is English, Dutch and German in origin, from the Old English byname Draca,
meaning snake or dragon, the Middle English Drake,
or sometimes from the Old Norse cognate Draki. Both the Old English and
the Old Norse forms are from Latin draco (snake, monster).
The English and Dutch lines are also derived from the Middle English drake,
Middle Dutch drake male duck (from Middle Low German andrake),
hence it was a nickname for someone with some fancied resemblance to a drake,
or perhaps a habitational name for someone who lived at a house distinguished
by the sign of a drake (hopefully the latter). In Northern Germany, where our
line probably descends from, it was the nickname from the Low German drake
The Coat of Arms is a silver shield
with a red Wyvern, wings displayed.The Wyvern is a dragon-like beasts or monster
of heraldry. It has only two legs and a body that tapers into a tail. The Crest
over the helmet features a right arm couped at elbow holding a black battle axe.
The Family Motto, "Aquila non captat muscas," translates to: "The
eagle is no fly-catcher."
The family name was first
found in Hampshire, England, where they were seated from ancient times. (A
seat or family seat was the principal manor of a medieval lord, which was normally
an elegant country mansion and usually denoted that the family held political
and economic influences in the area.)
The first known
Drake in America was Thomas Drake, who landed in Massachusetts in 1620, then settled
at Hingham Massachusetts in 1635. His family spread out through most of the New
England states by the late 17th century.
The lineage of our
family traces back to a woman named POLLY DRAKE (1753 - 11 Sep 1839), who was
born in Warwick, Rockland County, New York.
We have no record
of Polly's particular ancestors. There were seven different Drake families in
the Goshen census of 1790. Many years later, a brother named JOSHUA DRAKE was
with her when she applied for a military pension.
28th of May, 1773, she married NATHANIEL KETCHAM (1750
- 1827), in Goshen, Orange County, New York. Nathaniel was a carpenter and an officer in the militia during the Revolutionary War, while
his brothers ran a mill nearby. They are mentioned here:
begin with the Village of Warwick consisted of only a few houses . . . Next was
Nathan Reed, who came in 1804 from Darien, Conn. This was the stone house built
by Francis Baird. Next was a store kept by Edmund Raymond. Next was a small house
standing where John Cowdrey now lives. On the opposite of where Mrs. Pierson is;
was Lewis Randolph who kept a tavern. Next was the house where June's Hotel is,
occupied by Thomas Geraghty as a store and tavern. Next was NATHANIEL KETCHUM,
a carpenter. Next was John Mabee a black-smith. Next was Rev. Lebbeuns Lathrop
in the old stone house lately demolished by Mr. Bradner. Next was Wlm. Benedict
the father of William L. Bendedict. Next was James Benedict, Esq. Next was Capt.
James Benedict, his son, where John Blain now lives. Next was the TWO KETCHUM
BROTHERS--SAMUEL AND PHILIP; they had a little mill and a pond from the spring
on the west side of the road.|
From "PELTON FAMILY OF WARWICK"
by Henry Pelton, Warwick Historical Papers, 1933.
Nathaniel and Polly had five children, listed here:
CHILDREN OF NATHANIEL KETCHAM AND POLLY DRAKE
|TEMPERENCE KETCHAM was born in 1774 in Warwick, Orange, New York. She married George Dill, Jr. (1770-1844), and they had the following children: Robert (1814-1873), Norman Leslie Dill (b. 1838). Temperance died in 1874 in Florida, Orange, New York. See them listed in the SAR application at right (SAR Membership: 91635; Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970. Louisville, Kentucky: National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. Microfilm, 508 rolls.)|
|ABNER KETCHAM was born on 24 Mar 1778 in Warwick, Orange County, New York. He married Hannah Sayre (1782-1848) and had the following children: Ann Eliza, Nancy, Mariah Ketcham (b. 1794). He was in the Seneca County Militia in 1805 (see record at right from Military minutes of the Council of Appointment of the State of New York, 1783-1821, compiled and edited by Hugh Hastings, State Historian, and Henry Harmon Noble, Chief Clerk. N.Y.: State of New York, 1901-1902, p. 769), and died on 2 May 1823 in Ovid, Seneca County, New York. Abner is buried at Ovid Cemetary, Ovid, Seneca County, New York.|
|ESTHER KETCHAM was born on 05 Sep 1779, in Warwick. She married JOHN HAUSE, whose family is on the next page of the 1790 census, on 06 Nov 1796. They had thirteen children, listed below. She died on 21 Sep 1853 in Fayette, Seneca County, New York.|
|ABIJAH KETCHAM was born between 1774 and 1784 in Warwick. (Age estimated by 1790 census.)|
|AZUBAH KETCHAM was born on 28 Feb 1790 in Warwick, Orange County, New York, and was baptized in 1845 at the Old School Baptist Church in Warwick. Azubah died on 14 Aug 1850 ("Burials at Warwick, NY, lists, Ketchum, Azubah, 14 Aug 1840 Source: "Early Settlers of New York State," by Janet Wehty Folet, Vol. ll, reprinted by Genealogical Publ. Co. 1993.) She is buried at the Saint Stephens Cemetery in Warwick, Orange County, New York.|
died on the 11th of September in 1839, in Warwick, according to War Dept. Rev. Claim dated 13 Jan 1843) stating at that time that she was Nathaniel's widow and the date of her decease. Debts to Polly were payable to "Temperance Dill Ketcham, Esther (Ketcham is crossed out) Haize (Ketcham is crossed out) and Abijah Ketcham, only surviving children of Polly Ketcham, deceased." She is buried at the Saint Stephens Cemetery in Warwick, Orange County, New York, near her daughter Azubah.
SOURCE INFORMATION: Ledgers of Payments, 1818-1872, to U.S. Pensioners Under Acts of 1818 Through 1858 From Records of the Office of the Third Auditor of the Treasury, 1818-1872; (National Archives Microfilm Publication T718, 23 rolls)..
||Polly Ketcham (widow)
||New York City
Meanwhile, her elder daughter, ESTHER KETCHAM (1779-1853), married JOHN HAUSE and moved west to the fingerlakes in Fayette, Seneca County,
New York, where they prospered and raised a large family on the shores of Lake Cayuga at Hause Point. She and her husband (and many of their children) are buried at the Hause Point (Canoga) Cemetery. You can read their story here.
LITERATURE ON THE DRAKE FAMILY
"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.