Thursday, August 11, 2011

EmigranThursday: Duncan Drain and Brothers

Hibernia passenger list, July 1838

Welcome to this week’s EmigranThursday featuring the Duncan Drain of Palmer Township, Washington County, Ohio. His biography appeared on page 1004 of Martin Andrews History of Marietta and Washington County and Representative Citizens published in 1902.

Duncan Drain of Palmer Township, owned 245 acres. He was born October 1817 in Argyllshire, the son of Daniel, who died in 1864 in Scotland and Jeanette Templeton Drain the daughter of John Templeton; Jeanette died in 1866 in Scotland. Duncan came to the United States when age 19 in sailing vessel and the crossing took 6 weeks. Traveling with him were brothers John and Daniel; they landed in NY. Duncan went to Pittsburgh by means of railroad, canal and wagon, boat from Pittsburgh to Marietta. He landed in May 1838 and proceeded to farm of his brother Thomas, who came in 1831 and purchased a farm in Barlow Township. Boys(?) remained until fall of 1838 when Duncan went to Cincinnati and plied his trade of harness making which he had learned in Scotland. Duncan removed from Cincinnati to Charleston, West Virginia and worked his trade for nine months, but health failed and went to Washington County and his brother Daniel. They went into partnership on Daniel’s farm in Dunham Township. Thomas, who came in 1831 settled Barlow (now Palmer), bought part of Blennhassett’s Island and lived there (opposite end of island from Blenner’s home). Duncan Drain bought his farm from James Hunter, 160 acres, but added to it, and it is now now 345 acres. Duncan married Catherine Greenless on May 29, 1845.  Catherine was sister of Thomas Greenless and daughter of Hugh and Ann Harvey Greenless.  Duncan and Catherine had nine children kids: Hugh, Jeanette, Ann Harvey, Nancy, Daniel, Mary, Elizabeth, Margaret, Rose. … Duncan was a member of the United Presbyterian Church and the Republican Party.

This family was difficult to trace in the US census records. The first record I found of them was in 1860, but the return for this year indicated that Catherine Greenlees' family also emigrated to America. Both families came from Argyllshire, the Drains from Campbeltown and the Greenlees from Killean And Kilchenzie parish.

A fair bit of information was available for these families in  Donald Drain (or Odrain) and Janet Templeton were married in Campbeltown on 8 May 1804. (Almost every person I’ve encountered called Donald in Scotland becomes Daniel in America.) Their children were all born in either Campbeltown or Southend. I’m not sure if they moved or if Southend is simply a specific part of Campbeltown.   

  • John was born 22 January 1806
  • Agnes was born 10 Jul 1804
  • Thomas was born 28 Feb 1808
  • Daniel was born 26 March 1810
  • Archibald was born 24 Feb 1813
  • James was born 20 May 1815
  • Duncan was christened 3 December 1817 

All the children of Hugh Greenlees and Ann Harvey were born in Kllean and Kilchenzie parish.
  • John was christened 4 Jun 1818
  • Robert  was born 6 Sep 1820
  • Ann was born 18 Dec 1823
  • Janet was born 27 Oct 1825
  • Katharine was born 19 Oct 1827
  • Hugh was born 17 Oct 1829
  • Mary was born 14 Oct 1831
John, Daniel and Duncan Drain sailed to American on the Hibernia which departed Liverpool, England and arrived in New York on 27 July 1838. John and Daniel, like the majority of the Hiberinia’s passengers, were listed as “farmers.” Duncan, however, was listed as a “saddler.”
The Drain brothers are very likely somewhere in the 1840 and 1850 censuses, but are just not easily found on Then almost everyone turns up in Palmer Township, Washington County, Ohio in 1860.  Hugh Greenlees (63), his wife Ann (62) were enumerated with their Ohio born children and likely grandchildren, James (22), Nancy (20), Margaret (18), Martha (14), and Walter (5). Near to Hugh and Ann was their son Robert Greenlees (34) and his family. Immediately next to Robert in the census was an unoccupied property and next to that was the family of Thomas (52) and Jeanette (39) Drain. Not too far away was the family of Duncan (40) and Catherine Greenlees Drain. The only members of the Drain family not in Palmer Township were John and Daniel and there were in Dunham Township. John (54) was living in the household of his brother and sister-in-law Daniel (50) and Isabella (42) Drain. Thomas and Daniel, like their brother Duncan, married women who had been born in Scotland.
The next census in which I found Duncan Drain was 1900. In this year, he and his son Daniel are living next door to each other. Duncan indicates that he had come to the United States in 1836, had been in the country for 64 years, and was not a citizen. He and Catherine had been married for 56 years. They still had three children living at home: Hugh, Eliza and Rosa.
The Drain family is an excellent example of chain migration. Thomas appears to have come first. There were many other Scottish families in Washington County, so he probably had connections there before he emigrated. Then after Thomas was settled he was joined by his brothers. The fact that Duncan had his brothers and his wife’s family nearby, likely enhanced his success and happiness in the United States. Frequently, the most dissatisfied immigrants were those without kith and kin nearby.


Maggi Greenlees said...

I've just started dabbling in family history, and I'm fairly sure Hugh and Ann are my ancestors, thru their son John. Thanks for this post, it cleared up a date I was confused about.

Amanda E. Epperson said...

I'm glad to have helped Maggie.



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