JOHN DREW JR. AND MARIAH MELTONDREW
JOHN DREW, Jr. (1844 - 1909)was born in County Westmeath,Ireland, the sonof Irish peasants, John Drew and Rose Reilly Drew, who emigratedfrom Ireland to the U.S.A. in about 1847.John made the trip toAmerica as a 3 year old. During the trip and during the family's10 or 11 years in Kentucky, he must have grown close to his sister, Catherine,9 years his elder. In 1858, shortly after the birth of Catherine'sfirst child, Rose, both John Sr. and 13 year old John Jr. accompanied theMcGee's to Pettis county, Missouri where the McGee's acquired land eitherthrough a railroad "land offer" or a "homesteader" offer. It is notknown if the Drews also acquired land there. It is possible thatJohn Sr. was already too ill to farm land and required care from his daughter,Catherine. Also making that 1858 trip from Kentucky to Missouri wereJohn Jr.'s brothers, Bryan, aged 19, and a younger brother, William, aged11.
| Just one yearlater, (September 1859) John Sr. died; and by 1860, it was apparently agreedthat young John would do better in the care of his elder brother, James,in Indiana. On May 8, 1860, the court record in Daviess County, Indiana(we have that document) shows that James filed for and received guardianshipof "John Drew of the age of about Seventeen years old (with his writtenconsent) and Minor heir of John Drew deceased late of Pettis County Missouri..." We also have the document that "releases" James from guardianship whenJohn becomes 21 years old.|
We do not have many documents pertainingto John's life; but we know that he did marry and have children **...and spent his entire life in Daviess County, Indiana. (The gravestonemisspells the name of his county of death as well as his county of birth.)
Nonetheless, it was his grave marker, shownat right, that led us to the correct county in Ireland to begin our searchfor our ancestors. The grave is at St. Mary's church near Montgomery,Indiana. The family apparently wanted the stone to read: "Born inCounty Westmeath, Ireland."
|A LESS THAN STELLAR MILITARYRECORD:According to one of JamesDrew's grandchildren, (George B. Drew's son, John) the Loogootee publiclibrary (in Daviess county) has a list of all Daviess county residentswho were veterans of the civil war. That list includes a John Drew,but the report I got did not indicate what unit he was with and also didnot list his final place of burial. In fact, it seems nearly certainthat this John Drew did serve in the Civil War. The following officialrecords, obtained via paid membership to HDS, seem to show that John Jr.did indeed ENLIST in Philadelphia in 1861 and soon after DESERTED. Although the exact "connection" between the Drew Family and Philadelphiaare not certain, the dates and "age" are compatible with "our" John Drew...and the report is submitted by the Indiana Adjutant General. It isthought that Theresa Cusick, wife of John's brother and legal guardian,James, had "roots" and connections in Philadelphia and John may have enlistedwhile visiting there.|
Residence not listed; 18 years old.Enlisted on 5/3/61 at Philadelphia, PA as a Private.On 6/28/61 he mustered into "G" Co. NY 71st Infantry He deserted on 7/4/61 at Camp Scott, Staten Island, NYSources: - Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Indiana
Historical DataSystems, Inc.
P.O. Box 196
|Assumingthat both the military records (above and below) are the same John Drew,we are presently left with only our imagination to fill in the time gapbetween the 1861 and 1864 enlistments. It is not known whether the"desertion" was "found out" ...but it must mean something that both recordscame into the hands of the Indiana Adjutant General. Duringthe civil war, there is no doubt that the usual "punishment" for desertionduring a battle was DEATH. If the desertion documented abovewas by "our" John Drew, it most certainly did not occur during a battle...and maybe was viewed by the authorities as the "impulsive act" of an 18year old. Nonetheless, it is quite likely that the 1864 "enlistment"was not entirely voluntary. The record of this "second enlistment"reads as follows:|
Residence Daviess County IN; Enlisted on 5/26/64 as a Private.On 5/26/64 he mustered into "G" Co. IN 137th Infantry He was Mustered Out on 9/21/64 at Indianapolis, INSources: - Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Indiana
Historical DataSystems, Inc.
P.O. Box 196
|This 1864 "mustering"...very near the end of the war... was into a unit (IN 137th Infantry)which was one of ten "hundred day regiments" in Indiana. None ofthese regiments ever saw combat or took any casualties. I don't knowif any of them ever left Indianapolis; and I have read that their assignmentsincluded such duties as guarding railroad depots etc. As the datesconfirm, the members were "dismissed" as soon as the 100 days were over,even though war was still raging in some areas. It is my suspicionthat these regiments might have been made up of persons who were assumedto be sub-optimal soldiers. More research is needed to fully understandthis "whole business."|
THE FAMILY OF JOHN DREWJR.In about 1870 or thereabouts, John marriedMariahMeltona Daviess County resident and landowner whose parents are listedas being from Kentucky. She is one year older than John.
As for the children of John DrewJr.,** I do havesome information and documents which I will organize at a later time. For the time being, I believe it is accurate to say that the "Rose" (RosaA Drew) shown on the above on John's grave marker was his child. A grave has also been found for Robert Drew... who also died asa young person... and was John's child... and there were others. I believe it was John's son, James T. Drew ("Jimmy") who marrieda Rose Arvin... and had at least two sons. This family moved to Indianapolisand during the 1930's at least one of their sons (Bernard) was well knownto his second cousins (my uncles) while attending Cathedral high school. Bernard was killed in an auto crash at a very young age. James T.Drew and Rosa A (Arvin) Drew apparently had a son John E. Drew (III) whoapparently survived only to his early teens and whose grave stone has beenidentified at St. Mary's Church in Barr Township, Daviess County.
THE 1880 CENSUS LISTINGFOR THE FAMILY OF JOHN AND MARIAH DREW
|Name||Age||Relationship||Occupation||Birthplace||Father's Birthplace||Mother's Birthplace|
|Drew, John||35||Head of household||Farm laborer||Ireland||Ireland||Ireland|
|Drew, Mariah||36||Wife||Keeping house||Indiana||Kentucky||Kentucky|
|Drew, James T.||4||son||x||Indiana||Ireland||Indiana|
Also of interest in the 1880 censusis the listing of Ann Melton, age 84, immediately above the entriesfor the household of John Drew Jr. It is not known if this "Ann Meltonwas the mother or the grandmother of Mariah Melton Drew, but the age differencesuggests she was the grandmother. This Ann Melton's parents are listedas from Maryland and Virginia and (an awesome consideration) would bothhave been born BEFORE THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR. This, plus other factslisted elsewhere, would lead to the speculation that the Meltons were a"staunch" old family of ORIGINAL Daviess County homesteaders. Itis further surmised that John Jr. would have "come of age" at a time whenthere were no more "homesteading" opportunities in Daviess County; andwound up settling there by reason of marrying into the Melton family...a totally different scenario than that of his elder brother, James. As for the Melton family and John Jr.; there are still some mysteries andunswered questions. John's occupation in the 1880 census is listedas "farm laborer" as opposed to "farmer" ...a distinction which suggeststo me that John was NOT a landowner but was being allowed to live on theMelton farm (with his Melton wife.) It also appears (see the gravestoneabove) that John's wife, Mariah, was never buried in the plot planned forher beside her husband. Perhaps we shall some day stumble over somepalatable "explanations" for these mysteries.
This picture is clearly labelledRoseDrew; and is undoubtedly the "Rosanna" listed above in the 1880census... i.e. daughter of John Drew Jr. and Mariah Melton... at aboutage 18. She lived to be 30 and it is she who is listed on the samegravestone as John Jr.
This photo is from about 1895. Picturedare the three children of John Drew Jr. and Mariah Melton Drew who survivedto that date. They are (left to right) Rosanna Drew (about 21,) JamesT. Drew (about 19) and Mary Catherine Drew (probably about 13.)
In the "History of Davis County, 1915" itis recorded that Mary Catherine Drew (pictured above) married WilliamAndrew Lavelle in 1909. The "history" goes on to assert thatMary Catherine was the daughter of John Drew and Mariah Drew, and thatJohn Drew was a "farmer in Barr Township." This "history" also assertsthat John and Mariah were of "Irish nativity" ...which is probably incorrectfor Mariah. We have completely lost touch with this family as faras I know. Further research is needed to learn more about the Lavellefamily; however, other research has indicated that Lavelle's held publicoffice in Daviess County for at least one generation prior to William Andrew.
CLICK HERE to return to the DREWIndex Page