The Drew Line of David Ward of Western Australia and cousins in America and United Kingdom
Eliza Ann Drew - b. 1841
I have seen James mentioned in my great great grandmother's will (she died 22.3.1865). He was left just five pounds! My great great grandmother was Margaret Sheen, baptised 5.10.1797 at Bettws Disserth, Radnorshire. The old Sheen farm "The Wern" is still there. There is still a distant Drew cousin farming at Gwstre (Welsh for Goosetree) Farm. There are old graves at a number of places, including Llanbadarnfawr and Glascwm.
and Sheens were old Radnorshire farming families, going
back to the 1600s.
"Danzy" is an old family name with many spellings - Danzey, Dantesey etc. - derived from the old "landed gentry" Dauntsey family, originally of Wiltshire, with a branch in Herefordshire. Maria Dauntsey (born c.1690) married Thomas Sheen (born c. 1685) and the name has been carried on. It is thought that one of Sir Thomas More's daughters, Elizabeth (?), married a Dauntsey."
|"In the name of
God Amen the tenthe day of the month of marche in the
yere of our Lord God a thousande fyve hundrethe fourtye
and two; I William Dauntesey Citizen and Alderman of the
Citie of London being of holy mynde and in good and
parfite rememberance will that in West Lavington a house
called a church house and a house for a schole be kept in
and VIII chambers be edifyed and builded... and that Ambrose
Dauntesey shall name and appoint one apt
and convenient person to teach gramer in the Schole house
"Drews, Sheens, Prices, Joneses, Lloyds et alia often intermarried and sometimes formed 'below stairs' relationships which tends to complicate the tracing of different lines. One whole branch of the Sheen family migrated to Texas after a scandal involving a young housemaid. Old Drew family wills going back into the 1700s make interesting reading. One can sense who was in favour and who was not. The Drews seem, in general, to have been prosperous farmers, leaving considerable acreages and sums of cash, not to mention harness, sows, feather beds and grandfather clocks in their wills. They sometimes titled themselves as 'yeoman', and sometimes as 'gentleman'.
Some members of this branch of the Drew family drifted into shoemaking and gardening or fell on hard times - for example, one William Drew, the head gardener to Mr. Lane of 'Rylands', Leominster, was fined 5 shillings in 1866 for kicking Joseph Hinton, assistant gardener - and a William Drew died, aged 80, in 1919, in the Poor Law Institution at Rhayader. There were always rumours in our family of an "uncle" who went to America. My grandfather, Tom Drew, actually bought a sea chest at one time, with the intention of migrating, but he never made it.
Vincent David Drew, my great grandfather, married Naomi ? Sheen (a second cousin, I think) and had a family. Naomi died fairly young and Vincent David thereafter married his housekeeper, Elizabeth Price. He had a second family, including Tom Drew, my grandfather. Although David (known as such in the family) inherited some land, he foolishly went to law chasing a supposed fortune in Chancery which he felt was his. He lost his farm, and ended up, according to my late uncle, Bill Drew, as an alcoholic hedger and ditcher. My great grandmother (Elizabeth) had a brother called James Price, who boxed professionally as "Black Jim o' Clun". This didn't go down well with the family "establishment". N.B. Henry James Drew-Smythe was an avid supporter and follower of national and international Boxing.
My grandfather, and his brother William Drew, both took apprenticeships and started a bakery in Hereford. Tom, my grandfather, kept family contact through the church, and played violin in the Quakers' orchestra in Hereford. I have a photograph of him resplendent in white tie. The Drews at Gwstre Farm - last I knew - ran a trucking business with gigantic Volvos. They were also involved in breeding champion Welsh cobs, and there is a strong horse tradition in the family."
The Reverend Francis Kilvert (not altogether well-regarded today) had a living at Clyro, near Hay-on-Wye. He wrote a diary which has survived in print and it gives a fascinating picture of the area during the late 1800s. On Saturday, 26 March 1870, he visited Bryn y Garth, a farm belonging to Thomas Meredith, another old Radnor family.
Kilvert describes Mrs. Meredith as: "looking young enough to be her own daughter, a small slight figure and yellow hair. How these light haired people do keep their youth. She must have been pretty once too. They are both nice people." Mrs. Meredith was, in fact, Elizabeth Drew, daughter of Margaret Sheen and Thomas Drew and sister to Vincent David Drew, James E. Drew and their siblings.
Elizabeth Drew had a son, Danzey Drew Meredith - who is mentioned by Kilvert as "drafting sheep in a meadow" on Tuesday 26 March 1872.