Drewry Family Research

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The information on this page is for those interested in the descendants of John and Deborah Drewry of York County, Virginia.

John Drewry (1649-1714) married before 1672...[1]
Deborah Carroll Dunston (Collins) (c1654-1735)[1]


Samuel Drewry (born 1690), dated 6 August 1768 (pdf)
Samuel Drewry Jr (born 1730), dated 22 December 1766, proved 19 January 1767 (pdfs: page 1, page 2, page 3)

Family / Profiles

John (born c1649) was the son of John who died before 3 October 1665 (date that York County Orphan Court appointed a guardian for his children, identified in a 10 April 1667 record as John, Mary, Robert, and Rachell (wife not named).[2]
John and Deborah had "nine children, seven sons and two daughters, beginning with the birth of John in 1673 and ending with the birth of James in 1693".[3] The following are found in the Charles Parish Register:
  1. John (born 24 July 1673), page 83, Charles Parish Register - Annie B's article on John and Deborah says "John Drewry, a wheelright by trade, was prominent in York County, VA, being Commissioner of Records, 1702, and Vestryman in Charles Parish from 1694 until his death in 1714. It is believed that John was a farmer and may have also been a fisherman. Records exists showing that John hired boats and that his son, John, Jr., drowned in the Charles River (as recorded by the registers) in 1727. John was also deputy sheriff of the county." Charles Parish Register, page 214: John Drewry died 2 October 1727, "drowned in Charles River..."
  2. William (born 12 June 1675), page 86, Charles Parish Register
  3. Elizabeth (born 17 July 1677), page 82, Charles Parish Register
  4. Robert (born 22 October 1679), page 85, Charles Parish Register
  5. Thomas (born 12 September 1684), page 86, Charles Parish Register
  6. Edward ["Dowry?"] (born 2 August 1686), page 81, Charles Parish Register
  7. Mary (born 14 October 1688), page 84, Charles Parish Register
  8. Samuel (born 28 February 1690), page 85, Charles Parish Register
  9. James (born 28 December 1693), page 83, Charles Parish Register


Wife of John (c1649-1714): Deborah's maiden name is usually given as Collins, based on her mother's name at the time she [her mother] wrote her will. Don Drewry's article, "Looking Beyond the First Record: A Father for Deborah, Wife of John Drewry of York County", published in the Magazine of Virginia Genealogy (Nov. 2011), shares his research. As described by the catalog entry in the Mary Ball Washington Museum & Library database: "Carroll Family Drewry Family, Collins Family, Dunston Family of the late 1600s. The article posits that the father of Deborah Drewry was David Carroll, and not Matthew Collins as had been previously supposed."
Wife of John's son John (1673-1727): Mary (m c1694/5, based on son's birth 1 March 1695); Rachael (m in or before 1721, based on their son's birth 14 November 1721)
possibly Mary Gibbons and Rachael Presson, found ~ Don Drewry's research found them listed as marrying this John Drewry in a York County index at John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library in Williamsburg, Virginia, but notes that "no supporting documents have been found verifying this" for both maiden names.[2]
Wife of John's son Samuel (1690-1768): Mary (named in will).
Wife of Samuel's son Samuel (1730-1766/7), no wife mentioned in will, but "likely married Mary Presson" ("we know that her birth surname was Presson" because she identifies her brother in her will [York County Deeds, Orders, Wills, Etc, Record Book No23, 1783-1811, Mary Drewry, p. 370, York Co. microfilm reel 12, Local Government Record collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond]). Mary was born 17 February 1744; she died before 17 December 1792.[2]
Mary Presson: Searching WikiTree 13 October 2020, I found Nicholas Presson of York County with two daughters named Mary: Presson-86 (1st born, 1700); Presson-91 (1707). Perhaps the Mary Presson born 1707 is the Mary of Samuel's will?[4] Notes on Nicholas's profile include the following:
  • It appears that all of the data recorded for this family in The Little Legend and probably that in Pressons of the South is based on the Charles Parish Register. note - the register has Mary Presson died 23 Jan. 1700 (page 239).
  • Proven records begin with Nicholas Presson who in 1690 is listed in the Register of Charles Parish, York County, Virginia as the father of a daughter. We do not know the place or date of Nicholas Presson's birth but it must have been by 1670 at the latest. note - this is apparently referencing Nicholas Pressey & wife Jane, who have a daughter Elizabeth (b 1690) and others, overlapping with records of Nicholas Pressey & wife Elizabeth's children (which include two Marys, born December 1700 & 1707). See page 155 in the register.
  • According to The Little Legend (and probably The Presson Family of the South), Nicholas lived in York County from 1690 thill his death in 1732. There are no records of his owning land in the county.
  • The first child [Mary] was born in 1700, so they [Nicholas and Elizabeth] likely married in 1698 or 1699.
Wives of John's son Robert (1679-1744): Ann (m c1702; d 1709), Agnes (m c1713, d 1723/4), Eleanor (m after 1723/4, d 1748)[2]
Wife of John's son Thomas Drewry (1684-1746): Mary Pitt Tompkins (b 26 July 1690)[5]
Wife of John's son Edward (1686-1719): Jane[2]
Mary Wives: Many of the Drewrys married women named Mary, including two Samuels and the Thomas just listed, who married "Mary Pitt Tompkins" (not supported... not even 'Possibly "Mary Tompkins"' is supported).[5] WikiTree currently has three profiles for a Mary Pitt who married a Drewry, but none are attached to a profile for Thomas (as of 6 Oct. 2020):
  • Mary, wife of Robert Drewry's son (by Agnes) Robert (b 1 Sep 1723)
  • Mary, wife of Robert Drewry's son (by Eleanor) Morgan (b 1 July 1729)
  • Mary Simmons, listed in one source as wife of Thomas Drewry's son Samuel (1722-1790), although Elizabeth Simmons (born 1746) was meant. However, Samuel and Elizabeth's daughter Ann married Spartley Simmons, son of Benjamin and Elizabeth Simmons [Spartley is brother of the Elizabeth thought to have married Thomas, if I'm reading Don's notes correctly], so it it unlikely she was Ann's mother.[2] So...
    • Elizabeth Arrington, daughter of Arthur Arrington, wife of Thomas Drewry's son Samuel (1722-1790). Their second daughter (named Mary) was born c1755, based on her marriage in 1772 (assuming she was about 18 at the time).

  1. 1.0 1.1 Don N. Drewry, "Looking Beyond the First Record..." (November 2011).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Don's research notes (work in progress, October 2020).
  3. From John's WikiTree profile 6 October 2020. Source: Anne B's webpage (accessed 6 Oct. 2020).
  4. The profile for Nicholas cites Irma Little Boyer, The Little Legend (Fayetteville Arkansas: privately printed, 1989), https://www.worldcat.org/title/little-legend-a-genealogical-history-of-the-descendants-of-jacob-little-and-related-presson-and-liles-families/oclc/21077157
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Mary" from record of their children's births in Charles Parish register - "Thomas by Mary". Possibly "Mary Tompkins", suggested by researcher Guy Drewry, but no supporting records have been found (from Don's October 2020 notes).
  • Annie B. John and Deborah Collins Drewry.
  • Charles parish : York country, Virginia, history and registers, births 1648-1789, deaths 1665-1787 by Landon C. Bell, published by the Virginia state library board (online courtesy of Hathi Trust).
  • Don N. Drewry. "Looking Beyond the First Record: A Father for Deborah, Wife of John Drewry of York County", Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, Vol 49, No. 4 (November 2011), 332-338 (Virginia Genealogical Society : Richmond 2011).

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