Birth date [26 June 2012]
Original note: On the April 8, 2011 episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, tracing the ancestry of Ashley Judd, D. Joshua Taylor at NEHGS showed a pedigree tracing her line back to William Brewster, prepared by the production company. The pedigree shown on camera lists Brewster's birthdate as 24 Jan 1566/7 in England. This date is not given in the Great Migration profile for Brewster, and there does not appear to be any discussion online of his birth being discovered. Wikipedia also lists this date in the sidebar, but with no source. As the pedigree was not prepared by NEHGS (and also lists his daughter-in-law as "Lurecia Oldham" born 14 Jan 1600 in England, when Brewster's GMB profile indicates that as her baptism date, and that it occurred at All Saints in Derby), it is possible this information is undocumented.
In the 1500's the calendar shift was 10 days, and it seems likely that the discrepancy between 3 Feb and 24 Jan is the difference between new style and old style, since 3 Feb is 10 days after 24 Jan. Where 24 Jan comes from in the first place is unknown to me. Perhaps, like Hobart in Hobart's Journal, Brewster mentioned his birthday in some journal, giving the day of the year, but leaving the year to be deduced?
As far as the year is concerned, the article "The True Date of the Birth and Death of Elder Brewster" by Henry M. Dexter, Source:NEHGR, p. 18:18, would be required reading as it discusses several alternatives, then offers a deposition dated 25 Jun 1609 where Brewster is age 42, meaning he was born between 25 Jun 1566 and 25 Jun 1567 if taken literally, hence the 1566-1567. Since all the rest of the sources are based on Bradford's writings, which is based on his age at death being "near" fourscore years, or alternatively, about him being in the country "some 23 or 24 year", this is by far the most precise and authoritative source. This deposition is again mentioned by Lucy Hall Greenlaw in her article "Early Generations of the Brewster Family", Source:NEHGR, p. 53:109, which suggests to me it has been accepted as valid. Neither article mentions the 24 Jan date. Greenlaw says the parish registers in Scrooby "do not begin until 1695".
The deposition referred to also mentions wife Mary, age 40, and son Jonathan, age 16, incidentally. --Jrich 14:46, 11 April 2011 (EDT)
Just as a point of clarification - NEHGS did not prepare the chart that was shown to actress Ashley Judd on "Who Do You Think You Are?," and as such cannot verify or document the information it contained. Therefore it should not be used as a source for the birth of William Brewster.--Shoup1 09:41, 26 April 2011 (EDT)