What do we know about Gilbert Drew b. 1732?
Gilbert first appears in Westchester, at about age 9, when John Hedger, in his Will dated 1741, mentions his apprentices Gilbert Drew and Thomas CROMWELL (possibly a nephew). [The historian, William Pelletreau, author of the History of Putnam Co (NY) and other works, indicated in a footnote that this was the "father of Daniel Drew, the financier". We have taken Pelletreau at his word, partly because the family he was apprenticed to is related to the Hunts and he married a Sarah Hunt.]
John Hedger was married to Hannah Gardner (dau of Henry and Elizabeth CROMWELL).
John mentioned “David Hunt, kinsman” in his will. David was married to Mary CROMWELL (niece of Elizabeth Cromwell Gardner), and was very probably a Quaker.
William Forster was a witness to the will (he witnessed several wills, including the Sickles Will signed by John Drew – see below).
John Hedger witnessed the will of Josiah Hunt, father of David.
Mary Cromwell (wife of David Hunt) had a brother, Thomas who died young (in 1731) leaving a son Gilbert and 2 more unnamed sons. Was Thomas Cromwell the apprentice one of those sons?
Was Gilbert Drew also some relative to John Hedger, as Thomas Cromwell appears to be?
Gilbert married Sarah Hunt (her ancestry unknown, but assumed to be of the Westchester – and probably the West Farms - Hunts) in 1753 in Westchester, NY. They travelled from town to town from there to the area which became Putnam County, having children in several different towns. (Gilbert was a weaver, probably the reason for their early itinerant life.) They arrived in Fredrickstown before 1768 and remained there the rest of their lives. The date of death and place of burial of Sarah is unknown.
Gilbert served during the Revolutionary War in the 7th Dutchess Co. Regiment of the NY Militia under Capt. Joel Mead and Capt. Hezekiah Mead. Three of his sons, William, Isaac and Samuel, also served during that war.
Gilbert died March 26, 1812 and is buried in the Drewsclift Cemetery, Brewster, Putnam Co., NY.
Was he related to the Drews in Connecticut? Many of the families in Westchester came from Fairfield Co., Ct., including the Hunts.
Was he named for a female Gilbert (mother or grandmother’s maiden name)?
Might he have been named after Gilbert Willett, Surrogate of Westchester Co., NY (there were a lot of boys named Gilbert in Westchester in the early 1700s – perhaps in honor of this person).
Was he related to John Drew who was a witness to a Will made by John Sickles in 1729 in Westchester? (William Forster also witnessed that will.) That is the only reference we’ve found to this John Drew (or any Drew for that matter) in Westchester County in the early 1700s.
Because of the surprise result to the dna test (matching NO Drews!), we must also keep open to the idea that Gilbert was born in “problematic” relationship, i.e. unwed Drew woman, unofficial “adoption”, etc.