Drinkwater Name Study

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Surname/tag: Drinkwater
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This profile is part of the Drinkwater Name Study.


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Please contact the project leader Jo Gill or post a comment at the foot of the page. If you have any questions, just ask. Thanks!


This is a One Name Study to collect together in one place everything about one surname and the variants of that name. The hope is that other researchers like you will join our study to help make it a valuable reference point for people studying lines that cross or intersect.

Task List

  1. Add every Drinkwater in the World. LOL


Drinkwater line is Haplogroup R.

Name Origins

The name Drinkwater seems to have emanated originally from Cheshire, England. Many members of the family distinguished themselves as soldiers, writers and poets; three have received and one has declined the Honour of Knighthood; two appear in the Dictionary of National Biography.

The name occurs in its simplest form as early as 1273 when John Drinkwater of Stottesdon county, Salop, is named as an entry in the Hundred Rolls. The earliest known occurrence in Cheshire is in 1365 when Thomas was a defendant in a suit brought by John Boydedd concerning tenements in Lymm. Thomas possible came from Lakes of Derwent, known as Derwentwater in the North of England.

The surname Drinkwater is thought to have originated as a nickname anciently applied to one of sober habits. Some historians state that it is a corruption of Derwentwater, but this theory is considered by many to be without foundation. It is found in old English and early American records in various spellings of Drynwater, Drynkwatere, Drinckwater and Drinkwater, the last of which is that most commonly used in America today. Families bearing this name were established in England as early dates in Salop, Lancashire, Cheshire, and London. One of the earliest references to the name appears to be that of John Drinkwater, living in Salop in 1273. A Richard Drynckwatere, possibly related to John, lived in the same county in 1309.

Among the earliest records of the name Drinkwater in the New World are Thomas Drinkwater, who settled in Maine before 1700 when he married Elizabeth (Haskell) Drinkwater (1672-aft.1717), a Mayflower descendant; and John Shaud Drinkwater (abt.1740-abt.1784), who emigrated from England and settled in Henrico County, Virginia, in 1637.

A son of Thomas, Joseph Drinkwater (1709-1784), had nine sons—all were masters of vessels. Among their sons, there were seven sea captains.

There are 39 master mariners recorded with the name Drinkwater, and 11 lost at sea. There are

Drinkwater Lines

Thomas Drinkwater (abt.1670-abt.1715), immigrant from England.
John Shaud Drinkwater (abt.1735-abt.1784) - immigrant from England to Campbell County Virginia Colony; four children.
Line from Gloucestershire, England, ggg-son immigrated to Colony of Virginia, then Indiana, where the last Drinkwater of this line in United States was born and died.
  1. Edmund Drinkwater (abt.1670-abt.1735), Gloucestershire, England; 2 sons, 2 daughters
  2. son Samuel Drinkwater (abt.1696-); Gloucestershire, 1 son
  3. g-son; Joseph Drinkwater (abt.1718-1787); Gloucester; 14 children
  4. gg-son; John Drinkwater (abt.1754-1838); Gloucestershire
  5. Joseph Drinkwater (1778-1856), immigrated to Virginia, then Indiana;
  6. Joseph Drinkwater (1812-1885) Virginia;
  7. Issac P Drinkwater (1837-1905), lifetime in Indiana;
  8. James Sumner Drinkwater (1873-1873), died at 24 days.
Line from Sussex England, gggggg-son immigrated to Canada
Richard Drinkwater (abt.1683-1743), England
  1. Richard Drinkwater (abt.1683-1743), Sussex, England
  2. James Drinkwater (abt.1710-1760), Sussex
  3. James Drinkwater (abt.1710-1760), Sussex
  4. Richard Drinkwater (abt.1737-aft.1794), Sussex
  5. John Humphrey Bathurst Drinkwater (abt.1781-1867), Sussex
  6. John Humphrey Sumner Drinkwater (1807-1881), immigrated to Canada
  7. Richard John Sumner Drinkwater (abt.1841-), b. Canada, 5 children
  8. Thomas Hallen Drinkwater (1847-1913), brother of above

A History of Drinkwater in the New World

Maine has a long-standing tradition of being home to many shipbuilding companies. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Maine was home to many shipyards that produced wooden sailing ships. The main function of these ships was to transport either cargos or passengers overseas. One of these yards was located in Pennellville Historic District in what is now Brunswick, Maine. This yard, owned by the Pennell family, was typical of the many family-owned shipbuilding companies of the time period. Other such examples of shipbuilding families were the Skolfields and the Morses. During the 18th and 19th centuries, wooden shipbuilding of this sort made up a sizable portion of the economy.

Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790: Maine

The First Census of the United States (1790) was an enumeration of inhabitants of 17 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ne Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia. The First Census act was passed at the second session of the First Congress, and was signed by President Washington. The object was to obtain knowledge as to the military and industrial strength of the country. The enumeration was to be completed in nine months.
Population (heads of families only) of the United States as returned at the First Census, Total: 3,893,635
Table of Population - page 8
Heads of Families - Maine - page 11-73
Index - page 75-105; the name Drinkwater on page 82[1]


  1. Daniel Drinkwater, North Yarmouth, page 22, image 23
  2. David Drinkwater, North Yarmouth, page 21, image 23
  3. Drinkwater Drinkwater, North Yarmouth, page 22, image 23
  4. Drinkwater Drinkwater, North Yarmouth, page 22, image 23
  5. Joseph Drinkwater, North Yarmouth, page 22, image 23
  6. Micajah Drinkwater, Ducktrap Town, page 28, image 30
  7. Perris Drinkwater, North Yarmouth, page 22, image 23
  8. Samuel Drinkwater, North Yarmouth, page 21, image 23
  9. Sylvanus Drinkwater, page 21, image 23
  10. Zenas Drinkwater, Ducktrap Town, page 28, image 30
  11. Drinkworter, Tho,, Pepperellborough Town, page 65, image 67 probably Drinkwater[2]

Spelling Variations

Derwentwater (disproven), Drynwater, Drynkwatere, Drinckwater, Trinkwasser (German), and Drinkwater
Elijah Young Drinkwalter is of German origin and sometimes spelled Drinkwatter and Drinkwater.[3]

Drinkwater Name Changed

Drinkwater => Bethune
Drinkwater => Dewalter


Samuel (Drinkwater, the 3rd generation of this surname found in early America and a descendant of Thomas Drinkwater, changed the family name to DeWaters after the Revolutionary War. He, and his wife's family, were Loyalists. Loyalists were punished by the Patriots and some fled to England or Canada. Loyalists were not allowed to own land and some had their lands confiscated, and some were jailed. Loyalists

Drinkwater => DeWater/s: Amos Drinkwater, father of 12, had three sons who changed LNAB to DeWater/s. This family's name changed from Drinkwater to DeWaters and occurred about five years before Amos moved from New York to Michigan in 1835. A logical reason given is that this branch of the family were Loyalists. He moved to Marcellus between 1800-1810 and bought eight acres of land on Jan 12, 1814, from Mr. Glover of Mentz. Four years later he sold the land to Elijah Cole. In 1830, he moved to Skaneateles and in 1835, moved to Michigan and settled on Section 14, Fawn River Township. Jeremiah Drinkwater and other members of the Drinkwater family began using the name DeWaters in Onondaga County, New York
  1. Jeremiah DeWaters - this line ends here "daughtered out"
  2. Elijah DeWater - 3 sons, 15 grandchildren
  3. Amos B DeWater/Drinkwater - Amos couldn't make up his mind.


The name on the grave stone of Warren Drinkwater reads Drinwater. Warren is the son of John Drinkwater, son of William Drinkwater, son of Thomas Drinkwater (abt.1670-abt.1715), the earliest recorded Drinkwater in America. All of their names were clearly spelled Drinkwater.

Warren's son, Warren Drinwater is Drinwater on his gravestone, as are his five children and his grandchildren.


Some old Drinkwater family names were transcribed as Drinkwalter on U.S. census records and morphed to Drinkwalter in two or three generations.
Emerson Porter (Drinkwater) Porter (1810-1860), son of Zenas Drinkwater (1768-1853), began using his middle name—Porter—as his last name. Born in Maine, died at age 45 in California. His spouse stayed in Maine and is buried as Nancy B (Adams) Porter (1810-1848) at Mount Hope Cemetery, Bangor, Maine.


Giovanni Antonio (Bevilacqua) Drinkwater Sr (1881-1970) immigrated to the US in 1901. His original name, Bevilacqua, translates to DrinkWater in English. He, and his descendants, changed from Bevilacqua to Drinkwater.

Notable Drinkwater

John Drinkwater - Royal Navy Surgeon
John Drinkwater - Lt Colonel Royal Navy, Author
John Elliot Drinkwater Bethune - Cambridge University, Dictionary of National Biography
Charles Ramsay Drinkwater Bethune - Admiral, First Opium War
Graham Drinkwater - Canadian ice hockey player, elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1950
Josiah Drinkwater - Last White man in Humboldt County, California, killed in the Indian wars.
Horatio Harrison Drinkwater - Surfman who died of injuries after live-saving during the wreck of the Jennie Hall at Dam Neck Mills, Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Earliest Drinkwater in North America

  • Thomas Drinkwater - 1670, recorded in Middleboro, Plymouth, Province of Massachusetts Bay; probably from England.
  • John Shaud Drinkwater - b. 1740, England, immigrated to Campbell County, Colony of Virginia, children born there before 1776.

Mayflower Drinkwater

Thomas Drinkwater - 1670, Middleboro, Plymouth, Colony of Massachusetts Bay; married Elizabeth Haskell/Haskall, daughter of John Haskell and Patience Soule, daughter of Mayflower passenger, George Soule.

Drinkwater Distribution

1st Generation

After Thomas Drinkwater, and his eight children, all born in Province of Massachusetts Bay, the earliest Drinkwater found in Colonial America is Walter Warren Drinkwater, b. 1700, and his brother William Drinkwater b. 1701 in Province of Massachusetts Bay.

2nd Generation

William Drinkwater moved to Connecticut some time before 1730, where he married twice and had 16 children, all born in Connecticut Colony.
John Drinkwater went to Connecticut

3rd Generation

His son, Samuel Drinkwater, was a Loyalist who was imprisoned and who moved to New York after the war.

4th Generation

His son Amos Drinkwater, moved to Michigan in 1835, son Elijah DeWater, moved to Indiana, and began using the name DeWater. Son William Drinkwater, moved to Tennessee.

5th Generation: James Drinkwater

1810 U.S. Census Maine

The United States Census of 1810 was the third Census conducted in the United States. It was conducted on August 6, 1810. It showed that 7,239,881 people were living in the United States, of which 1,191,362 were slaves.
The 1810 Census included one new state: Ohio. The original census returns for the District of Columbia, Georgia, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Ohio were lost or destroyed over the years. Most of Tennessee's original forms were also lost, other than Grainger and Rutherford counties.
There are 12 Drinkwaters on the 1810 census - all on the first 5 pages - except Sylvanus on page 29 of the 32 pages.
"The forgoing is a list of all the inhabitants within the Town off North Yarmouth exclusive of the Island V? Males - 1528, Females - 1467, Coulored Person - 20; Total - 3015"
Daniel - b. 1777, he would be 33, 4th generation, son of John
Edward - 5th generation?
Renell - 5th?
David - 5th? - not entered yet.
Anna - b. 1775, she would be 35, listed as head, no spouse, 5 children, 4th generation, daughter of Joseph
John - b. 1785, 4th generation, son of Micajah
John - b. 1764, brother of Daniel, 4th generation, son of John
Perez - b. 1761, brother of Daniel, 4th generation, s. John
Joseph - b. 1736, he would be 74, 4th generation, s. Joseph
Allen - b.1768, he would be 42, sibling of Anna, 4th generation, s. Joseph
David - b. 1751, he would be 59, 3rd generation, s. Joseph
Sylvanus b. 1749, he would be 61, 3rd generation, s. Joseph
  • "United States Census, 1810," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XH2W-ZJZ : accessed 24 October 2018), Anna Drinkwarter, North Yarmouth, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing p. 197, NARA microfilm publication M252 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 11; FHL microfilm 218,682. 18:09, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

Drinkwater by U.S. State


Sewell Lucius Drinkwater Jr (1826-abt.1906), b. 1826, Maine; d. 1906 Alabama



Herbert Raymond Drinkwater (1936-1997), b. 1936 in New York; d. 1997 Arizona; Mayor of Tucson, Arizona


Thomas Drinkwater (abt.1822-1881), b. 1822 Indiana, d. 1881, Arkansas
Oscar Thomas Drinkwater (1869-1947), b. 1859 Indiana, d. 1947 Arkansas


William Clinton Drinkwater, b. 1830 in Missouri
Josiah Drinkwater, b. 1832 in Missouri



Samuel Drinkwater, b. 1744



Edward Drinkwater (1895-1986), b. 1895, d. 1986


Everette Drinkwater (1828-), b. 1828


Melville Weston Drinkwater (1836-1915), b. 1836, Maine, d. 1915 Idaho


John Milton Drinkwater (1849-abt.1933), b. 1849, Ohio, d. 1933 Illinois
Ira Drinkwater (1877-1951), b. 1877, d. 1951


Thomas Drinkwater, b. 1822
Paul Drinkwater Sr (abt.1786-1860), b. 1786 England, d. 1860 Indiana


Oliver Elza Drinkwater, b. 1866



Monema O Drinkwater Bales, b. 1833



Seawell Drinkwater, b. 1827



Walter Warren Drinkwater, b. 1700
William Drinkwater, b. 1701


John Drinkwater, b. 1877, d. 1928


Henry Charles Drinkwater (1854-1925)


James Daniel Drinkwater (abt.1863-), b. 1863,


Robert Drinkwater (abt.1793-1827), b. 1793, Tennessee, moved to Missouri about 1820
James J Drinkwater (abt.1825-abt.1900), b. 1825
John Luther Drinkwater, b. 1825
John Thurston Drinkwater (1822-1895), b. 1822


Virginia (Drinkwater) Burns (1908-1997), b. 1908, d. 1997 Colorado


Loren Drinkwalter (1901-1972), b. 1901, d. 1972


New Hampshire

Charles William Drinkwater (1847-1927), b. 1847, d. 1927 Canada

New Jersey

New York

Amos Drinkwater, b. 1772

North Carolina

Watson Gray Drinkwater, b. 1921

North Dakota


Sarah J Drinkwater, b. 1851
William J Drinkwater (1825-1876)


Richard Thomas Drinkwater, b. 1920


Robert Ingersol Drinkwater, b. 1897


Roderick Wells Drinkwater (1815-1884)

Rhode Island

John Baldwin Drinkwater Jr (1884-1982)

South Carolina

William W Drinkwater (abt.1798-1852)

South Dakota

Mary Amelia Drinkwalter (1822-1894), b. Canada, d. South Dakota


Robert Drinkwater, b. 1793
William Parsons Drinkwater, b. 1791


James Walter Drinkwater, b. 1879


James Robert Drinkwater (1850-1921), b. Missouri, d. Utah


James Drinkwater, b. 1780


Charles W Drinkwater, b. 1785


West Virginia


John Drinkwater (1859-1927), b. 1859, England


Brick Wall Drinkwater

Charles W Drinkwater - b. 1785, Virginia, spouse Martha Moyes
Allen Drinkwater (abt.1850-abt.1900)
Daniel Drinkwater (1759-1825)
Edmund Drinkwater (abt.1670-abt.1735)
John Shaud Drinkwater (abt.1735-abt.1784)

Canada Drinkwater

Charles W Drinkwater - spouse Martha Moyes, b. 1785, Virginia, sons:
  1. JohnW Drinkwater - b.1806, Nottoway County, Virginia
  2. Charles W Drinkwater - b. 1813, " " "
  3. Robert Edward Drinkwater - b. 1816, " " "
Graham Drinkwater - Canadian ice hockey player, elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1950

Drinkwater Place Names

Drinkwater Gulch is a special place with ancient and modern histories. Logged and prospected in the last century, before that it was Indian (Wintu, Wai-Laki and Chimariko) territory mostly. There are some really old and large trees. The land has had a "curse" effect on many who lived there, and there was a story about William Drinkwaters lost gold ledge.

Military Drinkwater

French & Indian War

Thomas Drinkwater (1729-1755)ref>'Connecticut, Town Marriage Records, pre-1870</ref>
John Drinkwater (1731-1755)

Revolutionary War

Zenas Drinkwater -
William Drinkwater

War of 1812

West Drinkwater
James Drinkwater
Nathaniel Drinkwater
Bradford Drinkwater
Ammi Drinkwater
Micajah Drinkwater Jr
William Drinkwater

Civil War

Maxon Drinkwater - 12th Regiment, Maine Infantry, United States Civil War


Phineas Drinkwater - Brigs. - Leopard, commissioned May 29, 1813, 226 tons, 5 carriage guns, 22 men; Phineas Drinkwater, commander; Benjamin Rich, lieutenant
Joseph Drinkwater - Sloops. - Satisfaction, about 1798, 100 men; John Stevens, captain; Joseph Drinkwater, first lieutenant and owner.
The privateer sloop Satisfaction was purchased by Lieut. Joseph Drinkwater and fitted out as a privateer, 1778. She cruised on the coast of Ireland, and was in some engagements.


  1. Master Mariner
  2. Sea Captain
  3. Ship Captain
  4. Farmer
  5. Butcher

Lost at Sea

David C Drinkwater - b. 1828, d. 1855. He was 27 years old when he drowned at sea one month before his son, David M, was born. Parents unknown.
Three sons of Micajah Drinkwater and Amy Wyman, all ship captains:
Charles Drinkwater - b. 1812, was age 35, he sailed from Philadelphia May 1, 1843 for Boston and never arrived; he was unmarried.
Seward Drinkwater - b. 1817 was 24, unmarried, when lost at sea in 1841.
Rufus Drinkwater - b. 1819, was 24, unmarried, when lost at sea in 1843.
Rotheus B Drinkwater - b. 1838, son of Rotheus L Drinkwater and [[Lane-12187|Rotheus Lucy Lane] was 22 and unmarried when lost at sea in 1860.
Robert Drinkwater, b. 1787, son of Perez Drinkwater Sr and Keziah Gray, was lost at sea in 1909, eight months after he married Margaret Greeley.

Burial Grounds

Miles Standish Burial Ground

Thomas Drinkwater
Elizabeth Haskell

Paine Cemetery

Mary Drinkwater Chase - wife of John chase

Eastern Cemetery, Portland, Maine

27 Drinkwater memorials
Capt Phineas Drinkwater
Margaret White - wife of Phineas Drinkwater
Addison Drinkwater - son of Phineas & Margaret
Frances C Drinkwater - wife of ? Colby
Arhoda Barbour Bradford - wife of Samuel
Capt Sewell Drinkwater
Hannah Waterhouse
Capt David Drinkwater
Capt Fred A Drinkwater
Capt Samuel Drinkwater
William W Drinkwater

Ledge Cemetery, Yarmouth, Maine

29 Drinkwater memorials
Reuel Drinkwater
Daniel Drinkwater
Rebecca Fisher - wife of Daniel
Addison Drinkwater

Saturday Cove, Waldo County, Maine

45 Drinkwater burials
Ammi Drinkwater
Austin Drinkwater

Mount View Cemetery, Camden, Maine

27 Drinkwater burials
Charles Drinkwater - b. 1812, was age 35, he sailed from Philadelphia May 1, 1843 for Boston and never arrived; he was unmarried.
Seward Drinkwater - b. 1817 was 24 when lost at sea in 1841.
Rufus Drinkwater - b. 1819, was 24 when lost at sea in 1843

Quabbin Park Cemetery, Ware, Massachusetts

Ellery Drinkwater

other burial ground

References & Resources

These are links to special pages on WikiTree, listing all the profiles on WikiTree with a given surname, all the G2G posts with that name in the subject or tags, and profiles with that name as the Last Name At Birth that are orphaned, have the "Unsourced" template applied to them, or are not connected to the main tree.

  • Drinkwater One-Name This site powered by The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding ©, v. 12.0.1, written by Darrin Lythgoe 2001-2018. Maintained by Joyce Herzog.
  • A Record of the Names of the Passengers on the Good Ship Mayflower in December 1620 for whom descent may now be proved; together with the names of some of the husbands of their married daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters. Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of California. Berkeley, California. April 1920. [] 16:24, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Mayflower Deeds & Probates. From the files of George Ernest Bowman, at the Massachusetts Society of Mayflowre Descendants, by Susan E. Roser. Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc. Baltimore, MD. 671 pages.
  • The Drinkwater Family The Ancestors and Descendants of Micajan Drinkwater of Northport, Maine, and Elizabeth Bradford, His Wife. Vol. 1, 1620-825. By John S. Fernald. Belfast, Maine. G.E. Burgess, printer. 1904. [1] 18:48, 23 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Descendants of Richard Waterhouse of Portsmouth, New Hampshire : with notes on the descendants of Jacob Waterhouse of New London, Conn., Joshua Waterhouse of New Jersey and others. Also: A sketch of the Waterhouse Family in England. Compiled by George Herbert Waterhouse, Member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Hannah Waterhouse-Sewall Drinkwater 23:21, 13 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Book Title: Lineage Book : NSDAR : Volume 099 : 1913. Source Information: North America, Family Histories, 1500-2000 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016. 19:02, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
  • U.S., Newspaper Extractions from the Northeast, 1704-1930 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. This collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors. Original data: Newspapers and Periodicals. American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts. U.S., Newspaper Extractions from the Northeast, 1704-1930 for Joseph Drinkwater 21:44, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
  • "United States Census, 1810," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XH2W-ZJZ : accessed 24 October 2018), Anna Drinkwarter, North Yarmouth, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing p. 197, NARA microfilm publication M252 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 11; FHL microfilm 218,682. 18:09, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

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I have Drinkwater ancestors. I came across a major 90 page book written by C H Drinkwater in 1920 detailing Drinkwater family history. Unfortunately it does not include any of my line of Drinkwater ancestors, however since you are running the Drinkwater one name study I thought it would be a great resource for you, just in case you have not seen it. You can access it from Ancestry here: https://www.ancestry.com.au/imageviewer/collections/17787/images/dvm_GenMono003583-00001-0

THE FAMILY OF DRINKWATER of CHESHIRE, Lancashire and THE ISLE OF MAN, &c. Edited by C. H. DRINKWATER, m. a., AND w. G. D. FLETCHER, m. a., u. s. a.


I was able to download the full 90 page book from the internet archive, so if you can't find it and want it I could email you a copy, or download yourself from:




posted by Martin Young
edited by Martin Young
Wow! That book puts my Drinkwater research to shame! I will add it to Resources on the Space page and update the space page into to include info as to the origins of the name Drinkwater. My interest in the name started with U.S., but I have branched out to include Canada. I am 1700 certified but not before that, so unless I try for 1500 certification I can't add a lot of the info in the book to WikiTree.

Martin, thanks so much for the book.

posted by Jo Gill