This is my working hypothesis – the way I see it as of this moment!!
– many thanks to David B Gammon and to James E Moore –
John Drew was born ca 1750 son of John Drew ca 1725 – ca 1772? and wife Patience Brewer. He died at Salmon Creek, Bertie County, 26 July 1819. His wife was Winifred Blount Hunter born circa 1750 daughter of Henry Hunter and Sarah Whitmel of Bertie Co. Winifred died 19 July 1810 at Salmon Creek.
“William Drew and . . . John Drew shared the enthusiasm then prevalent in the Roanoke River section for breeding and racing thoroughbred stock. ‘Solicitor,’ bred by John Drew of Halifax County and foaled in 1783, “won upwards of one hundred races in Virginia and North Carolina.” This horse was certified in ‘the American Race Turf Register’ by William Drew of Halifax Town in 1824. Another noted horse owned by John Drew, the imported ‘Silver’ was bred by the Duke of Grafton and foaled in 1789. It became the property of Lord Sackville who sold him to Drew.” Claiborne T Smith Jr
“Drew . . . owned stud horses, sailing ships to Barbados and London, and mercantile establishments in Halifax, Scotland Neck, and Louisburg . Advertisements from North Carolina newspapers offer sales of coffee, rum, sugar, molasses, and other commodities that arrived on brigs such as the Betsy, the Poll Carey, and the Jonathan Jacocks. Charles Harris arranged his brother, Robert, to work under Drew, and Dolphin Samuel Pete, the son of John Jr died of yellow fever in St. Bartholomew aboard his grandfather’s ship. He also seems to have bought and sold vast tracts of land in Virginia and North Carolina. His educational interests are vague but according to the Harris letters, he gave $64 to the University of North Carolina up subscription in 1793/94.” Ernest R Carter Jr
References cited by Carter and Smith:
John B Boddie, Historical Southern Families Vol 4 ]
Fayettesville North Carolina “Minerva” 9 Feb 1799
Halifax, North Carolina Journal 22 Jan 1798
Lois S Neal, Abstracts of Vital Records from Raleigh, North Carolina Newspapers 1799-1819 
Claiborne T Smith Jr, Smith of Scotland Neck 
H W Wagstaff, ed “The Harris Letters,”
James Sprunt Historical Publications, vol 14 
Children of John Drew & Winifred Blount Hunter:
1. John Drew ca 1770 – 8 March 1818
maried 1st ca 1792 ? Miss Peete dau of Samuel Peete
a. Dolphin Samuel Pete Drew 1792 – 1810
married 2nd 1802 Lucy Norfleet 3 May 1787 – 27 March 1805
b. Lucy Drew 27 March 1805 –
married 6 Nov 1826 Gabriel Holmes
2. Whitmell Drew ca 1772 – bef 1844 [maybe before 1820]
married 1st ca 1789 unknown
a. Whitmell Hunter Drew ca 1790 – bef 1850
Census 1820 Bertie County Whitmell Drew 1 m 16/25, 1 m 26/45
In 1830 Whitmell Drew 40/50 / his wife between 30 / 40 with a boy and girl both under 5
1840 Whitmell Drew 50 /60; his wife 30/ 40 and the boy and girl both between 10/15
married 13 Oct 1827 Elizabeth Butler 1787 –
daughter of Robert Butler died 1802 Sampson Co NC
married 2nd ca 1817 Penelope “Rayner” 1799 – 3 Feb 1880
a. Eliza C Drew 1818 – 1856
married 20 May 1834 William Rayner 1812 – 1860
3. Dolphin Drew bef 1780 – 26 March 1805 New York City dsp
4. Mary Carey Drew ca 1785 – 17 Oct 1820 Bertie County
married Starke Armistead 1785 – 1835 leaving a very detailed will
Starke married 2nd 2 July 1823 Harriet Bailey Bryan 1783 – 1848 Granville Co
13/618 10 Oct 1777 Elisha Moore Wilson of Halifax Co. to John Drew of same. For 100 pounds, 170 acres adj. Deep Creek, Indian Branch, and Cane. Signed by Elisha Moore Wilson and Sara Wilson.
Wit. Elijah Hobgood, Joshua Sebrell
1782 Tax List, District 14 John Drew, 1020 acres on river, 22 Negroes, 20 horses/mules, 41 head of cattle
1784 Tax List, District 14 John Drew, 1160 acres, 21 Negroes
15/309 12 Feb 1785 William Gainer of Halifax Co. to John Drew of same For 333 pounds, 6 shillings, 8 pence. 100 acres in Scotland Neck on South side of Roanoke River, adj. Benjamin Fourman.
Wit. Elisha Williams, Thomas Gray, Thomas Boyakin
1785 Tax List, District 14 John Drew, 1260 acres, 23 black polls
16/67 1 Aug 1786 George Williams, planter of Bertie Co. to John Drew, planter of Halifax Co. For 700 pounds, half of 640 acres that had been obtained by Daniel McDaniel, 26 March 1723, and sold by him to John Williams, and the said George Williams had inherited it from him, in Scotland Neck on south side of Roanoke River, adj. Norfleet Harris.
Wit. Norfleet Harris, William Boykin, Whitmel Bell.
1786 Tax List, District 14 John Drew, 1288 acres, 24 polls, 2 wheels
Neighbors – Foreman
17/81 10 Dec 1788 Norfleet Harris of Halifax Co. to John Drew of same. For 140 pounds, 60 acres that had been sold by Benjamin Fourman to Sarah Hobgood on south side of Roanoke River.
Wit. William Drew, Thomas Sharrock
17/93 10 Dec 1788 Norfleet Harris of Halifax Co. to John Drew of same. For 28 pounds, 11 acres in Scotland Neck on south side of Roanoke River, adj. W. Daniels (now John Drew), and Benjamin Foreman.
Wit. Anthony Drew, Thomas Sharrock
1788 Tax List, District 14 John Drew, 1683 acres, 21 black polls, 2 wheels
1790 Tax List, District 14 John Drew, 1750 acres, 28 black polls
Census Halifax County 1790 John Drew 4 m 16+, 4 m -16, 3 f, 99 sl
17/222 8 Apr 1790 Benjamin Foreman and wife Amelia to John Drew for 108 pounds, 60 acres in Bertie County on north side of Roanoke River, adj. Nicholas Skinner. Wit. James Norfleet, William Drew, Dempsey Harrell
17/219 6 March 1790 Patience Webb of Edgecombe Co. to John Drew of Halifax Co. For 112 pounds, 10 shillings, 75 acres on south side of Roanoke River adj. Cain Branch, Patience Webb, William Boykin.
Wit. William Drew, Blount Joyner, William Boykin
17/271 10 Aug 1790 George Williams as admr. of estate of William Hollowell, deceased, and his heirs, of Bertie County, to John Drew of Halifax County. For 81 pounds, 12 shillings, 34 acres in Scotland Neck on south side of Roanoke River, adj. Norfleet, Drew.
Signed by George Williams, Reuben Hollowell, Noah Hollowell, Asa Hollowell, William Hollowell, Arthur Hollowell, Rachel Hollowell.
Wit. William Drew, Reuben Norfleet, William Sharrock
17/343 27 Jan 1791 Thomas (X) Gainer to John Drew. For 200 pounds, Negroes Hannah and Sal.
Wit. Arthur Brown, Marmaduke Bell
17/360 1 Mar 1791 John Drew of Halifax Co. to Halcott Briggs Pride of same. For 150 pounds, 640 acres in Davidson County (Tennessee?) on north side of Cumberland River, where old Mr. Wells now lives, near the road from Nashville to Kentucke. Also another tract of 640 acres in Davidson County on north side of Cumberland River adj. Goose Creek, Big Baron River.
Wit. Daniel Weldon, John Matthews.
17/352 12 Mar 1791 John Drew of Halifax Co. to Halcott Briggs Pride, Esq. of same. For 100 pounds, 640 acres in Sumner County (Tennessee?) on north side of Cumberland River, adj. Elias Fort, Sampson Williams.
Wit. David Stone, Peyton Wood
Bertie Book P – 203 John Dodrill of Bertie to John Drew of Halifax Co. 23 April 1791. 250 pounds VA 200 acres which was part of a patent to John Blount Jr in 1720 & by several conveyances to sd. John Dodrill, on the north side of Roanoke River. Also signed by Elizabeth(x)Dodrill. Wit: Arthur Brown, Hezekiah Collum. May Ct 1791. Stevens Gray CC — S E Bradley abstract
18/206 18 Dec 1791 John Drew of Halifax Co. to Jos. Hopkins and wife Mary Cary of Edenton. For 50 pounds, 80 acres in Scotland Neck that Drew had purchased from Patience Webb. Wit. Samuel Peete, William Drew
17/515 18 Feb 1793 Joseph Hopkins to John Drew. For 290 pounds, Negroes Caesar, Box, Deje, Esther, Mourning and her two children Gam and Hyson. Wit. W. Drew, A. Brown, Elisha dixon
17/665 —- 1794 Blount Joyner to John Drew. For 500 pounds, 138 acres adj. Benjamin Foreman, Edess (or Joyner‚Äôs Corner), said John Drew, Norfleet Harris, John Young, Thomas Joyner, deceased.
Wit. Henry Baker, Joel Joyner.
18/493 23 July 1794 John Drew of Halifax Co. to Polley Carey Hopkins, wife of Joseph Hopkins, and her daughter Margaret. Certain Negroes by deed 31 July 1793 and witnessed by James Williams and Thomas Anderson, but deed had never been recorded. Wit. A. Brown
17/906 17 May 1796 Elijah Wilkins and wife Pheribe to John Drew. For 500 pounds, 100 acres adj. John Blount.
Wit. L. Long, J. Pope, P. Morgan
18/108 Dec 1796 Articles of agreement between John Drew of Halifax Co. and William Rawls of same. Drew agrees to let Rawls have the Wilkins plantation, three Negoes, certain livestock, beginning 1 January 1797, to keep up the plantation where Robert Sandifer now lives, and said Rawls is to tend and keep and ride over the plantation of said Drew in Scotland Neck as often as twice a week. At the end of six years, Rawls is to receive certain livestock. Wit. John Whitehead
18/425 5 Oct 1798 George Scurlock to John Drew of Bertie Co. For 200 pounds, 100 acres adj. road from Halifax Town to Enfield Old Court House. Wit. John Drew, Jr., Good Davis
18/442 24 Oct 1798 Nicholas Branch to John Drew, Sr. For 150 pounds, one Negro wench named Moll.
Wit. William C. Hill
18/367 27 Oct 1798 John Drew, Sr. of Halifax Co. to Moses Matthews. For 242 pounds, 5 shillings, 100 acres adj. the road from Halifax Town to Enfield Old Court House. Wit. Thomas Hall, Dolphin Drew
1800 Tax List, District 14 John Drew, 2230 acres, 21 black polls
Census Bertie County 1800 John Drew 5 m 0/10, 2 16/25, 1m 45+ 1 f 10/15, 1 f 26/45 25 sl
Census Halifax County 1800 John Drew Jr 1 m 10/15, 1 m 16/25, 41 sl
Apprentice Bonds: Bertie Co, NC NCGSJ VOL XVI-37…
11 Aug 1800. Elisha (no surname given) about six years old bound to John DREW mariner.
The Post Angel, or Universal Entertainment. Edenton Vol I,No 9, Wed Morning, Nov. 12, 1800, abstract by Fouts:
Dolphin Drew, takes the liberty to inform. . that he has taken the Store in Edenton lately occupied by Mr Allen Ramsey, he has opened a general assortment of Dry goods, suitable to the fall season, just received from Philadelphia and New York. . . .Edenton, Nov 1st, 1800.
23/308 24 Dec 1800 Francis Young of Halifax Co. to John Drew Sr. of Bertie Co. Said Francis Young, as heir of his father John Young, deceased, had brought a suit of ejectment from said land against the said John Drew, Sr., claiming an undivided moiety in the land. This transaction settled the suit. Thus for $1201/2, 75 acres that was part of land claimed by said Francis Young under a grant to John young, 1 April 1763, in Scotland Neck, adj. John Young, Drew, Harris, and Fourman‚Äôs corner. Wit. John Drew, Jr., Ed Bailey
19/131 16 Mar 1801 John Bell Sr. to John Drew, Jr., both of Halifax Co. For 154 pounds, 16 shillings, 86 acres adj. Marmaduke Norfleet. Wit. Henry Baker, Lm. Murdaugh
19/148 3 Mar 1803 Peyton R. Tunstall to John Drew, Jr. both of Halifax Co. For 154 pound, 16 shillings, 86 acres adj. Marmaduke Norfleet. Wit. Wm. Rogers, Richard Whitaker
NCGSJ-May 91 p102 abstract by Ransom McBride: Claims of British Merchants after the Revolutionary War; from report of Special Agent Robert H Jones -prepared about 1800-1803. Drew, John ¬£25.19.2 p10 Claims of Gibson, Donaldson & Co. He moved from Scotland Neck in Halifax County to Bertie where he now lives eight miles from Edenton perfectly solvent. David Stone of same county can prove it.
In Feb 1804 John Drew [Jr.], also a “marriner” and merchant, bought this property from the son and heir of Capt. Christopher Clark, “marriner” and merchant, who built the first part of the house, “five bays on the right” ca 1787. It was located on land that Gov. Gabriel Johnston widow Frances’s heir, John Rutherford of New Hanover Co, had sold Clark in 1786 and the next year 1787 Clark bought an adjoining tract of land that had been confiscated from Duckenfield by the state of North Carolina after the Revolution. John Drew Jr’s wife Lucy died in childbirth in March 1805 and in Nov 1805 John Drew Jr sold all this property for $10,000 to his brother in law, Stark Armistead 1785-1835, husband of sister Mary Cary Drew [ca1785-1820].
“died on the 26th ult at New York, Mr Dolphin Drew, son of John Drew, Esq. of Bertie County. Raleigh Register Mon 15 Apr 1805.”
Drew Extracts from the NCGS J VOL XI –
97… Davy, a ship carpenter and caulker ran away from JOHN DREW of Bertie County in 1805. He was suspected of having a pass. (Richmond Virginia Gazette. 24 Aug 1805.
102….Sam, a ship carpenter and caulker ran away from JOHN DREW of Bertie County in 1805. This slave was about thirty-five years old. His owner offered a $200 reward for him. (Petersburg Intelligencer, 23 Aug 1805.
21/20 15 May 1807 John Drew Sr. of Bertie Co. to William Cherry of same. For 10,000 pounds, 2200 acres in Halifax County, adjoining the land where John Drew Sr. lived prior to when he moved to Bertie County. This deed appear to be a transaction to protect Jonathan Jacocks and William H. Green who had become securities in William Sutton vs John Drew, Sr. and John Drew Jr. Wit. John Drew, David Goodman Proved in Bertie County before David Stone.
Apprentice Bonds: Bertie Co, NC NCGSJ VOL XVI-37…
13 May 1807 Jonathan KITTRELL, Seventeen years of Age last March.
Bound to John Drew, Junr. Seaman.
10 Aug 1807 John BRYAN bound to John DREW Jr. Seaman.
10 Aug 1807 Jonathan WATERS eight years of age.
Bound to John DREW Junior seaman
10 Aug 1807 Orasha CAPS bound to John DREW junr, seaman.
10 Aug 1807 John RUARK eight years of age bound to John DREW Jun seaman.
21/119 —- 1808 John Drew Sr. and John Drew Jr. of Bertie Co. to David Clark of Washington County. For $40,000, 2000 acres, being all the land we hold in and about Scotland Neck, adj. Marmaduke Bell‚Äôs estate, William Boykin, the Kane Branch, John Young, Beaver Dam, Blount Joyner, Drew, Eli Harris, John Drew, Broad Bottom, William Drew, Eden, Norfleet Harris, the land John Drew bought from George Williams, McDonald, Foreman, James Norfleet, the land Drew bought from Hollowell‚Äôs estate, Smith, Rooty Tree Marsh, and James Smith. Wit. J. Anthony, William R. Smith
21/123 1 Feb 1808 William Cherry, Jonathan Jacocks, and William H. Green, all of Bertie County, to David Clark of Washington County. John Drew Sr. did by deed of trust 10 May 1807 sell to said William Cherry, and secured it with said Jacocks and said Green. It appears to have been defaulted for 2200 acres, being all the land bought by the said John Drew Sr. in and about Scotland Neck, and adj. Marmaduke Bell, William Boykin, the Kane Branch, John Young, Beaver Dam, Blount Joyner, Drew, Eli Harris, John Drew, Broad Bottom, William Drew, Eden, Norfleet Harris, the land John Drew bought from George Williams, McDonald, Foreman, James Norfleet, the land Drew bought from Hollowell‚Äôs estate, Smith, Rooty Tree Marsh, and James Smith. Wit. William R. Smith, J. Anthony
21/193 27 Apr 1808 John Drew Sr. of Bertie Co. to David Clark of Washington Co. For $40,000, 2000 acres in and about Scotland Neck, adj. Marmaduke Bell‚Äôs estate, William Boykin, the Kane Branch, John Young, Beaver Dam, Blount Joyner, Drew, Eli Harris, John Drew, Broad Bottom, William Drew, Eden, Norfleet Harris, the land John Drew bought from George Williams, McDonald, Foreman, James Norfleet, the land Drew bought from Hollowell‚Äôs estate, Smith, Rooty Tree Marsh, and James Smith. Wit. Thomas Burges, William Drew
21/423 10 Nov 1808 John Drew Sr. of Bertie Co. to David Clark of Washington Co. For $36,600, 1830 acres, which was all of said Drew‚Äôs land in Halifax County, in and about Scotland Neck, adj. Roanoke River, Thomas Jarrell, James Norfleet, Smith, Rooty Tree Marsh, Cane Marsh, John Drew, Sr., Frank Young, Blount Joyner, Williams, Thomas b. Hill, and Foreman. Wit. William Drew, George Outlaw, Thomas Burges
Bertie Co 1810 John Drew 1 m 16/25, 2 m 26/45, 1 m 45+ 1 f 0/10, 1 f 16/25, 1 free bl person, 79 sl
Census Halifax County 1810 John Drew Jr 1m 26/45 20 sl
Census Halifax County 1810 William Drew 1 m 26/45, 1 ofp, 1 sl
14 Feb 1810 George BRYAN Nineteen Years of Age. Bound to John DREW Seaman.
Obits from the Raleigh Papers:
“2.: died at St. Bartholomew’s in January last on board the three master lugger, Jonathan Jacocks, Dolphin Samuel Pete Drew, son of Mr. John Drew in the 18th year of his age, RM Thurs 29 Mar 1810.
from the Edenton Gazette of 3-23-1810 – died, St. Bartholomew’s on June last, on board the 3-master lugger, Jonathan Jacocks- of yellow fever, Master Dolphin Samuel Peete Drew, son of Mr John Drew in the 18th year.”
“died at Salmon Creek, Bertie County, on the 19th inst……..Mrs. Winifred Drew, wife of John Drew, sen, of Edenton. RM Thurs 2 Aug 1810.”
“died in Halifax on the 8th inst. Mr John Drew, jun. RR & RM Fri 20 Mar 1818.”
“died in Bertie County on the 26th ult. Mr John Drew, a very old & respectable inhabitant. RR & RaNCSco Fri 13 Aug 1819.”
2003 “Elmwood” of Salmon Creek, restored
In Feb 1804 John Drew[Jr.], also a “marriner” and merchant, bought this property from the son and heir of Capt. Christopher Clark, “marriner” and merchant, who built the first part of the house, “five bays on the right” ca 1787. It was located on land that Gov. Gabriel Johnston widow Frances’s heir, John Rutherford of New Hanover Co, had sold Clark in 1786 and the next year 1787 Clark bought an adjoining tract of land that had been confiscated from Duckenfield by the state of North Carolina after the Revolution. John Drew Jr’s wife Lucy died in childbirth in March 1805 and in Nov 1805 John Drew Jr sold all this property for $10,000 to his brother in law, Stark Armistead 1785-1835, husband of sister Mary Cary Drew [ca1785-1820]. The second building phase was at this time. After Armistead’s death the land passed to his daughter Mary Cary Armistead who married William Thomas Sutton 1810-1897. Deed from William Thomas Sutton to W. T. Sutton, M.D. dated March 22, 1867 and recorded in the office of the Bertie County Register of Deeds at Washington, N.C. in deed book MM at page675. In consideration of $3,000 the deed bargains and sells to Dr. W.T. Sutton two tracts of land, one of which is “Elmwood or the home-tract” lying on the south side of Salmon Creek and extending south to Black Walnut Swamp, and estimated to contain 1,000 acres or more.
On 1 Jan 1874 William T Sutton Jr sold the 1,000 acre farm “in Merry Hill Township known as Elmwood” to George W Capehart.