WILLIAM BREWSTER was born at Norwich on March 22, 1668/69, the fifth child of BENJAMIN and ANNE, and he had seven siblings
(as did his father before him). His birth was recorded in Norwich Vital Records (Vol 1, p. 23) as follows: "BRUSTER,
WILLYAM son of BENJAMIN & ANNE b. Mar 1669."
Extremely little has been written about WILLIAM's life and times, but we do know that he married ELIZABETH READ/REED at
Norwich January 8, 1692. She was a daughter of JOSIAH and GRACE (HOLLOWAY) READ/REED, and she died unexpectedly March 11,
1692, leaving WILLIAM a widower at age 23. Sometime after her death, he removed from Norwich to Lebanon. From the lack of
information about his second marriage and birth dates for his children, we can assume that he had removed to Lebanon before
those events took place, and that the town of Lebanon did not keep records during that period of time or the records were
"The Brewster Genealogy" shows that WILLIAM's second wife was named PATIENCE, but does not mention her maiden name and
does not indicate when or where they were married, which led me to believe that their marriage was not recorded in the town
records of Norwich. However, I recently I came across a statement, probably submitted by one of their descendants, that said
"WILLIAM married PATIENCE REED, daughter of JOSIAH REED and GRACE HOLMAN [sic], on 08 Jun 1692, in Norwich, New London, CT.
(Patience Reed was born in Sep 1672 in Norwich New London CT and died in 1740 in Conventry, Tolland CT.)" If WILLIAM and PATIENCE's
marriage is recorded in Norwich, that would be excellent. However, many researchers have combed through and transcribed these
early town records, and I have never seen it written by any of them that WILLIAM married secondly, PATIENCE REED. Therefore,
I did a search on the Internet today (November 24, 2006), and I found that JOSIAH REED and GRACE (HOLLOWAY) did NOT have a
daughter named PATIENCE, and it was their daughter, ELIZABETH, who was born in September of 1762. So there ends that bit of
mis-information about WILLIAM's second wife, PATIENCE, being a "twin" sister of his first wife, ELIZABETH. I believe that
the mis-information presented by WILLIAM and PATIENCE's descendant came from a mis-reading of the date of WILLIAM's marriage
to ELIZABETH, which was January 8, 1692. Note that the descendant indicated that WILLIAM and PATIENCE were married June 8,
1692. The original handwriting in the Lebanon Town record may have abbreviated January (Jan), and the descendant interpreted
the date incorrectly as June. Without seeing the actual record myself, I cannot explain how the descendant would mis-read
ELIZABETH as PATIENCE.
Following is the information presented by James Savage: "JOSIAH READ/REED, New London 1662, rem. To Norwich, m. at Marshfield,
Nov. 1666, Grace Holloway, had Josiah, b. Apr. 1668; William, Apr. 1670; Elizabeth Sept. 1672; Experience, 27 Feb. 1675; John,
15 Apr. 1670, John, at Apr. 1670; Joseph, 12 Mar. 1681; Susanna, 20 Sept. 1685; Hannah, July 1688; and he d. 3 July 1711.
His wid. d. 9 May 1727." (Savage).
WILLIAM and PATIENCE were the parents of five children, and the births of the last two were recorded in the Lebanon Town
records. Their children WILLIAM BRUSTAR of Mansfield, "eldest son", PATIENCE, SAMUEL BRUSTAR,
EBENEZER and PETER were named in the settlement of their father's estate in April of 1729. Our BREWSTER surname DNA Project
gathered together male descendants of WILLIAM and PATIENCE's sons WILLIAM JR., SAMUEL and EBENEZER, and more details of the
outcome of the DNA testing will be presented later in this document.
WILLIAM died at Lebanon August 11, 1728, and PATIENCE, his widow, died at Coventry about 1740.
In the next chapter, WILLIAM's legacy continues through his son, WILLIAM BREWSTER JR. Click here for more information about WILLIAM BREWSTER JR.
Links to the other sons of WILLIAM and PATIENCE:
Click here for more information on SAMUEL, son of WILLIAM and PATIENCE
Click here for more information on EBENEZER, son of WILLIAM and PATIENCE
Click here for more information of PETER, son of WILLIAM and PATIENCE