Drew of West Penwith and Beyond

A meeting place for researchers of the Drew family of West Penwith and Redruth areas, and their associated families. If you have come across this site during searches for Drew family history, and you feel you might be connected, please contact one of the members to have your name added to the members list.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Bosisto's Eucalyptus Oil Products

Was browsing a shelf at the local supermarket, when some bottles caught my eye because of the brand name - Bosisto's
See for yourselves! http://www.fgb.com.au/BosHome.htm

The Bosisto's company is based in Victoria. However, if you read the history of the eucalyptus oil industry, the Bosisto involved was a "Yorkie".

"Baron Ferdinand von Meuller, the Government Botanist in Victoria, encouraged Joseph Bosisto, a Victorian pharmacist, to investigate the essential oils of the eucalyptus on a commercial basis. Joseph Bosisto was a Yorkshireman who had qualified as a Pharmacist in Leeds and London. He arrived in Adelaide in 1848 at the age of 21. In 1851 he moved to Victoria in search of gold, but instead opened a pharmacy in Richmond, where he built a laboratory to investigate the chemical and medicinal properties of Australian plants."

from: http://www.fgb.com.au/AdditionalInfo/EucOilHistory.htm

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Update on the Robert Drew Descendants Compilation

Well, I thought I had it just about up to date, but then these things never are! Mary sent me some interesting info which really needs to be inserted, and some certificates I requested from the GRO/ONS should be arriving soon to tell me who the hitherto 'parentless' grandchildren of Edward George DREW Jr. actually belong to.

So, maybe as a Christmas present?

Next morning:
I've had a GenesReunited contact from a HOYTE descendant. He has quite a bit of info, so I've asked him to drop in here for a look and to make contact. I'll 'pinch' a bit of his GR tree to fill out some HOYTE gaps.

And in the mail today, the birth certificate for Hester Ann Drew, of Mylor Bridge. No father named! Mary Elizabeth Drew, domestic servant, made a Whoops.

Next morning again: Gary has made contact, and an invitation to join has been issued. You will also notice a new link, to the new Cornwall OPC Parish Register Database. This is an elegant resource, and I have found it to be very fast and friendly.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Small World

What are the odds that two persons, hitherto unknown to each other, sitting in a meeting room in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia to discuss course design for a Masters of Integrated Water Resources Management would both have direct paternal lines leading back to Illogan? Illogan isn't the biggest place in the world, after all.

His surname is Pascoe.

(A quick look at the 1841 Census - just before those particular Pascoes migrated to Oz - shows a lot of that name living in Camborne. The 1851 has many Pascoe families living in Camborne, a few individuals born in Illogan.)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Samuel & Jane Drew to America

From written records (Edward George Drew's "Register") we know that Samuel Drew "departed for foreign lands" on 7 April 1867. Thanks to Ancestry's recent inprovement in the availability of immigration records, I was able to discover that the "North American" arrived at Portland & Falmouth, Maine, on 26 April 1867, from Liverpool. And yes, on board were:
Samuel Drew, 22, M, Miner, and
Jane Drew, 21, F, Spinster.

Curious, that 'spinster' bit. She would have been heavily pregnant with their first child, Mary Ellen, who was born in Maine in 1867, for starters. But I have not been able to track down a marriage for Samuel Drew and Jane Harris. Did they elope? Did they travel under the guise of brother and sister? Or is it just bad record-keeping on the part of the shipping company?

Later: I have found a possible marriage. Redruth, June Quarter 1865. However, the page number for Jane is illegible but, even so, does not look like the page number given for Samuel. Suppose there's nothng for it but to order the certificate from GRO based on the info for Samuel.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

WILLIAM STANLEY DREW - Mary's great-grandfather

At the turn of the 19th/20th century before it operated from Penlee Point at Mousehole, the lifeboat worked out of Penzance. On 1st November 1907, in darkness and terrible weather, the Thames sailing barge Baltic went aground on St. Clement's Isle (often known as Mousehole Island) just outside Mousehole harbour. The cries of the crew could be heard on shore. Mousehole men organised a rescue with the crabber Lady White under the leadership of William Stanley Drew. All hands were saved. The Penzance lifeboat Elizabeth & Blanche had not been able to go to the aid of the stranded vessel, and the story goes that the lifeboat became stuck on its carriage in the harbour mud at Penzance. As a result of the rescue the Penzance lifeboat was moved to Newlyn the following year, which was just an interim measure, because by 1913 the lifeboat was sited permanently at Penlee Point until the terrible disaster of the Solomon Browne in the night of 19th December 1981 when the Penlee lifeboat and all its crew were lost going to the aid of the coaster Union Star whose crew also perished.

The heroic rescue in November 1907 of the Baltic initiated the following verses which are well-known in Mousehole folk history:

Oh what became of the Lifeboat
When the Baltic ran ashore?
They took the Lady White
And launched her across the por.
The first man to volunteer was Mr. Stanley Drew.
Then five others followed him and rescued all the crew.

The rescuers were Willie Harry, Harry Harvey, Luther Harvey, Richard Harry, Dick Thomas and William Stanley Drew. They all received cash awards from the RNLI and a Birmingham business man had a special medal - the Baltic Medal - struck in honour of their bravery, which each rescuer received.

John Batten Drew, the son of William Stanley Drew, was later to become Chief Mechanic of the Penlee Lifeboat from 1938 to 1970. In April 1947 the old battleship HMS Warspite was being towed from Portsmouth to the breaker's yard on the Clyde when she went aground at Cudden Point in Mount's Bay in a strong south-westerly gale with eight men on board. The Penlee lifeboat the W & S went to her aid and all her crew were rescued. For his part in this rescue Mechanic John Batten Drew received the RNLI Bronze Medal.

Geoff Adds: Looking at the Penlee Lifeboat web-page, there is now a Marc Drew (nicknamed Stretch) on the crew. Julyan Drew is the lifeboat chaplain. There are also surnames like Harvey and Nicholls that are quite familiar.


Sunday, November 05, 2006


Hello Drew cousins!

I thought that a recent incident which happened to me would be of general interest.

Minnie Batten Drew, 80th birthday
Although I have always known for certain that my maternal grandmother Minnie Batten Drew was born on 9th August 1891 at Mousehole, Cornwall while browsing the Ancestry.com website I decided to have a look at the birth registration record. Imagine my utter astonishment! I entered the information as usual and to my absolute astonishment the General Records Office Reference Information showed Minnie Batten Drew 1891 September Quarter at Houghton (le Spring) Vol. 10a; p. 496. I knew that this information could in no way be correct. Houghton is near Durham in the far north of England and I knew full well that my great-grandparents had never been near that place. So, of course, I sent off for a copy giving the GRO reference numbers and full details of her parents' names and also adding a note that I had always thought that my grandmother had been born in Mousehole, Paul near Penzance, Cornwall and that her birth would have been registered at Penzance. I also added that in the 1891 census just a few months before her birth the family was recorded as living in Mousehole, Paul!

I thought it was worth the £7 fee to find out what was the truth. I heard nothing for well over the usual time it take sand then yesterday the certificate arrived. Of course, it gave her place of birth as Mousehole and Penzance as the office where her birth had been registered. On the pink Application for a Birth Certificate form, the GRO Ref No. was still given as 1891 Sept. HOUGHTON; Vol. 10a; p. 496, but somebody had just crossed out the place and reference numbers and had hand written in PENZANCE, Vol. 5c; p 254. There was no explanation whatsoever as to why the reference number had been wrong or as to why her birth registration is still listed under the incorrect reference place and number! I have checked it out. That is absolutely unbelievable and I ask myself just how many other people out there in the world trying to research their ancestry are being mislead like that. In my case it was OK because I knew the truth, but there are many others who rely on the ONS information to accurately trace their descent.

Geoff Adds: I looked at the FreeBMD search result, and then at the image of the register. There has been a mistranscription - not uncommom, unfortunately. (I have left quite a few Postems on FreeBMD.)

(Click on images to view better)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Capt John Drew, Marine Writer

Here's one for the Massachusetts branch of the mob to look into. Reading an article on Joshua Slocum (Sailing Alone Around the World) in the latest WoodenBoat magazine (No. 192 - September/October 2006).
"Come to Fairhaven and I'll give you a ship" is how Joshua Slocum immortalized Capt. Ebenezer Pierce's offer to make him a gift of SPRAY. Originally from Hallowell, Maine, Pierce had not only achieved great success as a whaling skipper, but he had also patented a a popular and deadly whale "darting gun" before retiring to Fairhaven where he owned several properties. When he wrote Sailing Alone, Slocum gave the impression that his pivotal meeting with Eben Pierce was a chance encounter that occurred on a "midwinter day of 1892". While this version may have pleased Slocum's sense for the serendipitous, the actual event may have been more mundane. What's more, Slocum got the year wrong.

We know these things, in part, because of Grace M. Parker, a 22 year-old reporter who interviewed Slocum for the New Bedford Republican Standard. Parker revealed that Slocum was a "firm friend of the marine writer, Capt. John Drew ... with whose uncle, a retired Fairhaven whaler, Captain Slocum took up his residence and went to work in a shipbuilding yard." Parker's article was published on December 3, 1891. Whether Slocum's move to Fairhaven was somehow connected to Drew, was to take work in the New Bedford shipyard, or was in response to Pierce's offer of a boat, it is difficult to say.
So do we have a John Drew whose uncle was Ebenezer Pierce in our mob?