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Drake Genealogy and Drake Family History Information

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About the Drake surname


The name Drago or Draco, the Latin for Drake, was in use among the Romans, and signifies "one who draws or leads," a "leader." Their standard bearers were called Draconarii. The Romans obtained the name from the Greeks (dran, "to draw"), among whom it is found as early as 600, B.C., when Draco, the celebrated Athenian legislator, drew up the code of laws for the government of the people which bore his name.

As at present written, the name may be found on the English records as early as the middle of the thirteenth century.

The extreme simplicity of the Drake coat-of-arms is another indication of the great antiquity of the family. The figure in the shied, or escutcheon, is called by heralds a wivern, which is another name for the dragon, and this has always been the arms of the family. The crests furnish the distinguishing mark of the different branches. That of the family of Ashe was originally an "Eagle displayed, Gules." This was laid aside later for "Dexter arm erect, couped at the elbow, ppr., bearing a battle-axe, sable." The families at Oatland, at Shardloes, and at Bucks, County Bucks, at Norfolk, and at Sussex, "A dexter arm erect, ppr. holding a battle-axe, Sable, headed Argent." The Norfolk family also used:-- "A reindeer's head couped." The Yorkshire family used as a crest, a two-headed eagle, wings displayed. The crest of the Irish Drakes was "A wivern displayed," same as the arms. The motto has ever been "Aquila non captat muscas,"--an eagle does not attempt to catch flies.

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