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Scope of Project

To build a single, validated and documented shared family tree for the Brewster family, from earlier origins to near modern times.



Elder William Brewster (c. 1560 or 1566 – April 10, 1643) was a Pilgrim colonist leader and preacher born in Doncaster, England and raised in Scrooby, in north Nottinghamshire, who reached what became the Plymouth Colony in the Mayflower in 1620. He was accompanied by his wife, Mary Brewster, and his sons, Love Brewster and Wrestling Brewster. Son Jonathan joined the family in November 1621, arriving at Plymouth on the ship Fortune, and daughters Patience and Fear arrived in July 1623 aboard the Anne.

Genealogical Notes for Discussion


He was born probably at Doncaster, Yorkshire, England, circa 1566/1567, although no birth records have been found, and died at Plymouth, Massachusetts on April 10, 1644 around 9 or 10pm. He was the son of William Brewster and Mary (Smythe) (Simkinson) and he had a number of half-siblings. His paternal grandparents were William Brewster and Maud Mann. His maternal grandfather was Thomas Smythe.


Sometime before 1593, in England, William Brewster married someone by the name of Mary Brewster|Mary, whose maiden name and parentage have not yet been proven; it has been speculated that it could be either Wyrall or Wentworth, but there is no compelling evidence for either assumption. She was probably born in England circa 1568-1569. She 'dyed at Plymouth, Massachusetts on April 17, 1627.' (Brewster Book).* Bradford says that, though she died ' long before' her husband, 'yet she dyed aged,' but by her affidavit of 1609 she was less than sixty years of age and it is probable that her ' great & continuall labours, with others crosses, and sorrows, hastened it (t. a. old age) before y* time.'

The children of William and Mary were:

  • Elder Jonathan Brewster (August 12, 1593 - August 7, 1659) married Lucretia Oldham of Derby on 10 April 1624, and were the parents of eight children:
  • Patience Brewster (c.1600 - December 12, 1634) married Gov. Thomas Prence of Lechlade, Gloucestershire, 4 children
  • Fear Brewster (c. 1606 - before 1634) so called because she was born at the height of the Puritans' persecution. Married Isaac Allerton of London, 2 children.
  • Unnamed child was born, died and buried in 1609 in Leiden, Holland.
  • Love Brewster was born in Leiden, Holland about 1611 and died between October 6, 1650 and January 31, 1650/1, at Duxbury, Massachusetts. At the age of about 9, he traveled with his father, mother and brother, Wrestling, on the Mayflower to Plymouth, Massachusetts. He married Sarah Collier in Plymouth, Massachusetts on May 15, 1634. Love and Sarah were the parents of 4 children.
  • Wrestling Brewster was born in 1614 in Leiden, Holland; was living in 1627, died unmarried before the 1644 settlement of his father's estate

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Make sure the name fields of the Master Profiles include first name, middle name, last name, maiden name if known, otherwise blank, suffix for Sr., Jr., etc. In the display name field only add titles such as Gov. or Dr. preceding.

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FN William MN (blank) LN Brewster MN (blank) Suffix lll
Display name is "Elder" William Brewster, "Mayflower" Passenger


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Supplemental Reading

contributions welcome

  • Please insert in alphabetical order by last name of author, and provide URL link if available online
  • Dexter, Henry M, and Morton Dexter. The England and Holland of the Pilgrims. Baltimore: Reprinted for Clearfield Company, Inc. by Genealogical Pub. Co, 2002. Print.
  • find in a library:
  • avail online:
  • John G. Hunt, "The Mother of Elder William Brewster of the Mayflower," NEHGR 124:250.
  • Jones, Emma C. B. The Brewster Genealogy, 1566-1907: A Record of the Descendants of William Brewster of the "mayflower." Ruling Elder of the Pilgrim Church Which Founded Plymouth Colony in 1620. New York: The Grafton press, 1908. Print.
  • find in a library:
  • avail online:
  • Steele, Ashbel. Chief of the Pilgrims: or, The life and time of William Brewster, ruling elder of the Pilgrim company that founded New Plymouth, the parent colony of New England, in 1620 J.B. Lippincott, 1857.
  • Whittemore, Henry. Genealogical Guide to the Early Settlers of America: With a Brief History of Those of the First Generation and References to the Various Local Histories, and Other Sources of Information Where Additional Data May Be Found. Baltimore, MD: Reprinted for Clearfield Co. by Genealogical Pub. Co, 1995. Print.
  • find in a library: