The Drew Family, like most others in England, can only be traced back to the late 1500s. England's history has lost many records through religious conflicts, and invasions.
In researching the family of Thomas Drew I have been led in many directions but they all seen to culminate in a rich culture that likely goes back to the Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror and the Doomsday Book. It has been stated that the progenitor from the list is William FitzPonz(s). The family appears to have broken into three lines. Exeter, Sharpham and the Irish line. Though these lines have their own modern day history it is impossible to believe that they donít share a common heritage. The Exeter line has a Royal Lineage that has been documented. Until the day the other lines make the connection to that family they will remain alone in their belief that they are the true Drew line. In searching the 1851 census I found it interesting that visiting Drews were listed as born in Ireland. My own grandfather, Leslie Charles Drew, took pride in the fact that he was descended from Vikings. These stories originate somewhere. The older BURKEíS LANDED GENTRY describes their knowledge of the name Drew and how it originated. The BATTLE ABBEY ROLL lists WILLIAM FITZ PONS (his lineage can be followed to William the Conquerer and hence to the Princes of Kiev). The DOMESDAY BOOK records 11 estates attibuted to Drogo or Drew in Devon. In the 1100s a Lord Drogo or Teignton Drew lived on the Teign River. I believe he is the second person to be called Drogo. William Pons had a son named Drogo who died young without family. I have been informed that Lord Drogo had no hiers. Which Drogo is the reference to? One thing is for certain. Someone started the line of Drews that is spread across Devon. Julius Drew was so sure of this lineage that he legally changed the spelling of his name to Drewe and built Castle Drogo on the site of what is thought to be the old home of Teignton Drew at Drewsteignton. Drewsteignton is situated halfway between Okehampton and Exeter south of the highway joining the first two. This lineage may always be conjecture but with some basis in fact.
Having traced the Drew family of Okehampton, Devon back to the late 1700s it becomes difficult to trace it farther. There are records but connecting them is not easy as the Drew name is common in Devon but so are the given names. The family is overloaded with John, Edward, Richard, Joseph, William and many other names. They are in towns that are so close together that it is impossible to find which child goes with which parent. What seems apparent is that they are interrelated.
In the Okehampton Church records there is a listing for a Lancelot Drew ca.1592. It would be interesting to find out who he is but that may never happen. Was he named after a legend or a myth? As Glascony is not very far away and supposedly where King Arthur died and is buried makes the choice of name more intriguing. Besides Lancelot one of the oldest recorded Drews in Okehampton is a Richard Drewe.