Who Are The Parents?
I am once again revisiting the search for the parents of the four Drennen brothers who came to America in the 1760-1770 time frame.
First of all, the name Drennen may be spelled many different ways but still be reffering to the same person or persons. Drennen, Drennan, Drennon, Drenning, Drennin, Drenen, etc. Don't let the spelling difference determine if a person is of your line or not.
William Drennen b. 1739, John b. 1746, Thomas b. 1754, and Hugh (this line seems to have always used the spelling Drennon) b. 1758 were from a family of 8 children that we know of. The others were Joseph b. 1737, Daniel b. 1740, Mary b. 1744, and Violet b. 1748. All were born in County Antrim, Ireland. Most researchers agree on the data up to this point. Their parents are the ones we need to prove.
Some say Daniel Drennen and Martha Dreamer, some claim Gilbert Drinning and Ann McMurtry. Others say Samuel Drinning and Ann Baxter or William Drennen (b, 1707) and Vera Clair or their son William Drennen (b. 1726). Nobody knows for sure.... yet.
I will state my choice and reasons in hopes other researchers will read this and give me their choices and reasons. Maybe from all of us we can come to a logical conclusion.
What is known and documented is that the 4 brothers were all in America and living in Pennsylvania by at least 1770 but probably earlier. There appears to have been Drennen relation that were here around 1730. All 4 brothers served in the American Revolution as we see from military muster rolls and pension applications.
I believe their parents were Daniel Drennen and Martha Dreamer for the following reasons:
1. In the book "The History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania" where it talks about Thomas Drennen (b. 1754), it does not name his parents but does say his grandfather Thomas was still living in Ireland.
2. In the Kentucky "Draper Papers" which was an interview with Hugh Drennon (b. 1758), Hugh tells Jacob Drennon that his father and Jacob's father were brother's. It also says that Hugh was barely in his right mind at the time of the interview, probably because of head wounds he had sustained in the Revolution. He had a saber wound to the head. This and his age may have affected his memory.
3. Most people agree that Jacob Drennon (the one who founded "Drennen's Lick" as stated in the Draper Papers) was the son of Walter Drennen and Susan Marlin. If Hugh was correct, then Daniel and Walter would be brothers.
4. Most researchers also claim that Walter's parents were Gilbert Drining and Ann McMurtry not Daniel Drennen and Martha Dreamer.
5. There are records of Walter applying for bounty land that say his brother was Daniel Drennen.
6. There is some confusion as to Hugh's year of birth. Some say 1758, some 1759, and some 1762. At this point, assuming Daniel and Martha are his parents, 1758 seems to be the most resonable. Daniel died in 1758 and in September of that year, Martha married William Findley. She had either given birth to Hugh by then or was pregnant when she married Findley. If he was born in 1762, he would be a Findley, not a Drennon. More on this under DNA testing.
7. DNA testing. There are 16 Drenn*ns that belong to the Drennen/Drennan/Drennon FamilyTreeMaker project. Myself, being a descendant of William (1739) and a descendant of John Drennan (1740) match all 37 of 37 markers in the test. This proves we have a common relative even though we haven't found him yet. Yhis line was also present in PA but moved to South Carolina by the time os the Revolution because it is known that they served in the South Carolina militia.
One of the members is a descendant of John Daniel Drennon (son of Hugh 1758). His dna is a 36 of 37 marker match to us. This proves that Hugh was definatly a Drennon and and could not have been born in 1762. Another member is a descendant of Walter Drennen. This person only matches the first 12 markers of 37 which proves that Walter and Daniel were NOT brothers as Hugh said they were.
My conclusions are that DNA does not lie. Therefore I have to believe that Hugh was mistaken at the time of his interview due to his diminished mental state at the time.
The Drenn*n clan seems to have used the same names over and over when naming their children which makes it very hard to keep them all straight. I believe that over the many years of research and the vast number of researchers that people and relationships and facts have become mixed up to the point we may never get it all exactly correct.
I would like to know what other researchers believe and hear their reasons for determining the parentage of these Drennen brothers. Maybe we can get a fact from here and another one from there and finaly come up with at least a reasonable determiniation of the parents.
I do not claim that I am right, only that the facts I have stated seem to point to Daniel and Martha. I would like to hear from others and their theories whether they agree with mine or not.
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