Saint Matthews Church ~~ MilltownParish ~~ Diocese of Meath
County Westmeath ~ Ireland


The 1970 picture above shows DanielC. Drew looking over the shoulder of professional Genalogist and researcher,BerkleyL. Vincentof Dublin Ireland.  Without his patient and competentassistance and some incredible good luck, the Drew family history couldnot have been traced.  The two men above worked very hard for manymonths to seek out the Drew family church records.  As for the "luck"involved, very few Irish families would have the good fortune we had becauserecords keeping was very poor in most places and many records have beendestroyed by an early 1900's fire in the Dublin "Customs House" where therecords were kept.  Fortunately, the records of St. Matthews Churchin Milltownwere preserved... and when reviewed, the Drew familyentries matched perfectly with the records in the old Drew and McGee familyBibles found in the U.S.

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John Michael Drew(b. 1967) poses here on the grounds of St. Matthews church in Milltown. Above is a photo from 1971; while the photo at right was taken in September,2000.

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This church dates from the early 1830'sand would have been known to our Drew ancestors.  There was a "mission"or satellite church, however, at Emper, which was closer to Lakenstown,and where our Drew ancestors would have attended.

The Graveyard atMilltown, 1970.  We did not search for ancestors here, as we knewour direct ancestors had emigrated; and use of this graveyard began about1880.  There are earlier graveyards in the parish at Emper and Kilmacnevan;but neither has readable headstones.
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The photo at leftshows the leather bound book in which the church records of St. Matthews(Milltown Parish) were recorded.  The book dates from the 1770's butis still quite legible (requiring some understanding of Latin to read.) The linear marks on the cover have a legend.  Supposedly they weremade by a knife or hatchet and the legend is that they were the marks ofan act of English Protestant violence.  The priest would not vouchfor the truth of the legend.   They could be some other kindof marks.

An open page of the record book.  Ascan be seen it is well preserved.  The entries are much more legiblethan our 1970 photography demonstrates.



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