Many of us have taken the LDS family record on William DRUMRIGHT as 'correct' without doing much 'proving' of the information contained there. I'm as guilty as anyone, but joining with a great team of researchers, we've begun looking into
these family records to see what's right and what's not proven in these files. Already we've come up
with some interesting anomalies:
1. There is good evidence that Anne ANDREWS (dau of
Ephriam/Ephraim ANDREWS) actually married Benjamin BUGG 3 Sep 1785 and a witness to the marriage was none
other than William DRUMRIGHT. The sources for this are: "Marriage Records 1765-1810, Mecklenburg Co VA" by
Elliott AND "Marriage License Bonds of Mecklenburg Co VA from 1765-1810" by Stratton Nottingham, 1996.
2. The LDS file (dated 4 Jan 1980) has Wm DRUMRIGHT marrying 4 times: (Nancy Bowen cir 1770, Anne Andrews
(date unknown), Sally GILLIAM (24 Sep 1811, per Katherine Elliott's book, Marriages of Mecklenburg County
1765-1810) and an unknown spouse). The only one of these marriages we've been able to prove with evidence is the
third one, to
Sally Gilliam (or Gelleam). That evidence is in the above book and in William's Will, dated 21 May 1828, in which he
mentions 'his loving wife Sally' (on microfilm in the VA State Library/Archives and on-line on the Mecklenburg Co
USGenWeb site...NOTE there is a typo in the on-line document saying 'living' vice 'loving'--spell check won't get 'em
3. There is no record that we've uncovered that shows Wm DRUMRIGHT ever married a BOWEN (Nancy or any
other). Cmt from Frances Harper: "William Drumright also witnessed deeds from David Bowen to Mark Evans in 1777,
from John Short and wife Edy to Isham Bowen in 1784, from James Bowen, Martha Bowen, and Mary Evans, legatees
of Robert Bowen, to James Bowen and Charles Bowen in 1792, and from Isham Bowen to Asa Bowen in 1811. There
are some indications that the Bowen family too may have connected with the Andrews family. So far no proof has been
found. But if both the Bowens and William Drumright are connected with the Andrews family, this might explain why
Drumright was so closely associated with the Bowens."
4. There is however fairly strong evidence that Wm DRUMRIGHT was married and had children prior to his marriage to
Sally Gilliam. Additional evidence comes in his will, which says:
"I loan to my living (should be "loving", my mistake) wife Sally Drumright and my daughter Elizabeth Drumright all my
estate both real and personally (that is left after my just debts and funeral expenses are honestly paid) during my wife's life
if my daughter Elizabeth chooses
not to live with my loving wife then and in that case she my
daughter Elizabeth may have a further bed and furniture and cow and calf."
This use of the terms 'my loving wife' and 'my daughter' in this manner could mean that Elizabeth was a daughter of
another mother than Wm's then-wife, Sally. Now Elizabeth appears to have been over 40 years old at this time (b. cir
1778), so it's entirely possible there could be another explanation, but the step-mother theory is best in my mind.
William DRUMRIGHT had several other children before his 24 Sep 1811 marriage to Sally GILLIAM, they are (all date
sources are LDS Ancestral Files, names come from Ancestral Files and William's Will):
- James b. cir 1771
- Wm Jr. b. cir 1773
- Frances b. cir 1774
- Thomas b. cir 1777
- Rebecca b. cir 1778
- Nancy b. cir 1780
- Ephriam A. b. cir 1781
- Sally b. cir 1782
- Lucy b. cir 1784
- Martha (Patsy) b. cir 1786
- Elizabeth b. cir 1788
If these dates are anywhere near correct, it's a clear indication there was an earlier "Mrs. DRUMRIGHT" than Sally and
Elizabeth was in fact Sally's stepdaughter as suggested in the will.
5. There is no firm evidence we've found that would prove who any other wives of Wm DRUMRIGHT might have been.
There is some circumstantial evidence that could indicate that Wm DRUMRIGHT's earlier, unidentified wife MIGHT
have been in Ephriam ANDREWS' family, but so far this is just conjecture.
Here is some of the 'circumstantial evidence' provided by Sue Gill:
"Mecklenburg Co., VA. Deed Book 4, page 335. The deed where Avis Andrews sold to Ephraim Andrews the slaves,
Nell and her son Tom. The deed was witnessed by George Andrews and William Drumwright. Recorded 1774."
"Mecklenburg Co. Marriage Records: Bugg, Benjamin & Anne Andrews, 3 Sept. 1785, Ephriam Andrews, Jr. Sec.
Note from Ephriam Andrews, father of Anne - wit. John Young & William Drumright."
"Mecklenburg Co., VA. Deed Book 9, page 471. John Young and
Ephraim Andrews sold to Benjamin Bugg one Negro girl, Viney. Witnesses: George Andrews, Francis Young, Martha
Andrews, William Drumwright. Recorded 1798."
"Will of Ephraim Andrews, written July 18, 1807. Williamson Co., TN. Mentions William Drumwright: 'My will and
desire is that the price with the hire of one negro fellow named Tom that is now in the possession of George Andrews and
William Drumwright, shall be taken out of their part of the estate, and the two hundred dollars that George Andrews paid
the said Drumwright for Tom is to be subtracted out of the said Drumwright's part of said negro.'"
Stacy is the only one of Ephriam ANDREWS' daughters that remains unaccounted for and untraced in our research.
Additionally, IF a daughter of Ephriam ANDREWS did marry William DRUMRIGHT, it's unclear exactly why Ephriam
ANDREWS named no DRUMRIGHT children (would've been his grandchildren) as we might expect to result from such
marriage (Wm DRUMRIGHT and an E. ANDREWS daughter).
This is all very unclear and we'd sure love to hear from anyone who has 'evidence' to share on Wm DRUMRIGHT's or
Ephriam ANDREWS' families--or the connection between them!
For Andrews comments, contact Sue Gill firstname.lastname@example.org
For Drumright comments, contact Ed Waller email@example.com
For Bowen comments, contact Frances Harper firstname.lastname@example.org