, I can find it online at the BGD.

The BGD is created in the following way. All info and notes I have gathered is entered into my genealogy program. The program I use is The Master Genealogist (TMG). For anyone interested in genealogy to the extent of recording more than just names and BMD dates, the only program to use is TMG. No other compares, but rather than spend the time here going over the features, I will simply direct you to the website www.whollygenes.com .

Once all the data is entered into TMG the next trick is to translate it into an online format so that can be accessed by myself and others. That process is accomplished with a different program called Second Site, developed by John Cardinal, www.johncardinal.com . Second Site simply takes all what I have entered into TMG and translates it into HTML so as to viewed as webpages. Simply put, what you see or find at the Brouwer Genealogy Database website, is exactly what I have in my TMG program at home (which is why you will probably also find many grammatical and spelling errors). The files then created by Second Site are uploaded to the RootsWeb Free Pages site, sites.rootsweb.com .

The data found at the Brouwer Genealogy Database is presented in a Family Pages format. So those looking for a “Register Style” format will not find it. The purpose of the BGD, as stated above, is for it to act as an online notebook, not a finished genealogy as the “Register Style” in itself implies. I personally believe that for ongoing research the Family Page (or Family Group Sheet as old time paper age genealogists might call it) is the best way to present ongoing, and changeable research. The Register Style implies a completed genealogy. It’s numbering system is cumbersome to edit whenever new descendants are discovered or proven not to belong where they were originally placed. Family Pages can be easily moved about when needed. Think of them as building blocks. The Family Page format is also similar to the format used by Ancetsry.com’s World Connect Project, which many may be familiar with as it is often a place where people go when just starting to explore their family ancestry. The major difference though is that the Brouwer Genealogy Database, because it was created on TMG and exported to the web with Second Site, can provide much more detailed information, and more accurately described sources. While maneuvering through the Database is the same as at World Connect, the amount and quality of the information you will find are world’s apart.

Each note found on the BGD has a source citation. The sources used represent a very wide range, from those that would be accepted as evidence for publication in a leading genealogical journal, to those that can be considered as nothing more than tradition or even rumor. It is up to each user of the BGD to seek out and consult the original source cited for themselves before considering whether or not to accept its validity

The Database was launched with the first three generations of descendants of Adam Brouwer, Jan Brouwer and Willem Brouwer, as well as with some related families, in particular the large family of Adam Brouwer’s wife, Magdalena Verdon (her mother was married three times and had children by all three marriages). Over time I will be adding further generations to each of the three, direct lines of descent to near present day descendants found by both my own research, lines contributed by others, and by the pedigrees submitted to the Brewer DNA Project http://www.familytreedna.com/public/BrewerDNA/ which will be augmented with confirming research. Other, related families will certainly find their way to the database. I will follow and post as many female lines as I have time to uncover. I also anticipate posting the research I have conducted on some of the many Brewer families whose origins reach back to colonial New England. And, probably most importantly, I will be adding the many “unconnected” lines of Brouwer-Brower-Brewer descendants, with the hope that those of you searching through the database might recognize one, or see a possible connection that I have missed. I hope that over the course of the next year I can have the entire Brouwer Genealogy Database that is housed in my TMG program uploaded to the website so that it is available for all to explore.

There is no charge for access to this database, and I am of the firm belief that all genealogical research should be shared freely and openly (and the web is the obvious place to do that). After all, it’s not doing anyone a whole lot of good just sitting at home in your computer or in a file box. My only request is that when you do you the information found here, you cite the source (The Brouwer Genealogy Database) properly, and that you use it for personal, non-commercial use only.