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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Drake family come from? What is the English Drake family crest and coat of arms? When did the Drake family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Drake family history?

Drake is a name whose history dates far back into the mists of early British times to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes. It is a name for a a fierce, powerful person. The surname Drake is derived from the Old English word draca or from the Old Danish word draki, which both mean dragon. Although these words became the Old English word drake, which also means male duck, and the surname Drake may have also been applied to someone who had a duck-like gait.

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The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Drake has been recorded under many different variations, including Drake, Drakes, Draike, Drayke, Draykes, Draikes and others.

First found in Hampshire where they held a family seat from ancient times. The surname comes from the Anglo-Saxon word "draca" which means a dragon or sea serpent. Soon after the Norman invasion in 1066 the name made its appearance in the Isle of Wight and Hampshire area in the south of England. Leuing Drache, who spelled his name with an early Norman variant, held land in Hampshire at this time.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Drake research. Another 419 words(30 lines of text) covering the years 1185, 1205, 1273, 1303, 1581, 1581, 1660, 1700, 1540, 1596, 1588, 1637, 1625, 1629, 1617, 1662, 1646, 1662, 1608, 1669, 1625, 1669, 1660 and are included under the topic Early Drake History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 245 words(18 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Drake Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Drake family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 157 words(11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Drake or a variant listed above:

Drake Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Thomas Drake who landed in Massachusetts in 1620
  • Elizabeth Drake settled in Nantasket Massachusetts in 1630
  • John Drake, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1630
  • Isack Drake, aged 25, landed in St Christopher in 1635
  • Jo Drake, aged 18, landed in St Christopher in 1635


Drake Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Richd Drake, who arrived in Virginia in 1701
  • Margaret Drake, who landed in Virginia in 1724
  • Samuel Drake, who landed in Virginia in 1735
  • Hannah Drake, who landed in Virginia in 1751

Drake Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • William Drake, who landed in America in 1809
  • Sam A Drake, who arrived in America in 1810
  • Henry Drake, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • Daniel Drake, who arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1842
  • Francis Drake, who arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1844


Drake Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Elis Drake, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Francis William Drake settled in St. John's Newfoundland in 1760
  • Mr. William Draper U.E. (b. 1745) born in Killingly, Connecticut, USA who settled in Canada c. 1781
  • Mr. Joseph Drake U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 38 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 20, 1783 at East River, New York
  • Mrs. Susannah Drake U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 87 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 20, 1783 at East River, New York


Drake Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Isaac Drake, who arrived in Canada in 1828
  • Albee Drake, who arrived in Canada in 1841
  • Robert Drake, who landed in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862

Drake Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John Drake, a glass-cutter, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • William Drake, aged 27, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Harry Lorrequer"
  • Joseph Drake arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Anna Maria" in 1849
  • William Drake arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Harry Lorrequer" in 1849

Drake Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Thos John Drake landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Aurora
  • Thomas John Drake, aged 26, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aurora" in 1840
  • Ceres Selina Drake, aged 27, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aurora" in 1840
  • Ceres Drake, aged 1, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aurora" in 1840
  • Jas C Drake landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1842 aboard the ship Fifeshire


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  • Frank Drake (b. 1930), American astronomer and astrophysicist who developed the Drake equation
  • George Burton Drake (1876-1942), American landscape painter and minister
  • Joseph Rodman Drake, American poet
  • Sir James Drake, American Director of Leonard Fairclough Ltd
  • Edwin Laurentine "Colonel" Drake (1819-1890), American oil pioneer credited with being the first to drill for oil in the United States
  • Samuel Gardner Drake (1798-1875), American antiquarian
  • Brigadier-General Charles Chisholm Drake (1887-1984), American Executive Assistant to the Quartermaster-General (1946)
  • Bill Drake (1937-2008), born Philip Yarbrough, American radio programmer who co-developed the Boss Radio format
  • Ervin Drake (1919-2015), born Ervin Maurice Druckman, an American songwriter, best known for his songs "I Believe" and "It Was a Very Good Year"
  • Alfred George Drake (1893-1915), English recipient of the Victoria Cross

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  • The Alford-Drake Family of Middle Tennessee, With Ancestors, Descendants, and Allied Families by Naomi M. Hailey.
  • Descendants of Jesse Shelton and Some Related Families: Drake, Foster, Gibson, Hamby, Keele, Martin by Cecil and Louise Shelton.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Aquila non captat muscas
Motto Translation: The eagle is no fly-catcher.

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  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  3. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  4. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  5. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  6. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  7. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  11. ...

The Drake Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Drake Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 3 March 2015 at 01:38.

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