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Drennan: Generation 1
c. 1740: John Drennan was born in Pennsylvania, perhaps in Chester County. His father was reportedly William Drennan, born c. 1702 in PA; and William's father may've been another William, born in Ayrshire, Scotland. This descent from William to William to John is, however, undocumented. Irish, Scottish, or Welsh ancestry has been claimed, depending upon the researcher.
While we can't document John's parentage, we can claim with some certainty that he had at least one brother, Thomas, who died in York County, SC c. 1807. There was also a Hugh Drennan in the same area.
24 Dec 1765: "John Drennan, yeoman, late of Pennsylvania" purchased 200 acres in Mecklenburg County, NC from William and Mary Hagans [or Hoggans] for £27.10.0. The tract was described as lying on the east side of the Catawba River, on both sides of Twelve Mile Creek opposite the Catawba Indian Town "in the Waxhaws", and adjoining Robert McIlhaney. Witnesses: Andrew Nutt, Robert Crockett, and Samuel Thompson. Due to the border being resurveyed this area became part of South Carolina in 1772. First known as the "New Acquisition", it became York County in 1785.
Judging from the age of his eldest child, John married c. 1767 in South Carolina, but the identity of his wife isn't known. This unknown wife is believed to have been the mother of all of his children.
14 Sep 1772: Along with Daniel and Alexander Carnes, he witnessed a deed from William and Sarah White of Craven County, NC to Robert Carnes. The land adjoined Charles Miller. It's not known how - or if - this Charles Miller was related to John Miller, whose son Henry married John Drennan's daughter Rachel.
12 Jun 1777: John Drennon, Joseph Douglas, and Thomas Rogers witnessed a deed from John Ferrel of Craven County to Robert Stewart of Mecklenburg County. John proved the deed in court in York County on 8 Aug 1797. Although the latter date would seem to be a typo, York County wasn't created until 1785, so it's probably correct.
2 Sep 1777: A deed from Isaac McCullah of Camden District to John Tomlinson was proved by Drury Cook before John Drennon. So John was already a Justice of the Peace.
2 Feb 1779: Along with Thomas Drennen and Charles Miller, he witnessed a deed from Joseph and Elenor (x) McCulloch of Craven County to Stith Fannil for land lying on the east side of the Catawba River on the waters of Waxhaw Creek. It was then proved before John Drennon as Justice of the Peace in Camden District.
7 Feb 1779: He and John Walker witnessed a deed in Mecklenburg County, NC binding 10 year old Mary Barnes to Andrew Walker until age 18.
10 Jul 1779: James Herron made a verbal will witnessed by John Drennon, Esquire, and Thomas Elliot in Mecklenburg County, NC. Herron also named John his executor. John proved the will, was issued Letters of Administration, and posted an £1,400 administrative bond at that July court.
19 Apr 1780: A deed from Joseph and Elenor McCullah to John Tomlinson was proved before John Drennan in Camden District, SC.
He served as a Captain in the South Carolina Militia in the Revolutionary War. He may have enlisted after the Battle of the Waxhaws on 29 May 1780, when American troops were massacred after surrendering to British troops under Banastre Tarleton. Known as Buford's Massacre, after the American officer in command, it caused outrage that resulted in a "regional resistance", the ultimate result of which was the Battle of Kings Mountain.
He was elected to the state legislature, serving in the sessions of 1785-1786, 1787-1788, and 1789-1790.
24 Mar 1785: He was among the five Justices of the Peace commissioned for the new county of York, SC by Gov. Moultrie.
In 1786 John was one of three justices who signed a £1,000 bond for John McCaw as Clerk of the York Court. According to Thomas Partlow, he was a probate judge in York.
2 May 1787: Along with Joseph Douglas and Robert Crocket, he witnessed a deed from William Hagins of Mecklinburg County, NC to Thomas Drennon of York County, SC, the property described as lying on the south side of Twelve Mile Creek in Lancaster County adjoining none other than John Drennon. Lancaster County lies on the east side of York County, the Catawba River forming boundary.
6 Nov 1787: John leased 635 acres from the Catawba Indians for a period of 99 years in return for an annual rent of $10 Spanish, or the value thereof in goods and chattels. The parcel was described as adjoining [probable brother] Thomas Drennan, Alexander Furies, John and James Robinson, Allison's Creek, and the "Catauba" River. The signature was transcribed by Partlow as "Jacob John Drennan". Witnesses: William Arnold, David Turner, and John Robinson. Could the signature have been "Judge John Drennan"? At least tweo and perhaps four of John's children married Arnolds.
5 Dec 1788: Along with William McKee, he was named executor of the will of Mathew Bigger. Witnesses: Thomas and John Drennan, William Kerr. Matthew Bigger was no doubt related to Delphan Bigger Arnold, John's second wife. In a later deed he was referred to as the "unkle" of John's children. Ann Drennan, daughter of William Drennan, married a Mathew Bigger.
1789: He was one of the commissioners appointed to create the inspection and exportation of tobacco on the Catawba River.
April 1790: The court ordered John Drennan, Esquire to take the deposition of Moses Ferguson regarding the will of Margaret Stuart, deceased, and to certify such at the next court session.
1790 Census, York County, SC: John Drenan was head of a household consisting of 3 males over 16, 5 males 16 and under; 4 females; 0 slaves. The only other Drennan listed was Hugh Drenan with 2 males over 16, 3 males 16 and under; 3 famles; 0 slaves.
18 Oct 1791: He, the Widow Elliot, and Thomas Drennon were mentioned as adjoining landowners in a deed from Thomas Drennon of York County to John Brown of Chester for 33 acres on the south side of Twelve Mile Creek.
27 Nov 1792: John sold 200 acres ("the Indian Claim only excepted") on both sides of Twelve Mile Creek adjoining William Porter to John Shepherd of Lancaster County for £28. Witnesses: Samuel Bigger, Henry Foster, and John (x) Bigger. It was proved 16 Feb 1793.
1796: The state granted permission to John Drennan and Hezekiah Thorne to operate a ferry on the Cawtaba River at the lower point of Long Island. This location is presently under the waters of Lake Wylie. The bridge on Highway 94 approximates the ferry location. Rates: Passenger . . . 4 cents, led horse . . . 4 cents, man and horse . . . 7 cents, wagon and team . . . 75 cents, etc. In 1813 the license was renewed by Hezekiah Thorne only. There was a Thorn family in Rutherford County, TN, residing close to the Millers and Jones. In fact, Margaret "Peggy" Jones, daughter of William of Fall Creek, married Thomas Thorn.
1800 Census, York County, SC: John Drennon Esquire was listed with 1 male under 10, 2 10-15, 2 16-25, 1 over 45; 1 female 16-25. He was listed next to Thomas Drennon Junior and Thomas Drennon Senior, and close to Josephus Arnold. There was also Hugh Drennon in York District, with 1 male under 10, 1 10-15, 2 16-25, 1 26-44, 1 over 45; 2 females 16-25, 1 over 45.
Nov 1800: Judgment was rendered in the case of John Drennan Esq, "living on Indian lands" versus Samuel Lowrie.
Between 1800 and 1803 John moved his family to Wilson County, TN with others from York, including John Arnold, Mathias Devault, Thomas Drennan, Thomas Kirkpatrick, John McPeak, and Jacob Sullivan., This may have been as early as 1802 as a deed dated 11 Oct 1802 from John Brown to Lewis Kirk on the south side of Twelve Mile Creek was described as adjoining "John Drannon's old place". It was referred to again in this manner ("John Drannon's old place") in a deed from Lewis and Polly Kirk to William Tomlinson dated 6 Oct 1804.
11 May 1802: John Drennan, Thomas Drennan, and William Arnold witnessed the will of Josephus Arnold.
c. 1803: John married Josephs' widow Delphan "Deffy" Bigger Arnold, probably in Wilson County. Deffy had a daughter named Rebecca Lovin/Lovens; but Rebecca may have been illegitimate, so we can't be certain whether this was Deffy's second or third marriage. Rebecca Levens married Braswell/Basil West in Wilson County on Apr 1808.
1805: John was indicted by the Grand Jury in Wilson County, found guilty, and fined 25 cents. His "crime" is apparently not known. Or was this Junior?
1805 Tax List, Wilson County, TN: John Drannan was assessed for 100 acres on Sugg's Creek in Capt. Davis' Company.  But in another book, Partlow wrote that John was listed with 173 acres. Were these Senior and Junior?
25 Dec 1805: John purchased 220 acres east of Sugg's Creek from John Thompson of Rupel [sic] County, VA for $206. The land adjoined William Smith and Mathias Devault. The deed was recorded in March 1806. Mathias DeVault's daughter Frances married John's son James.
1806 Tax List, Wilson County, TN: 220 3/4 acres on Suggs Creek in Capt. John Watson's District.
1807 Tax List, Wilson Co, TN: 220 acres on Suggs Creek in Capt. Watson's District.
5 Sep 1811: John Drennan Senior bought 200 acres on Sugg's Creek for $400 from William Smith. The land adjoined John Logue and Jenkins Sullivan. The date has also been given as 25 Sep 1811.
21 Nov 1812: He sold 41 acres on the east fork of Sugg's Creek to Samuel Brown for $151.50. Witnesses: James Law, [son] James Drennan, and Aaron Sprouse.
6 Jun 1815: He sold 39 acres to John Smith for $130, "it being part of the land where the said Drennan now lives". Witnesses: James Drennan and Jacob Devault. The month may have been January.
19 Jan 1816: John died in Wilson County. He's buried in Sugg's Creek, where his tombstone reads: "Here lies the body of John Drennan who departed this life 19th day of January 1816 in the 76th year of his age". There's also an elaborate Masonic emblem and an unexplained date: 24 Aug 1819. Sugg's Creek is located about 15 miles west of Lebanon on I40: Take the Mount Juliet exit, go left 5 miles to Stewart's Ferry Rd, turn left 2 miles to Corinth Rd, turn right to Cumberland Church.
20 Apr 1816: The estate sale was held in Wilson County. In addition to farm implements, livestock, and house furniture, the property sold included 9 slaves. Among the buyers were David, Delphy, James and Thomas Drennan, John and William Arnold, Basil West, David and Abner DeVault, and John McPeak. The sale, totaling $2,903.30, was recorded on 30 Aug 1816.
1 Jun 1816: The inventory was recorded by administrator Thomas Drennan. Among the livestock and farming implements and household furniture, it included one sword.
12 Jun 1816: Widow Delphan Drennan received her one year's provisions, alloted by Ransom Gwynn, John Hannah, and Jenkins Sullivan.
14 Sep 1816: Hugh Telford, John Hannah, Ransom Gwynn, Jenkins Sullivan and William Rice divided the estate of John Drennan. The heirs were: James Drennan; David Drennan, the heirs of Joseph Drennan, [son-in-law] Henry Miller, [son-in-law] John Arnold, John Drennan, the heirs of William Drennan, and Thomas Drennan.
20 Sep 1817: Thomas Drennan, James Drennan, Henry Miller, John Arnold, and David Drennan relinquished any rights to slave Nancy to Thomas Partlow, son of Ann Drennan Partlow. Apparently Ann had been given this slave by "virtue of the last will and testament of our unkle Matthew Biger". Witnesses: Joseph Hamilton and Claborn Goodman. The relinquishment was recorded 27 Feb 1818. Does the designation "unkle" indicate a Bigger-Drennan relationship that predated John's marriage to Deffy? According to his query dated 1992, Charles Bowman claimed that "A William Spratt was on a prison ship with William Drennan in 1685. Thomas Spratt married Elizabeth Bigger". In another 1992 query , Pat S. Drennan wrote that John's first wife "is believed to have been a sister to Matthew Bigger's second wife Ann ______, whom he married about 1777". Or perhaps John's first wife was a Bigger?
24 Apr 1818: Six heirs [but not Henry Miller] signed for their portion of $314.29, reaching a total of $2,917.37 1/2.
11 Jun 1818: The final estate settlement named the following legatees: Wife Delphan, son James, son-in-law John Arnold, son John, son-in-law Henry Miller for his wife Rachel, son David, son Thomas, the heirs of Joseph Drennan, Margret as guardian for her children. Commissioners: John Hannah and Ransom Gwynn settled with administrator Thomas Drennan. Guardian Margret must have been Margaret Miller Drennan, widow of son William.
13 Jan 1819: Deffy married Edmond Collins, with Henry Belote bondsman, but the marriage ended in October of 1820 when Collins was charged with bigamy. Before this final divorce she might have been Delphan Bigger Lovin Arnold Drennan Collins!
26 Oct 1819: There was a bill of sale from Delpha Drennan to William Robertson of Rutherford County. Witnesses: William Arnold and William McCutty. Why not Delpha Collins? Was she already separated from Collins?
1820 Census, Wilson County, TN (Lebanon District): Deffy Drennan, close to James, John, and Thomas Drennan, was listed with 1 male under 10, 1 16-26; 2 females under 10, 2 over 45; 1 person engaged in manufacture.
15 Dec 1838: Deffy signed her will, probated October 1839 in Independence County, AR. In it, she left money to Anne Miller Robertson, daughter of Henry and Rachel Drennan Miller. Or was this another Ann?
Children of John Drennan:
Thomas S. Drennan (9 Nov 1768 - 16 Jul 1835; m. Ann Arnold)
Eleanor Drennan (1770 - )
There's a good chance that Eleanor married an Arnold:
20 Feb 1815: "Neelly" Arnold received $883.75 3/4 from the estate of William Arnold by order of the court in Rutherford County. Other heirs were John Arnold, Margaret Drennan, Jenny Eakin, and Thomas Drennon.
There was an Eleanor Arnold, age 50-60, enumerated in the 1830 Census in Rutherford very near Margaret Drenon and John Drenon. Her household consisted of: 1 male 10-15, 1 20-30; 1 female 40-50, 1 50-60.
OR . . . Was she the Eleanor ("Nelly") Thorn, wife of Hezekiah Thorne [owner of the ferry with John] who died on 27 Feb 1819? Hezekiah died 21 Sep 1845 at age 80, thus would've been born c. 1765; certainly the correct age for Eleanor.
Jane Drennan (1771 - Apr 1826; m. John Arnold)
Rachel Drennan (13 Dec 1775 - 8 Jan 1860; m. Henry Miller)
Ann Drennan (c. 1779 - c. 1829; m. William Partlow c. 1794)
William Drennan (7 Jan 1781 - 8 Jan 1815; m. Margaret D. Miller 2 Mar 1801)
David Drennan (c. 1783 - ; m. ______ Robinson c. 1803)
David reportedly died in Madison County, IL.
Joseph Drennan (c. 1785 - ; m. Margaret Arnold 1803)
After being widowed, Margaret Arnold Drennan moved to Independence County, AR, the same county in which Delphan Arnold Drennan died in 1839.
James Drennan (17 Sep 1788 - 31 Jan 1867; m. 1st Frances W. DeVault 22 Jun 1809, m. 2nd Cynthia H. Davis 12 Sep 1834, m. 3rd Elizabeth Gibson _______)
If you have material about any individuals included in Nancy's Dead Relatives, can add well-documented family lines, have corrections and/or comments, or wish to establish a link to or from this site, please contact me at email@example.com. However, the decision whether or not to include any submitted material is the webmaster's (mine) alone.
Nancy Denty Breidenthal
Any information is only as reliable as its source. Evaluate the following sources accordingly.
 Based upon age at death inscribed on tombstone
 There was a valuable article, "Biographical Sketch of William Drennan of Pendleton District, South Carolina", written by Bernard Schaaf, M.D. and published in the Colonial Genealogist , Vol. 12, n. 1-2, Spring 1984. Although it's main focus was William Drennan, the other earlier Drennans were included, albeit briefly. A reprint is available from The Augustan Society, Inc. at www.augustansociety.org.
 York County Genealogical and Historical Society, The Quarterly, v. 3, n. 3, p. 15, Dec 1991, from original on p. 29; Holcomb & Parker, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Deed Abstracts 1763-1779, p. 14. Brent Holcomb places the land on the north side of Cataba River opposite the Indian Town, part of an original grant to Robert Mukelhaney, and claims the original deed can be found on p. 304.
 Holcomb, Lancaster County, South Carolina Deed Abstracts 1787-1811, p. 191, from p. 205-207
 Holcomb, from Book F
 Holcomb, p. 2, from Book A, p. 82; Rodman, Deeds A, Lancaster County, South Carolina Recorded in 1787-1788, p. 89
 Rodman, p. 7, from Book A, p. 78-80
 Ferguson, Genealogical Abstracts, Mecklenburg, North Carolina, Books 10-14, p. 15, from Book 10, p. 310
 The Quarterly, v. 9, n. 2, p. 23, Sep 1997; Holcomb, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Abstracts of Early Wills (1763-17980), p. 31, from Will Book C, p. 135; Van Schaick, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Court Minutes, Docket Book 1 1774-1780, p. 264, from Court Minutes Docket Book 1
 Rodman, p. 49; Holcomb, Lancaster County, South Carolina Deed Abstracts 1787-1811, p. 9, from Book B, p. 187
 Partlow, Wilson County, Tennessee Miscellaneous Records, 1800-1875, p. 149; Houston Hodges
 Wells, York County, South Carolina Minutes of the County Court 1786-1797, from Book A, p. 1-2
 The Quarterly, v. 9, n. 1, p. 22, Jun 1997
 Holcomb, Lancaster County, South Carolina Deed Abstracts 1787-1811, p. 65, from Book E, p. 330
 Transcript by Thomas Partlow; The Quarterly, v. 9, n. 2, p. 23, Sep 1997, from Book B, p. 289 #144
 Thomas Partlow, from Book A-12, p. 34
 The Quarterly, v. 10, n. 2, p. 3, Sep 1998
 York County 1790 Census, p. 190
 York County 1790 Census, p. 194
 Holcomb, Lancaster County, South Carolina Deed Abstracts 1787-1811, p. 65, from Book E, p. 330
 The Quarterly, v. 9, n. 2, p. 23, Sep 1997; Holcomb, Lancaster County, South Carolina Deed Abstracts 1787-1811, p. 45, from Lancaster Deed Book B, p. 240
 The Quarterly, v. 11, n. 1, p. 3, Jun 1999 and v. 8, n. 4, p. 22, Dec 1996
 York District 1800 Census, p. 952/621
 The Quarterly, v. 10, n. 4, p. 25, Mar 1999
 Partlow, Wilson County, Tennessee Miscellaneous Records, 1800-1875, p. 36; Holcomb, Lancaster County, South Carolina Deed Abstracts 1787-1811, p. 141, from Book F, p. 162
 Partlow, Wilson County, Tennessee Miscellaneous Records, 1800-1875, p. 36; Partlow, The People of Wilson County, Tennessee, p. 1, from p. 170
 Partlow, Wilson County, Tennessee Tax Lists
 Transcript by Thomas Partlow, p. 55
 Partlow, Wilson County, Tennessee Tax Lists
 Partlow, Wilson County, Tennessee Tax Lists
 Partlow, Wilson County, Tennessee Miscellaneous Records, 1800-1875, p. 55, from Book D, p. 442
 Partlow, Wilson County, Tennessee Miscellaneous Records, 1800-1875, p. 55, from Book E, p. 227
 Partlow, Wilson County, Tennessee Miscellaneous Records, 1800-1875, p. 36, from Book E, p. 547
 Wilson County, Tennessee Miscellaneous Records, 1800-1875, p. 37; Partlow, Selected Cemeteries in Wilson County, Tennessee, p. 23.
 Partlow, Wilson County Will Books 1-13, 1802-1850, p. 23
 Partlow, Wilson County, Tennessee Miscellaneous Records, 1800-1875, p. 57; Partlow, Early Families of Wilson County
 Partlow, Wilson County Will Books 1-13, 1802-1850, p. 23, 21, from p. 189, 140, 166
 Wade Drennan, from Deed Book F, p. 304
 Thomas Partlow; Partlow, Wilson County, Tennessee Miscellaneous Records, 1800-1875, p. 90
 The Quarterly, v. 4, n. 1, p. 33, Jun 1992
 The Quarterly, v. 3, n. 4, p. 34, Mar 1992
 Thomas Partlow
 Partlow, Wilson County Will Books 1-13, 1802-1850, p. 29, from p. 366
 Houston Hodges
 Partlow, Wilson County, Tennessee Miscellaneous Records, 1800-1875, p. 92
 Wilson County 1820 Census, p. 193
 Wade Drennan
 Marsh, Wills and Inventories of Rutherford County, Tennessee (1804-1828), p. 28, from Book 3, p. 9
 Rutherford County 1830 Census, p. 355
 The Quarterly, v. 8, n. 4, p. 22, Mar 1997
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