Whitmell Drew & Penelope “Rayner”

Sally’s great-great-great Grandparents:

Whitmell Drew ca 1772 – ca 1834 | his parents
& ca 1788 1st wife Miss Oxley per E W Pugh
& ca 1717 Penelope “Rayner” 1799 – 1880 | her parents

of Bertie County, North Carolina


This is my working hypothesis – the way I see it as of this moment!!


Whitmell Drew was the son of John Drew who died Bertie Co, 1819 and Winifred Blount Hunter ca 1750 – 19 July 1810 in Bertie Co. [E.W.Pugh Notebook held in the NC State Archives –ENCF Gammon p. 213]

E. W. Pugh also says in his notebook on page 484 that Whitmell Drew married an Oxley and had Eliza Drew who married a Rayner.

Penelope, the wife of Whitmell Drew, it appears to me, grew up in the home of Enoch Rayner. Enoch Rayner having raised Penelope Jr from a small child loved her as his own child [perhaps she was] and directed that his estate be divided equally among his six children, she being one of the six. But greed got in the way and her ” brother” James Rasco Rayner, with the help of the lawyer James Sydney Jones had the will set aside and the estate was distribed only to “Enoch’s five legally begotton children as the law provides for intestate estates.” They claimed that the widow, Penelope Rasco Rayner, had broken the will by claiming her dower. Loose papers of Enoch Rayner’s estate Bertie County
Perhaps the father was Enoch Raynor who married Penelope Rasco as soon as she was legally of age to marry. [About the time she was born to her thirteen-year-old mother [or possibly her aunt], Alexander Milburn, who signed the “bastard bond,” married another woman.] [Perhaps, the Penelope Rasco who was mother to Penelope was an aunt of Penelope Rasco Rayner for in 1830 there was a Penelope Rascoe in Bertie County aged 60-70 years]

June 1824 Penelopy Drew was baptized and joined the congregation at the Log Meeting House known today as Ross Baptist Church.
In July 1834, Sister Penelope Drew asked for her letter from the church.
[I think she moved her membership to Holly Grove Church at that time.
]
(Ross Church minutes)

Rayner family Bible:
Eliza C Drew daughter of Whitmell Drew and Penelope his wife was borned 6th Sept 1818 –
– William Rayner and Eliza C Drew were married 22 May 1834.

In 1844, Penelope Drew bought the Rayner home from James S Mitchell, who had bought it from Aquilla Oxley, trustee of William Rayner. A deed of trust was set up at that time. She transferred this land to William Rayner on 17 March 1860. [See deeds below.]

It was the widowed grandmother Penelope Drew who stayed with the orphaned children of her daughter Eliza who had died in 1856.

Penelope Drew died 3 Feb 1880

Child of Penelope and Whitmell Drew:
1. Eliza C. Drew 6 Sept. 1818 – 6 Aug. 1856
married 22 May 1834 William Rayner 30 Oct 1812- 23 March 1860

Children of Whitmell Drew and 1st wife Oxley?:
1. Whitmell Hunter Drew ca 1789 – 1840/1850
married 13 Oct 1827 Elizabeth [Betsey] Butler 1787-
dau of Robert Butler d. 1802 Sampson Co

Bertie County Census In 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 Penelope Drew is living with the William Rayner Family at their family Home.

Bertie County Deeds Book MM page 73
Drew to Rayner (Taken out by Marcus J Rayner)-This Indentive made on the 17th day of March one thousand eight hundred and sixty between Penelope Drew of the State of North Carolina and County of Bertie on the one part and William Rayner of the County and State aforesaid on the other part Witnesseth that the said Penelope Drew for and in consideration of the sum of two hundred dollars to her in hand paid by the said William Rayner the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged hath bargained sold conveyed aliened and confirmed and by these presents do bargain grant sell alien convey and confirm unto the said William Rayner his heirs and assigns a certain parcel or tract of land in the County and State aforesaid bounded by the lands of Isaac P Freeman, Silas Hobbs, Godwin Bird, and others being the lands whereon the said Rayner now resides supposed to contain four hundred acres more or less to have and to hold the above bargained premises with all the appeutenances thereunto belonging, or in any use appertaining to him the said William Rayner his heirs executors and assigns forever. And the said Penelope Drew do forever warrant and defend to said Rayner his heirs and assigns all the right invested in her by virtue of a deed executered to her by James S Mitchell on the 4th day of January one thousand eight hundred & forty four. Penelope Drew (seal)
Signed sealed & delivered in presence of W I Freeman, Jno A Outlaw

State of North Carolina, Bertie County Court. May Term 1860. This Deed from Penelope Drew to Wm. Rayner was proved in open court by the oath of Wm I Freeman one of the subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be registered. Reg. June 18, 1860. Wm P Gurley, Clerk.

Bertie County Deeds Book MM page 73
Mitchell to Drew (Taken out by Marcus J Rayner)-This Indentive made on the twenty-fourth of January in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-four between James S Mitchell of the County of Bertie & State of North Carolina on the one part and Penelope Drew of the County and State aforesaid on the other part Witnesseth that the said James S Mitchell for and in consideration of the sum of two hundred dollars to him in hand paid by the said Penelope Drew the receipt whereof hereby acknowledged hath granted bargained sold conveyed aliened and confirmed and by these presents doth grant bargain sell alien convey and confirm unto the said Penelope Drew her heirs and assigns a certain tract or parcel of land in the County and State aforesaid bounded by the lands of Isaac P Freeman, Silas Hobbs, Godwin Thomas, and others it being the land that I the said Mitchell bought of Aquilla Oxley, trustee for Wm Rayner the land whereon the said Rayner now lives supposed to contain four hundred acres more or less to have and to hold the said lands and premises and all and singular the tenemants, hereditament, wood ways mines priviledges and appertances thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining to her the said Penelope Drew to her her heirs and assigns to her and their own proper use and behoofen fee simple forever and the said Mitchell will warrant and defend all the right invested in me by virtue of a deed from said A Oxley to me as specified above. Jas S Mitchell(seal)
Signed, sealed & delivered in presence of J Williams, Daniel V Sessoms

State of North Carolina, Bertie County Court. May Term 1860. This deed from Jas S Mitchell to Penelope Drew was acknowledged in open court by the said Jas S Mitchell and ordered to be registered. Wm P Gurley,Clerk.
Regd. June 18, 1860

Deed in Trust – GG 105 – Penelope Drew to Howell M Jones. This Indentive made on the twenty-fourth of January in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-four between Penelope Drew on the first part. Howell M Jones on the second part and West Mizelle on the third part all of the County of Bertie and State of N. Carolina. Witnesseth that whereas the said West Mizelle has become security for the said Penelope Drew to a note payable to James S Mitchell for the sum of Two Hundred Dollars due Twelve months after date and bearing even date with these presents in . . . . Reg. June 4, 1844 Tho. C Watson, Reg.

Bertie Co. Marriage Bonds:
Whitmell H Drew & Elizabeth Butler 13 Oct 1827, W H Green Bondsman.
Jno. W Drew & Mary E Hughs, 26 Mar. 1845, John Freeman, Bondsman.
George Freeman & Mary Drew, married 4 Jan 1859
Drew Hoggard & Patsey Miers, 17 July 1827; Lewis Spivey, Bm.
Jesse J Hoggard & Abba Pritchard, married 16 Nov 1854; Jer. H Bunch, Joseph J Bridger, Joseph W Drew, wit.

CENSUS BERTIE CO NC

1820 is the first census where the name Whitmell Drew is included. But it shows 1 white male between 26 and 45 years of age and 2 white males between 16 and 26.  I suspect the 2 white males are his son Whitmell H Drew and Whitmell Sr’s wife Penelope.

In 1830 Whitmell Drew is shown to be between 40 and 50 years of age his wife between 30 and 40 with a boy and girl each under the age of 5.
1840 Whitmell Drew is between the ages of 50 and 60; his wife between 30 to 40 and the boy and girl are between 10 and 15.

In 1850: Elizabeth Drew 63 f NC with William 5; Nancy E. 3; & Sarah 1
Next door Martha Pritchard 73 f NC, Mary 30 f NC, Mary Drew 21 f NC

In 1860, Elizabeth Drew is listed with Geo. Freeman
1850 Census
Joseph Drew 24, m, Carpenter, 50 real NC
Mary E. 20 f NC.
Kader Powell 65 m mu laborer
Nancy Baker 41 f NC I(diot)

1860 Census
Joseph W Drew 34 farmer 1200 1100;
Mary E 29 f
Jos W 9 m
Jeremiah 7 m
Frances E. 5 f
William H 2 m
Mary M 1/2 f
Mary Bird 35 f

1870 Census
Mary E Drew 39 f w Housekeeping
Joseph 19 m on farm
Hill W 12 m at home
Frances 15 f
Mary M 10 f
Eliza W 7
John T 5 m
Dicy A 1 f

On 1870 Mortality Schedule
Joseph W Drew age 44 died in Sept 1869

Bertie Estates:
Mary E Drew by J. S. Drew, Ex March 1882

1850 Census Bertie Co, NC:
Elizabeth Drew 63 F NC has three children living with her
William Drew 5
Nancy E Drew 3
Sarah Drew 1.

Bertie Co Apprentice Bond: May 1847
William H Drew orphan about three yrs old bound to John Freeman farming.

Grandchildren of Whitmell Drew:

William Rayner and Eliza C Drew (Bertie Co, NC) had:
1. Marcus Joshua Rayner 6 July 1835 – 4 Nov 1906 never married
2. John Alexander Rayner 31 July 1837 – 22 Dec 1901
married 1860 Mary Winifred Rayner 3 Feb 1840 – 26 Apr 1925
3. Martha Ann Penelope Rayner 18 Oct 1839 – 1916
married 1869 George B Harrell ca 1839 – bef 1900
4. Mary Addlin Hannah Rayner 6 Nov 1842 – 18 Jun 1869
married 1868 Marcus B Evans
5. Sarah Eliza Rayner 3 Oct 1845 – 26 May 1915
married 1886 William L (Billie) Mitchell ca 1831 – aft 1810
6. Araminta Manda Rayner 9 Mar 1848 – aft 1910
married 1884 Jacob Lenow died 1892
7. William Reed Rayner 24 May 1853 – 1921 Bertie Co, NC
married 1876 Allie Frances Sessoms 1858 – 1944 Wake Co, NC

Whitmel Hunter Drew and Elizabeth Butler had:
1. Joseph Whitmell Drew 1826 – Sept 1869
married 26 Mar 1845 Mary E Hughes ca 1830 – aft 1880
a. Joseph Whitmell Drew Oct 1851 – 1917 lived at Drew Station NC
married 7 Jan 1873 Sarah Rebecca Harmon Jan 1849 – 1933
made Surrey Carriages of leather and shipped them to Windsor on the “Walk and Push” train.
i. Nancy Jennings Drew 20 Dec 1873 Drew Station, Bertie Co – 20 July 1956 Windsor NC
taught at Indian Woods school – she attended WCUNC
had a leather front seat surry carriage with a canopy with a fringe

married John Thomas Cowand of “Ebernizer” Bertie Co NC
ii. Raleigh W Drew Feb 1876 –
iii. Bertie Drew Mar 1878 –
Taught at Harrellsville school – she attended WCUNC
had a leather front seat surry carriage with a canopy with a fringe

married Elmo A Outlaw
iv. Joseph R Drew April 1880 – bef 1900 Cora Prudence Drew May 1881 –
taught at Nowell school – she attended WCUNC
had a leather front seat surry carriage with a canopy with a fringe

married Van D Bazemore lived at Rhodes place
vi. Mae Lee [Mary Leora] Drew Dec 83 –
married Aaron [Nate] Askew
b. Jeremiah Drew ca 1853 –
c. Frances E. Drew ca 1855 –
d. William Hill Drew ca 1858 –
e. Mary M. Drew ca 1860 –
f. Elizabeth [Eliza] W. Drew May 1863/5 NC – aft 1930 Michigan
married 1890 Robert Vondergoltz Aug 1849 Germany – died bef 1930
i. Robert G Vondergoltz Mar 1891 Washington –
married Grace —- 1892 NC –
1. Margaret Vondeagoltz ca 1916 Michigan –
g. John S. Drew June 1865 –
married ca Jan 1891 Estella ? June 1872 –
i. John A Drew Dec 1891 –
ii. Henry D Drew Oct 1893 –
iii. Ethel G Drew May 1896 –
iv. Lillian B Drew Jan 1898 –
v. Clarence Drew May 1899 –
h. Dicey A. Drew ca 1869 –
married James Ward moved to Rocky Mt NC
2. Mary Carey Drew 1829 –
married [Isaac?] Hill Ward
a. William H Drew ca 1844 –
b. Nancy E. Drew ca 1847 –
c. Sarah Drew ca 1849 –
married 4 Jan 1859 George Freeman [son of John?] moved to KY

(Daddy said that Red Drew was kin)

I think this article that follows is rather interesting.

e-mail from Marianne Ordway
Newspaper Article June 5, 1890, Scotland Neck Democrat.
Married Her Notwithstanding.
A remarkable marriage occurred near Lewiston in Bertie County a few days ago.
About two years ago some young girls in that section saw an advertisement in a newspaper asking for correspondence with a young lady, looking to matrimony.
A young girl named Eliza Drew, who could neither read nor write, jokingly said she believed she would answer it. Some of her friends said they would write for her, and so they did.
Her answer to the advertisement was responded to by a quarter master in the United States army at Fort Riley, Kansas. A correspondence was then commenced, in which
it is said 150 letters passed between them.
The young girl wrote him full particulars. She told him she could neither read nor write, was not good-looking, had worked in the field all her life, weighed 220 pounds and wore a No. 8 shoe.
Notwithstanding, he came a few days ago with plenty of money, well-dressed, good looking, accomplished and weighed 120 pounds. He gave the young girl the money to dress herself up, remained a few days, planned and carried out a big wedding, married her and took her off to Washington on a bridal tour.
His name is Gaultz. He will show her a little of the world, and then carry her to Kansas.
We have the story as related from a responsible planter of Bertie.
[Now don’t all go crazy, girls. This story is interesting, but there is most probably not a word of truth in it, though of course the Democrat is honest about it.]

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