Drakes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The history of the name Drakes goes back those Anglo-Saxon tribes that once ruled over Britain. Such a name was given to a a fierce, powerful person. The surname Drakes 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 Drakes may have also been applied to someone who had a duck-like gait.
Early Origins of the Drakes family
The surname Drakes was 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.
The parish of Musbury, Devon played an important part in the family's early lineage. "This place was the residence of the Drake family, from the time of Henry VII., for several generations. The church is a very ancient structure, with a south aisle added towards the close of the fifteenth century, by the Drake family, to whom it contains some monuments. Ash House, now occupied as a farmhouse, derives interest from having been the birthplace, in 1650, of the renowned Duke of Marlborough, whose mother was then on a visit to her father, Sir John Drake." 
And over in Yarcombe, again in Devon, another branch of the family was found. "It comprises about 5000 acres, and is the property of Sir H. F. T. S. Drake, to whose ancestor, Sir Francis, one moiety of the manor was granted by Queen Elizabeth." 
The famed Sir Francis Drake held estates in the parish of Meavy in Devon and remains of his ancient mansion can still be seen today. 
Early History of the Drakes family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Drakes research. Another 210 words (15 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 Drakes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Drakes Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Drakes family name include Drake, Drakes, Draike, Drayke, Draykes, Draikes and others.
Early Notables of the Drakes family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include Sir Francis Drake, Vice Admiral (1540-1596), an English sea captain, privateer, navigator, slaver, a renowned pirate, and politician, according to Forbes, he was the second highest earning pirate who had a wealth of over 115 million in today's dollars; Sir Francis Drake, 1st Baronet (1588-1637), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons in two parliaments between...
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Drakes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Drakes family to Ireland
Some of the Drakes family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 84 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Drakes migration to the United States +
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name Drakes or a variant listed above:
Drakes Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Henry Drakes, who arrived in Virginia in 1665 
Related Stories +
The Drakes Motto +
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.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)