Albert B Osborne.

Makers of America; biographies of leading men of thought and action, the men who constitute the bone and sinew of American prosperity and life (Volume 3) online

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the late Queen Victoria was pleased to confer upon him the title
and dignity of Baronet of the British Empire. He has left behind
him a name and reputation which will live in the annals of his-
tory, and has set an example of right living and noble disinterest-
edness worthy of emulation by all.

Major McKinnon's mother's people, MacQueens of Corry-
brough, County Inverness, are known as the highlanders of the
clan Peran, to which the MacQueens belong. Many of these are
distinguished in Scottish history.

In his very valuable work on the Scottish Highlands, already
referred to, Mr. Adam has the following to say with regard to
the MacQueen clan :

"The MacQueens, of Macsweyns, come of the same stock as
the MacDonalds, both being of the race of Conn, or Cuinn, 'of the
hundred battles.'


"The Macqueens of Garafad, in Skye, held the lands of Gara-
fad for many centuries free, on the condition of giving a certain
number of salmon yearly at a fixed price to the proprietor. It
is said that they lost the above lands by getting into arrears with
this rent.

'During the fifteenth century we find a branch of the Mac-
queens among the followers of the MacDonalds of Clanranald.
Malcolm Beg Mackintosh, tenth Chief of Mackintosh, married
Mora MacDouald of Moidart. When the bride went to the Mack-
intosh country, several of her kinsmen accompanied her, includ-
ing Eevan-Mac-Mulmor Mac-Angus Macqueen. This same Kevan
fought under Mackintosh of Mackintosh at the battle of Harlaw
in 1411. His descendants settled in Strathdearn, where they
acquired the lands of Corryborough, and became members of the
Clan Chattan Confederacy. They were known as the 'Clan
Revan,' from the name of their progenitor. Cadet branches of
the Clan Revan came in time to occupy a good deal of territory
in the valley of the Findhorn. The Corryborough lands appear
to have passed from the Macqueeus during the latter half of the
eighteenth century. The present Chief is resident in New Zea-

"When in 1778 Lord MacDonald of Sleat raised a Highland
regiment, he conferred a lieutenancy in it upon a son of Donald
Macqueen of Corryborough. In the letter to old Corryborough
intimating the granting of a commission to Corryborough's son,
Lord MacDonald wrote to the former as follows, viz. : 'It does me
great honour to have the sons of chieftains in the regiment, and
as the Macqueens have been invariably attached to our family,
to whom we believe we owe our existence, I am proud of the
nomination.' Lord MacDonald, when making the above obser-
vations, doubtless intended to emphasize the fact that before his
clan became known as the 'Clan Donald,' thev had borne the


designation of the ; Siol Cuinn' (the race of Conn of the Hundred

The name Macqueen is derived from "Suibhue," or "Sweyn."
From the former the name varies to MacSwvde, MacCunn, and in

*/ / /

some old documents MacQueyn. The latter has varied into
"MacSwen, MacSweyn, and MacSwan."

The McQueen Clan is of Celtic origin ; its Highland appella-
tion is "Clann Shuibhne" and the heraldic description of the
armorial bearings is as follows :

Argent, three wolves' heads couped sable. Crest : A heraldic
tiger rampant ermine, holding an arrow point downwards ar-
gent, pheoned gules. Supporters : Two heraldic tigers ermine.
Motto : "Constant and Faithful."

The clan to which the McQueens are affiliated is Clan Chat-
tan ; its badge is the red whortleberry and its descriptive clan


pipe music is, in English, "Lament for MacSwain of Roag," the
tune being "Cumha Mhic Shuain a Roaig."

One authority, speaking of the family of MacQueen of Corry-
borough, says: "The late Donald MacQueen of Corryborough,
Justice of the Peace, married 27th April, 1792, Elizabeth, daugh-
ter of Hugh Fraser, of Brightmony, great-grandson of Malicom
Fraser of Culduthel, and died in 1813, leaving issue, surviving.
Donald, Captain of the Second Madras Cavalry, Justice of the
Peace of Inverness, married Margaret, daughter of Grant of
Bught, County of Inverness, and died in 1827, leaving a daughter
Marjory. Hugh, W. S., Justice of the Peace for County Inver-
ness. James, military cadet, died at Woolwich. Alexander,
M. D., His Majesty, Third Foot. William McGilliway, Captain
25th Madras Infantry, died in 1829. Simon, Captain in the army,
Justice of the Peace for Count} 7 Inverness. Kneas, Lieutenant,
Forty-ninth Madras Infantry, died in 1837. John Fraser, of
Lincoln's Inn, barrister-at-law, Justice of the Peace and D. L. for
County of Inverness; married Georgiana, daughter of the Rev.
George Dealtry, A. M., rector of Stoke, and vicar of Hinckley,

The tribe of which this family is the head is known in the
Highlands as the clan Revan, and is of great antiquity, being
originally of the Macdonalds, Lords of the Isles; the connection
with whom, after a separation of more than three centuries, was
recognized, as recently as 1778, by Alexander, Lord McDonald.
Early in the fifteenth century, Roderick Dhu Revan M'Sweene
or McQueen, quitted the Isles on receiving a grant of territory,
which included amongst others the lands of Corryborough, since
which period his descendants have formed a branch of the power-
ful clan of Chattan, under whose standard they fought at the
battle of Harlowe in 1411. The other families of MacQueen are
branches of this clan, the chieftainship being vested in MacQueen
of Corryborough, as lineal representative of Roderick Dhu Revan.

Donald MacQueen succeeded his father, Donald, in 1594.
Angus MacQueen of Corryborough succeeded his uncle Donald
(last mentioned) in 1623. He died August 5, 1655, and was suc-
ceeded by his son, Donald Macqueen of Corryborough, who mar-
ried Mary, daughter of Cuthbert of Castlehill, County Inverness,
died in 1676, and was succeeded by his son, Donald MacQueen
of Corryborough, who married Jean, daughter of Dallas of
Cantray, County Inverness, died in 1714, and was succeeded by
his son, James MacQueen, of Corryborough, who married Septem-
ber 29, 1711, Katherine, daughter of Malcom Fraser, of Culduthel,
County Inverness, and died in 1762 leaving issue, Elizabeth,
married to Lachlan Mackintosh, of Raigmore, County Inverness,
and a son, who survived him, viz. : Donald MacQueen of Corry-
borough, Justice of the Peace, County Inverness, who married


in August, 1742, Peggy-Mary, daughter of Shawe of Dell, and
died in 1789, leaving other issue, the late Donald MacQueen of
Cor ry borough, Justice of the Peace, County Inverness.

The lineal descent of Mr. A. J. McKinnon from King Eobert
Bruce of Scotland, through the MacQueen's is as follows : King
Kobert Bruce of Scotland Margery, his daughter, married
Walter, High Steward King Kobert II, their son Lady Mar-
garet Stewart, his daughter married John, Lord of the Isles
Donald, Lord of the Isles, her son Alexander, Lord of the Isles,
his son Austin Moore, his son Donald Gallich, his son Don-
ald Gruamach, his son Donald Gorm Moore, his son Donald
Gorrn Sassarrach, his son Archibald, his son Donald Gorm Oig,
his son Sir James, his son Donald Oig, his son Sir James
Moore, his son Sumerled or Soirle, his son Austin Moore, his
son Flora, his daughter James MacQueen, her son, Founder of
Queensdale Kate McQueen married Donald McQueen Sarah
McQueen married Alexander McKinnon Alexander James Mc-

The presumption is that in one of the sons of Daniel Mac-
Kinnon of Antigua is the founder of the American family of
McKinnon. It is in that branch that the name of Alexander
appears prominently, and of which Alexander James McKinnon,
the subject of this sketch is, in his day and generation, so dis-
tinguished a descendant.


THEKE is no more interesting study than that of history,
none more absorbing than that of the individual man ami
the search for his ancestry. The powerful influence of
heredity in the mental and moral equipment of the promi-
nent men and women whose forefathers were among the early
colonists of the territory once included in the Province of Vir-
ginia, is ever more overwhelmingly apparent. Given the man of
to-day, his name, his character and career, and more than by
printed record is the search directed to his ancestry on the other
side of the ocean.

It has been said that it takes three generations to make a
gentleman, but even after the "gentleman" has been evolved, a
lapse in some individual case, often puzzles those not versed in
the peculiarities of atavism. The farther removed is the genera-
tion from an undesirable type, -the less liability is there of its
recurrence. Of the great numbers who from various causes im-
migrated to the new world, many came from ancient cultured
families of Great Britain.

The Virginia Company was largely composed of the Nobility
of England and wealthy merchants of London, who, having in-
vested vast sums in the enterprise were most interested in its
success. If they did not come over themselves in person, younger
members of their families were sent to exploit their immense
grants, to make new homes and accumulate new fortunes in the
land thought to be an El Dorado.

Following the career of the D re wry family, the same ideas
are found, modified by the environment of their times, that are
the spring of action in one of their descendants, the subject of
this sketch ; for thus he gives utterance to his own ideas : "The
"noblest motive is the public good. Every man owes a duty to
"the community in which he lives and should strive as honestly


"to fulfil that obligation as he should any other debt resting upon
"him ; and the best interests of the state may best be promoted
"by a proper realization of individual responsibility."

Sir Humphrey Drewry and his associates were granted by
the crown large tracts of land in the Province of Virginia and
settled near Richmond in Northampton County. Their descend-
ants have all been good citizens, never extremely prominent, but
always active and honest in business and foremost in the com-
mercial activities of the communities of which they were a part.



In the defense of the country they were ever to be relied upon,
as the rosters of the Army and Navy disclose.

John Colin Drewry was born at Drewrysville, July 26, 1860.
His father, William Humphrey Drewry, was a planter and mer-
chant. His mother was Caroline Williams Barnes Drewry. John
C. Drewry graduated from the High School of Petersburg, pur-
sued a course in Bethel Military Academy in Fauquier County
and was a student of the University of Virginia.

Mr. Drewry has always been a progressive citizen holding a
number of positions of honor and trust. He is a director of the
Citizens National Bank and President of the Raleigh Furniture
Company. For thirty years he has been agent for an important
Insurance Company of Newark, New Jersey, for the States of
Virginia and North Carolina, jointly with his brother, W. S.
Drewry. In politics, a Democrat, Mr. Drewry has served in the
State Senate and in the House of Representatives of his State,
has filled the position of Alderman and of Mayor pro tern, of
Raleigh, and is a member of the State Democratic Committee.
His standing with the Masonic Fraternity is a distinguished one,
he having been Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of North
Carolina A. F. A. M. for twenty-two years, Grand Commander of

t i

North Carolina and Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of
North Carolina. He is President of the Chamber of Commerce
and President of the Capitol Club of Raleigh. Following the
family tradition he has, for many years, been a vestryman of
Christ Church, Raleigh.

In June 1886, John C. Drewry married in Atlanta, Georgia
Emma, daughter of John H. Mangham and Rebecca Caldwell
Mangham. In January 1902, he married Mrs. Kittie Holt
Wharton, daughter of L. Banks Holt and Mary C. Mebaue Holt.
His children are Emma L. Drewry now Mrs. James G. Hanes of
Winston- Salem, and John C. Drewry, aged twelve years (1916).

Family names have been evolved as a rule in the course of
years, and the evolution of the Drewry name is quite interesting.
Roueray was an estate in France, which had been bestowed upon
Rollo, also called Rou, the first Duke of Normandy; de Roueray
is not a long call from Drewry. The founder of the English fam-
ily of Sir Dm Drugo was succeeded by John de Drury, and in the
succeeding generations the name becomes simply Drewry.

Roueray in Anglo-Saxon would have been Thrudleri, meaning
a True Warrior. The Drewry family through marriage, lineage
and public services, runs parallel with the history of England.
The combination of Norman, Dane and Saxon is peculiarly Eng-
lish. The very diversity of the character of each race brings out
the fine traits which are the richest heritage of the family. Drugo
occurs several times in the Domesday Book as well as in the
Battle Abbey Roll, and is a Norman personal name. It must be


remembered, however, that it was not until late in the twelfth
century that family names were generally used. They were
adopted from personal names, the estates of the families, or fre-
quently from some mental or physical peculiarities of founders
of the families. It is seldom that a lineage may be traced beyond
the conquest, but in the case of the family under consideration
the line is clear so far back as the ninth century, and it might
without undue difficulty be extended still further.

Kollo or Eou, was the son of Gayon, a celebrated nobleman
of Denmark. Labute says he was Norwegian. Having had some
difficulty with his father and brother, Kollo gathered his fleet of
fifty ships, set sail for the shores of France in the year 876, cast-
ing anchor in the Seine opposite to the Koyal residence. He was
warring with the Franks for some years but after embracing
Christianity he made peace with Charles The Simple, who, not-
withstanding his name, was wiser than he knew, in establishing
Kollo in the province of, and creating him Duke of Normandy.
Rollo's Godfather was Kobert Count of Paris, and the name Rob-
ert was given to Kollo in baptism. By this action of Charles, the
long series of incursions from Northmen and pirates ended, and
under the Duke's sway Normandy was repopulated, and Franks
and Bretons and other races all were fused into a flourishing

Rollo, (or Kobert) married Lady Gilla, daughter of Charles,
the King, and after her death, the Lady Papee, daughter of the
Earl of Bessen and Baveaux, became his wife. She bore him a

*/ /

son, William, surnanied Longa Spata, Long-Sic or d. William
married Lady Sporsa, daughter of the Earl of Senlis. His son
was Richard the third Duke of Normandy, who married Lady
Agnes, daughter of the Earl of Paris. His second wife was a
daughter of the Danish line. She bore him three sons : Richard,
afterwards fourth Duke of Normandy; Robert, who succeeded
as fifth Duke, and was the father of William the Conqueror. The
third son of Richard and his Danish princess, was William,
father of Sir Dm Drugo founder of the Drurv or Drewrv familv

t , _

in England. Pons was a town in western France in the Depart-
ment of Charante Inferieure. An older brother of Sir Dru, Sir
Richard de Pons or Pontis, obtained from Henry I the Cantred
of Bychan and Castle of Lahnyndhgry. Sir Dru received from
his cousin William the estates of Thurston and Rougham in
County Surrey.

Sir John Drury, son of Sir Dru inherited these holdings in
Surrey, which remained in the family for six hundred years. His
descendant living in the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) married
Joane, daughter and heiress of Sir Simon Saxham, Knight, and
by her had Roger, Nicholas and John, from which three brothers
descend the Drewrys of Rougham, Saxham, Hawstead, Egerly,
Riddlesworth, Besthorpe, Everstone and others.


Sir Niel Drury was an Alderman of London in 1312. Sir
Nicholas de Drury son of the second John, was with John of
Gaunt in the Spanish Expedition in 1367. He made a pilgrim-
age to the Holy Land before returning to England. A daughter
being his sole heir, his posterity is found in the Mildmay and
Hunly families. The daughter and heiress of Sir Henry Drury
of I ck worth, who died in 1525, married Thos. Hervey, Earl of
Bristol, who inherited her property. Sir Kobert Drury of Edgerly
who died in 1536 was a member of the House of Commons.

Sir William Drewrv of Hawstead. Suffolk County was a

. / ts

soldier and statesman. He was born in 1527, educated at Cam-
bridge, as were most of the Drewrys. He was made a prisoner
when fighting in France and was associated with the Earl of
Bedford in quelling the rising in Devonshire in 1549. Later, he
was employed by Queen Elizabeth in connection with Scottish
politics. In 1554 he was made Marshal and Deputy Governor
of Berwick. He was appointed President of Munster, where his
rule was eminently successful. He followed Sir Henry Sidney
as Lord Justice of the Irish Council. He is said to have been a
Knight of the Bath. His death occurred in 1579. Drewry's let-
ters to Lord Burleigh and others afford an invaluable mine for
the historians of that epoch.

There is still standing in London, or was a few years since,
an old mansion used as a Mission House. It was built by Sir


William Drewry of Hawstead in the reign of Henry VIII. This
house gave its name to Drury Lane, in the time of the Stuarts
the aristocratic quarters of London. It was in this house that Sir
Kobert shared his home with the Poet Donne and his wife in 1610,
and after traveling on the continent with them, returned there to
die. A very beautiful monument chiseled by Nicholas Stone,
the distinguished sculptor, is erected in Hawstead church in
Suffolk, in memory of Sir Kobert. The family name is also per-
petuated in this country in Drury's Bluff, on James River, one
of the historic landmarks in Virginia, famous for the three days'
battle in the Civil War, where the Confederates under Beaurgard
defeated the Federals under General Butler.

The manor of Chalfont St. Peter in Buckinghamshire, on the
road to London, which belonged to Missenden Abbey, was granted
by Henry VIII in 1536 to Kobert Drury, Esq., whose descendants
sold it in 1626 to the Bulstrodes. Sir Henry of Chalfont died in

Sir Dru Drury of Roughani, County Suffolk was gentleman
usher to Queen Elizabeth, who appointed him one of the keepers
of the unfortunate Mary, Queen of Scots, at whose execution he
was present. It seems rather peculiar that her son, James I,
upon his accession to the throne in 1605, knighted Sir William
the father of his mother's jailer, and that Charles in 1627 created
Sir Dru himself a Baronet.


Through all the generations the Drewrys were prominent in
the service of King and country to mention a tythe of their
names and deeds would extend this sketch to undue proportions.

The latter Sir Drew is no doubt the same who is mentioned
with Sir Robert Drury as being of the Virginia Company of Lon-
don in 1620. Sir Robert was a charter member of the Company
in 1696, and was one of the Board of Councillors.

A Sir William Drewry and another William are also named
as of the Company. The Virginia Company of London was not
only composed of wealthy British noblemen and merchants of
London, but most of the liveried companies were associated in the
enterprise. Their object was to colonize and develop the vast
territory then comprised under the name of Virginia, while Chris-
tianizing the natives. There is no doubt the Company was ani-
mated by the highest ideas. They were called "Adventurers" but

*j C? f

the word was not then used in its more modern acceptance. The
government of the Colonies was in the hands of the Councillors
in London. Local Governors and officers were appointed to re-
side in the colony. Very few of the members of the Company
visited Virginia. Those who did, came in their private sailing
vessels, and many sent younger sons to make homes in the new

/ tJ , t-7

world, whose reputation as a land abounding in gold and silver
ore was somewhat exaggerated. Among those who came, were
the founders of the Virginia family of Drewry.

It was also a place of refuge from religious persecution,
which brought many of the better class of Scotch, Irish aad
French. The annulment of the charter of the Company in lf>24
by James I, which he did to curry favor with Spain, caiised the
upheaval of all these conditions. Of course, the Company's loss
was immense.

It was not until after this unrighteous annulment of the
Company's charter that the colony was made the dumping ground
for the inmates of London's jails and prisons, and a place of exile
for political offenders and defeated rebels. Virginia truly owes
no respect to the memory of James I, unless perhaps his action
gave impetus to the desire for freedom afterwards so gloriously
accomplished. Consequent upon this upheaval in the colony,
the after effects of the Revolutionary War, the poverty of the
people in their process of rehabilitation, and the destruction of
records both public and private, it is difficult to find every link
that connects the founder of an American branch, with his family
in the Old World.

The first record relates to Sir Humphrey Drewry's grant of
lands. There is, however, no proof that this person was ever per-
sonally in America ; though many of the adventurers came, only
to view the country, and return.

The next is George Drury at nineteen who sailed in 1835 for


.New England. A few months later in the same year came Eobert
Drewry at sixteen, no doubt landing in Virginia.

In 1679 Richard Drewry is among the land and slave owners
in Barbados. The first mention of Drewrys in Virginia is in the
York (formerly Charles River) County Will Book No. 7. An
administration on the estate of Robert Drewry, deceased 1687 is
ordered. The Parish register of "Charles River, York-Hampton,
Denbie County Pennsylvania and Warwick County," a manu-
script copy of which is in the Library of Congress, gives numbers
of entries of the Drury families. Unfortunately, except in the
case of a few deaths, the record begins 1710 ending 1789. There
is one death recorded viz. : "John, son of Robert" 1694. There is
little doubt that the "Robert" in both cases is identical with the
Robert who came in 1635.

John who married Deborah, also appearing in the Will Book,
was no doubt the grandson of Robert. John, Sr., died 1714
but John, husband of Deborah was living in 1715. The line may
be traced for several generations, through this record.

Captain Charles Drury and Mr. Thomas Drury were among
the vestry of a small parish called Chuckatuck in Nansemond
County in 1702-1709. Samuel Drury and Benjamin Drury appear
in the list of grantees of land for service during the Revolution.

There seems little doubt that Robert was closely connected
with the Sir Dru and Sir Robert, previously mentioned. Thus,
the history of this distinguished family is traced back for more
than a thousand years, and the line is still represented in these
days of the twentieth century in the person of John Colin Drewry,
of Raleigh, North Carolina.


IN the historic Holt homestead, "Locust Grove," Alamance
County, North Carolina, the home of his maternal ancestors
for several generations, William Holt Williamson, of Kaleigh,

North Carolina, was born, February 4, 1867.

Michael Holt (who died about 1785), of the first generation
of the family in North Carolina, Mr. Williamson's great-great-
great-grandfather, had made settlement here at an early date,
and many of his descendants, including the subject of this sketch,
first saw the light of day beneath this honored roof-tree ; many of
them in after years attaining distinction through nobility of
character, unrivalled success, in business, and in the councils of
the State and Nation.

Edwin Michael Holt (1807-1884), a great-grandson of the
first Michael Holt, Mr. Williamson's grandfather, established the
first cotton mills south of the Potomac River for the manufacture
of colored cotton goods, becoming, virtually the founder of the
colored cotton goods industry in the South.

The war between the States was responsible for the scatter-
ing of many southern families and for the destruction of their
records. To this calamity the Williamson family was not an
exception, though patient research has developed some interest-
ing facts relative to several generations of the name and relative
to the ancestry of the families into which the earlier Williamsons

Online LibraryAlbert B OsborneMakers of America; biographies of leading men of thought and action, the men who constitute the bone and sinew of American prosperity and life (Volume 3) → online text (page 2 of 48)