FAMILY OF
WILLIAM McGEE AND CATHERINEDREW McGEE
CATHERINE DREW McGEE(1835 - 1913)
 
CatherineDrew, was born in 1835 in County Westmeath,Ireland, was the thirdborn of John Drew and Rose Reilly

Catherine would havebeen 12 at the time of the emigration, and  was holding & "responsible"for "the baby" when the family landed in New Orleans in 1847. 

We have no informationabout her older brother, Thomas, who may have died in childhood. Her older brother, James, was born in 1833 and was 14 at the time the familycame to America. 

The tradition thatthis family emigrated from Ireland "without a mother" is born out by thefact that not a single document or reference to Rose Reilly has been foundin the U.S. 
 

 


This photo of Catherine Drew McGee was takenabout 1900, at about age 65.
Because of this circumstance,Catherine, as eldest daughter would have had to shoulder a considerable"extra burden" ...and tradition as well as her documented life story andher obituary all indicate that she rose to this challenge and was knownas a very responsible, hard working, and respected lady throughout herlife.
A well researchedwebsite dealing with Catherine's family of origin and her background asa child in Ireland is on line at http://www.wildirishroots.com/1806JohnDrew/1806JohnDrew.html.

Catherine marriedWilliamMcGee Oct. 9, 1854in Lexington, KY.  [We have both a civildocument and bible entry which attest to this.]
TheMcGee family bible shows her first child,Rosey Ann McGeewas born August 13, 1855 ...also in Lexington, KY.

The bibleentries then proclaim that the second child, Bernard James McGeewas born July 17, 1857 and was baptized (in Lexington) December 3, 1857. This child died in infancy on October 5, 1858... and it appears that hisdeath occurred in Missouri... but I cannot be certain.

At any rate, in either1858 or 1859, the entire McGee and Drew (conjoined) families moved to MIssouri,probably in 1858.  The reason(s) for the move were probably economic;and the tradition is that the McGee's received land in a "railroad deal."  At about this same time, (1859 or 1860) Catherine's elder brother, James,left Kentucky and moved to Daviess County, Indiana.

I have heard no tradition that the Drewfamily ever had land in Missouri; but it is certain that Catherine's father,John accompanied them because the record shows that he died in Pettis countyMissouri in 1859.  He may have already been ill and accompanied theMcGee's to Missouri because of infirmity. 

It is also probable that Catherine's threeyounger brothers, Bryan, John Jr., and William Drew accompaniedtheir father and elder married sister  (the McGee's) to Missouri. The evidence for this is as follows:  First of all, their ages (12,14, and 19) would have dictated that they remain in the custody of theirfather.  Secondly, Bryan (the eldest of the "trio") stood as baptismalsponsor for Catherine's next child, John William ("Will") McGee,born January 8, 1859... and that baptism was definitely in Missouri.

Also, court records in Daviess County, Indiana,show that in 1860, Catherine's brother, James was given official custodyof their brother "John Drew of the age of approximately 17 years and heirof John Drew, recently deceased of Pettis County, Missouri."

ASUMMARY of the children of William and Catherine Drew McGee is asfollows:
Rose Ann McGee [Sullivan] **b. August 13, 1855 ~~ d. February 25, 1947
Bernard James McGee b. July 17, 1857  ~~ d. October 5,1858 (in infancy)
John William ("Will") McGee b. January 8, 1859  ~~ d. 1921 [never married]
Teresa McGee b. November 10, 1862  ~~ d. August 31, 1863(in infancy)
Bryan McGee b. June 29, 1864  ~~  d. 1940  [nevermarried]
Margaret McGee [Sullivan]  b. April 10, 1867  ~~ d. 1947  [no children]
Catherine ("Kate") McGee b. May 8, 1869 ~~  d. 1963 [never married]
Julia McGee b. April 15, 1872  ~~  d. 1944  [nevermarried]
As can be seen, **RoseAnn is the only child of this family that produced any "decendants."
 The decendents of James Drew, however,(brother to Catherine Drew McGee) now number in the triple digits.

 
 
The picture at leftshows Catherine Drew McGee (the mother) and her husband, WilliamMcGee.    The children shown here are Rose Ann,the eldest, at her mother's shoulder; John William ("Will") withhand on his father's shoulder;   Brian, on his father'sknee; and Margaret (b. 1867) on her mother's knee.
 

The picture is from a rare "tin type" photoand its date is estimated to be 1868, based on the ages of the children.
 

Children born AFTER this photo was takenwere Catherine ("Kate") (1869) and Julia, 1872.
 

The picture is from the McGee family picturecollection kept by Catherine's daughter, "Kate."  Following "Kate's"death in 1963, the collection was passed on to the James Family in Phoenix...who are the heirs of Rose Ann (the eldest daughter) pictured at left andbelow.


 
The photo at rightis Rosa Ann McGee, born 1855.  It is also from an old "tintype."  Compared with the photo above, in which she is about 13, thisphoto is thought be be about 2 years later... at about age 15 or about1870. 

This girl's childhood would have been harshand disciplined.  Her family made a major move from Kentucky to Missouriin 1858 when she was 3.  They then suffered through the death of aninfant son [Bernard James]  in 1858, the death of Rosa's grandfather,John Drew, in 1859, and the death of an infant daughter [Teresa] in 1863.  In addition, tradition holds that her two brothers, John William (1859)and Brian (1864) were both handicapped (epilepsy & maybe retardation.)

 

In spite of these hardships andheartaches, Rosa and her family successfully homesteaded 80 acres... eventhough tradition has it that the father, William McGee also had dutieswith the railroad.
Note that in the 1880 Census report(below) Rosa Ann McGee, is not listed.  This is because shewas already married (to Patrick Sullivan) and was no longer a member ofthis household.  She would have been 25 years old at this time. She married Patrick Sullivan October 5, 1879 in Smithton, Missouri, a townsome 8 or 10 miles SE of the McGee homestead in Spring Fork.  Modernmaps are deceptive; for according to Pettis County historians, Smithtonwas a "booming" railroad town and "trail-head" for cattle in those daysand was a "bigger place" than Sedalia, (some five miles to the west) whichlater became much larger and was called the "queen city."  Gertrude'sdocuments show that Rosa Ann boreGertrude Ellen Sullivanon June30, 1881.
 
THE 1880CENSUS LISTING FOR THE FAMILY OF WILLIAM AND CATHERINE (DREW) McGEE
NameAgeRelationshipOccupationBirthplaceFather's BirthplaceMother's Birthplace
McGee, William50HusbandFarmerIrelandIrelandIreland
McGee, Catherine44WifeHousekeeperIrelandIrelandIreland
McGee, John W.21sonworks on farmMissouriIrelandIreland
McGee, Bryan15sonworks on farmMissouriIrelandIreland
McGee, Maggie13daughterat schoolMissouriIrelandIreland
McGee, Kate11daughterat schoolMissouriIrelandIreland
McGee, Julia8daughterat schoolMissouriIrelandIreland

The photographer'scaption on this photo is most helpful in identifying Catherine "KATIE"McGee at age 20.  Note the school books used as "props" to connectKate with her chosen profession as a school teacher. 
 

 

This photo is CatherineDrew McGee's daughter, "Kate" taken in 1951 at the McGee farm in Missouri.

 
Thishandsome dude is Eugene ("Gene") Sullivan... whom I knew well asa child and used to "pal around" with in his old gray 1952 Plymouth. This 1951 photo is the only picture I have digitized of him... but thereare others around my family and I shall get a good one for the record!

Gene married Margaret McGee.  They never had any children. Margaret was already deceased when my family met this family out in Missouriabout 1948.

As we know, Margaret's eldest sister, RoseAnn, also married a Patrick Sullivan... and, as we discussed, Patrickand Eugene could have been brothers... but I never heard (or atleast didn't remember) if they were brothers.

 

Gene was known for miles aroundas a good judge of cattle and a very accomplished cattle farmer. He knew how to "pick 'em" and how to fatten them for market.  Alsofor a few years in the early 1900's, Gene was sheriff of a town calledCole Camp, Missouri ~~ the second biggest town in Pettis County... andjust a few miles from the McGee land... and the original Sullivan Land. As an old man he was proud to "flash" the sheriff's badge which he kepthandy to show visitors and friends.
Of the McGee children both Willand Brian (and maybe Julia) were handicapped (epilepsy) and/or chose notto marry... remaining at home with Catherine, who was a shool teacher,NOT handicapped, and able to care for them.  Will died in 1921, Bryanin 1940, and Julia in 1944... and thereafter, or at some time, Gene andMargaret moved in with Kate so she would not be alone... requiring Geneto manage both his own farm and the McGee farm... A BIG TASK!  When Margaret died, (in 1947) the local priest intervened and asked Geneto stay on with Catherine (his sister in law) so neither of them wouldhave to live alone.  That was their "situation" the whole time weknew them (from 1948 to 1954.)
CLICK HERE to return to the DREWIndex Page