Explore the Family Name Brewer

The meaning of Brewer

1. English: occupational name for a brewer of beer or ale, from Middle English brewere ‘brewer’ (an agent derivative of Old English brēowan ‘to brew’). Compare Brewster. 2. English (of Norman origin): Anglicized form of French Bruyère (see Bruyere), a habitational name from a place so called in Calvados, France, from Old French bruiere ‘heath’. 3. Americanized form (translation into English) of Dutch Brouwer, German Brauer or Breuer, etc., all occupational names meaning ‘brewer’.

Dictionary of American Family Names, 2nd edition, © Oxford University Press, 2022.

How common is the last name Brewer in the United States?

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the surname Brewer has seen a slight fluctuation in its popularity over a decade. In 2000, Brewer was ranked as the 274th most common surname, but by 2010, it had slipped to the 303rd position, marking a decrease of 10.58 percent. Despite this drop in rank, the actual count of individuals bearing the Brewer name increased from 100,465 in 2000 to 103,318 in 2010, reflecting a modest growth of 2.84 percent. However, when adjusted for population growth, the proportion of Brewers per 100,000 people fell by 5.93 percent from 37.24 to 35.03.

Proportion per 100k37.2435.03-5.93%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Brewer

The ethnic identity associated with the Brewer surname also saw some shifts between 2000 and 2010, according to the Decennial U.S. Census. While those identifying as White remained the majority, their percentage dropped slightly from 83.34 to 81.30. The Hispanic population with the Brewer surname showed the largest increase, rising by 48.98 percent from 1.47 to 2.19 percent. Those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander and Black also saw increases. The proportion of Asian/Pacific Islanders increased by 27.27 percent from 0.33 to 0.42, while the Black population rose by 5.07 percent, from 12.03 to 12.64. Individuals identifying as belonging to two or more races grew by 32.28 percent, whereas the American Indian and Alaskan Native population saw an 8.87 percent increase.

Two or More Races1.58%2.09%32.28%
American Indian and Alaskan Native1.24%1.35%8.87%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.33%0.42%27.27%

Brewer ancestry composition

23andMe computes an ancestry breakdown for each customer. People may have ancestry from just one population or they may have ancestry from several populations. The most commonly-observed ancestry found in people with the surname Brewer is British & Irish, which comprises 56.1% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (23.8%) and Scandinavian (3.6%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Spanish & Portuguese, Italian, Nigerian, and Indigenous American.

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British & Irish56.1%
French & German23.8%

Possible origins of the surname Brewer

Your DNA provides clues about where your recent ancestors may have lived. Having many distant relatives in the same location suggests that you may all share common ancestry there. Locations with many distant relatives can also be places where people have migrated recently, such as large cities. If a large number of individuals who share your surname have distant relatives in a specific area, it could indicate a connection between your surname and that location, stemming from either recent ancestral ties or migration.

Based on 23andMe data, people with last name Brewer have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom89.60%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom89.40%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom89.30%
West Midlands, United Kingdom89.20%
Lancashire, United Kingdom89.20%

What Brewer haplogroups can tell you

Haplogroups are genetic population groups that share a common ancestor on either your paternal or maternal line. These paternal and maternal haplogroups shed light on your genetic ancestry and help tell the story of your family.

The top paternal haplogroup of people with the surname Brewer is I-L22, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup I-L22 is descended from haplogroup I-M170. Other common haplogroups include I-L205.1 and E-V13, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Nixon, Morton, Newsome, Robson, Summers, Casper, Hope, Richmond, Sumner, Gillette.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Brewer surname are: H1, T2b, H. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

brewerPaternal Haplogroup Origins I-M170
Paternal Haplo Image

Your paternal lineage may be linked to many northern European men

If you have haplogroup I1a1b, your paternal line stems from a young branch of I-M253 called I-L22, which likely arose in the last 3,000 years. I-L22 is most common in Northern Europe, but a recent study found that this haplogroup was present in a significant portion of the Partecipanza population living in San Giovanni in Persiceto, Italy. The area of San Giovanni in Persiceto was involved in a migration period in 728 AD, when it became part of the Lombard kingdom, under King Aistulf. San Giovanni in Persiceto was only under Lombard rule for 48 years, after which the Lombards were defeated by King Charlemagne in 776 AD. There are several characteristics of San Giovanni in Persiceto that link it to other Lombard settlements. For instance, some research suggests San Giovanni in Persiceto was the seat of a Lombard Duke between 750 and 800 AD. It is possible that the Lombards who ruled over San Giovanni in Persiceto played an important role in the introduction and growth of haplogroup I-L22 in the region.

Your maternal lineage may be linked to Marie Antoinette

Because it is so dominant in the general European population, haplogroup H also appears quite frequently in the continent's royal houses. Marie Antoinette, an Austrian Hapsburg who married into the French royal family, inherited the haplogroup from her maternal ancestors. So did Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose recorded genealogy traces his female line to Bavaria. Scientists also discovered that famed 16th century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus traced his maternal lineages to haplogroup H.

Maternal Haplo Image

What do people with the surname Brewer have in common?

Spoiler alert: it's complicated. People with the same last name are usually no more genetically similar than a randomly sampled group of people from the same population. That said, people with the same surname are more likely to have similar ancestries than randomly sampled individuals. The reason is the tendency of people with similar cultural or geographical backgrounds to preferentially mate with one another. That's why people who share a surname may be more likely to share traits and tendencies in common than people within the general population. Check out the percentages below to see the prevalences of tastes, habits, and traits of people with your surname compared with prevalences among 23andMe users.



Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Brewer" Surname 43.1%

23andMe Users 41.3%




When sounds made by others, like the sound of chewing or yawning, provoke strong emotional reactions in an individual.

"Brewer" Surname 27.2%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Brewer" Surname 25.9%

23andMe Users 21.1%




A severe headache characterized by intense pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

"Brewer" Surname 20.3%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Brewer?

The short answer is that, if there is an association between surname and health, it's usually more about your ancestry than your name. Individuals with a given surname are no more genetically similar than the general population but often have similar ancestries. The populations of people associated with those shared ancestries often have sets of genetic variations, also known as alleles, in common. Some of those alleles are associated with a greater likelihood of developing certain diseases.

Disease variant frequency by ancestry

Disease allele frequencies in populations associated with the surname Brewer are shown below. Important Note: not everyone with a disease allele will develop these health condition

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Y402H variant

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible vision loss among older adults. The disease results in damage to the central part of the retina (the macula), impairing vision needed for reading, driving, or even recognizing faces. The 23andMe Health + Ancestry DNA test includes the two most common variants associated with an increased risk of developing the condition: the Y402H variant in the CFH gene and the A69S variant in the ARMS2 gene. Learn more about Age-Related Macular Degeneration

British & Irish 62.1%

23andMe Users 57.2%