Saint Matthews Church ~~ Milltown Parish ~~ Diocese of Meath
County Westmeath ~ Ireland


The 1970 picture above shows Daniel C. Drew looking over the shoulder of professional Genalogist and researcher, Berkley L. Vincent of Dublin Ireland.  Without his patient and competent assistance and some incredible good luck, the Drew family history could not have been traced.  The two men above worked very hard for many months to seek out the Drew family church records.  As for the "luck" involved, very few Irish families would have the good fortune we had because records keeping was very poor in most places and many records have been destroyed by an early 1900's fire in the Dublin "Customs House" where the records were kept.  Fortunately, the records of St. Matthews Church in Milltown were preserved... and when reviewed, the Drew family entries matched perfectly with the records in the old Drew and McGee family Bibles 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's and 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 at Milltown, 1970.  We did not search for ancestors here, as we knew our direct ancestors had emigrated; and use of this graveyard began about 1880.  There are earlier graveyards in the parish at Emper and Kilmacnevan; but neither has readable headstones.
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The photo at left shows the leather bound book in which the church records of St. Matthews (Milltown Parish) were recorded.  The book dates from the 1770's but is still quite legible (requiring some understanding of Latin to read.)  The linear marks on the cover have a legend.  Supposedly they were made by a knife or hatchet and the legend is that they were the marks of an act of English Protestant violence.  The priest would not vouch for the truth of the legend.   They could be some other kind of marks.

An open page of the record book.  As can be seen it is well preserved.  The entries are much more legible than our 1970 photography demonstrates.



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