The following excerpts are taken from the book: “THE DRINKARD FAMILY IN VIRGINIA” by A. W. Drinkard, Jr., Blacksburg, Virginia. The material came to me from Kenneth Steppe



My father told me that three Drinkard brothers came to Virginia from England long ago; that these three brothers went as soldiers to some war (father said it was the Revolutionary War, but I am sure that these brothers arrived here many years before the Revolution), that only two of them survived the war, and that these two founded the family. I have gotten this tradition in substantially the same form from two other branches of the family, and I am convinced that it is true in general. I surmise that the two surviving brothers were William Drinkard (who was the doorkeeper of the Virginia House of Burgesses, (1772-1778) and George Drinkard (whose daughter Delila Martin married William Hawkins on December 8, 1772, in Amelia County, Virginia.)


William Drinkard of Charles City County

I do not have documentary proof that his wife was Mary Drinkard, but I make the inference from the evidence at hand. Mary Drinkard made a will in Charles City County, Virginia, on August 14, 1771, which was probated on November 6, 1771, in which she mentioned her son William Rollerson Drinkard; her daughters, Elizabeth Brewer and Mary Prewett, and her granddaughters, Mollie Thompson and Ellen Thompson. She appointed her sons William Rollerson Drinkard and William Thompson as executors of her estate. It is evident that she was married to Thompson before she married Drinkard. From all available records, I conclude that William Drinkard and Mary Drinkard had the following children: Francis Drinkard, William Rollerson Drinkard, and John Drinkard. (There were also Thompson children in the family and probably Drinkard daughters.)



John Drinkard, Son of William (Probably died in the 1790’s)

John Drinkard, whose wife was named Ann (was she Ann Wilkerson?), appears in the records of Amelia County from 1755 to 1870. He was a farmer and landowner. The following court order is recorded in Order Book, 1757-1760, page 262: “On motion of John Drinkard, who took the oath and entered into the acknowledged bond with Edmund and John Booker, his securities, as law directs, certificate is granted him for obtaining letters of administration of the estate of Elizabeth Wilkerson, deceased, who was administratrix of William Wilkerson, deceased, in due form.”


The volume published by the Bureau of the Census (to which I referred heretofore), at page 23, shows that in the year 1782 in Halifax County, John Drinkard was the head of a family of ten whites and five blacks: and on page 85, an enumeration made in 1785 in Halifax County shows that John Drinkard was head of a family of eight white souls.


Archibald Drinkard (about 1760-1848)

Archibald Drinkard was born in Amelia County about the year 1760 and died in Appomattox County in 1848. His parents were John and Ann Drinkard. He moved to Halifax County with his father in 1780. He married, first, Edith Hawkins in Halifax County on September 21, 1802, and there were no children from this union. After her death he moved to the village of Oakville, then in Buckingham County, now in Appomattox County, and there he married, secondly, Judith Pendleton about the year 1818. She was born about 1785 and died in 1875. Father remembered he well: she was medium in height, slender, erect, with smooth features, but very wrinkled in old age. The fact that she talked about applying for a pension on account of Archibald’s service in the Revolutionary War is evidence that he was a soldier in the Revolution. Her children spoke of her as a superior woman, a good manager, devoted to her family.


It was related of Archibald that he was small of stature, erect, and as dignified as a judge, with black hair, black beard that was slightly waved, and blue eyes. He was a farmer. In the year 1840, he was living in the Southern District of Buckingham County and his census return for that year shows that James Wilkerson, age 85, and a pensioner of the Revolutionary War was living with Archibald Drinkard. I infer from this and other records that Archibald’s mother was a Wilkerson and probably James was her brother of nephew.


The children of Archibald and Judith were: John Drinkard, James Drinkard, his twin sister Elizabeth Drinkard who married James Lane, David Drinkard, and William Drinkard. The four sons of Archibald were soldiers in the Confederate Army during the Civil war.


The record then indicates the following genealogical line:


William Drinkard, father of

John Drinkard, father of

Archibald Drinkard, father of

Elizabeth Drinkard, mother of

Emma Haskins Layne, mother of

Daniel Cleveland Steppe, father of

Lewis Bailey Steppe, father of

Lewis Bailey Steppe, Jr.


There is one tradition that the father of William Drinkard was George Drinkard, born in Scotland about 1650, and came to America about 1675.


Another tradition has it that William Drinkard and two brothers came to this country long before the Revolution. This tradition does not mention their father.