Capt. Francis Drake, of Devon & Piscataway

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Francis Drake

Also Known As: "robert Drake was NOT his father by DNA evidence"
Birthdate: (69)
Birthplace: Perhaps of, Essex, England
Death: September 24, 1687 (65-73)
Piscataway Township, Middlesex, New Jersey (The original Francis Drake had no children.)
Place of Burial: Piscataway Township, Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of unknown father of Francis Drake; unknown son Drake and unknown mother of Francis Drake
Husband of Mary Drake
Father of Capt. George Drake; Elizabeth Dunn; Rev. John Drake; Francis Drake; Samuel Drake and 3 others

Occupation: Captain, town constable
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Capt. Francis Drake, of Devon & Piscataway

Francis Drake, the immigrant ancestor, was born Abt. 1618 in Prob. Devon, Eng., and died September 24, 1687 in Piscataway, Middlesex Co., NJ. He married Mary Walker on Abt. 1647 in Portsmouth, Rockingham Co., NH, daughter of Joseph Walker and Hannah Philbrick.

  • parents: Donald Drake noted on 28 Aug 2013: "research strongly indicates that Cpt Francis Drake was not the son of Robert Drake of NH. Descendants of Robert are R1b and descendants of Francis are R1a"
  • The Y-DNA R1a (specifically R1a-L664) Drake family appears to have originated in Devon, while the Y-DNA R1b Drake family appears to have originated in southeastern England (probably Essex). Maybe this Francis is a son or nephew of John Drake of Windsor, a member of the Y-DNA R1a Drake family who migrated from Devon to colonial Connecticut.

"Francis Drake was one of the first settlers of Portsmouth, Rockingham County, New Hampshire. He was a royalist, and favored by Champerowne, one of the holders of the New Hampshire grant. In April 1646, he was one of twenty-one persons who signed an agreement to have a committee lay out land in the area. He lived in an area called Old Strawberry Bank -- a neck between two creeks that grew to become Portsmouth -- and owned land adjacent to a Nathaniel Drake."

Moved his family from Portsmouth NH to NJ probably due to religious persecution. Best estimates are that this was in 1668 or 1669.

"He was a Captain in the New Jersey Militia, which he is credited with having founded. This organization, which existed during the period 1673-1684, was known as the Jersey Blues and was the oldest uniformed militia in America. "

old notes

Birth: unknown

Death: Sep. 24, 1687

Francis, my 8th great-grandfather, was the son of Robert Drake and Jane Ganton.

Robert and Jane had three other chldren: Nathaniel, Susanna, and Abraham.

Francis married Mary Walker in Rockingham, NH. They had three children: George, Elizabeth, and my 7th great-grandfather,


Records indicate that he died in Piscataway, NJ.

This is not the same Elizabethan era English navigator Sir Francis Drake (1540-1595).



The following up to the next line of x's is quoted from Cynthia Rummel.

I. Capt. Francis Drake - born probably by about 1620-1625, birthplace unknown. He died Sept. 24, 1687, Piscataway, Middlesex Co., N.J., intestate. He came to Strawberry Bank - later Portsmouth, N.H. - by 1646; removed to Piscataway, N.J. 1668-70, apparently because of the religious freedom offered there. I think it likely that he was originally Church of England and inclined toward the Baptist idea of separation of church and state; certainly his children were ardent Baptists. He seems to have been a prominent and respected citizen.

He married Mary _____. She died July 29, 1688, Piscataway, N.J. (It has been stated that she was a Walker but I have never seen any proof that this was so). Children (probably all born in or near Portsmouth, N.H.):

a. George b. m. Mary Oliver, Nov. 13, 1677, Piscataway; his will 1709-1710, Piscataway; had 11 children.

b. Elizabeth b. m. Hugh Dunn, Dec. 19, 1670, Piscataway; his will 1691-1694, Piscataway; had 9 children.

c. John b.abt 1655 m. Rebecca Trotter

Capt. Francis' estate is abstracted in New Jersey Archives, 1st series, vol. 23, as follows:

p. 142. 1687, Sept. 29. DRAKE, CAPT FRANCES, of Piscataway. Inventory of the personal estate of (67 pounds, 7 shillings); made by Benia Hull and Edward Slater. Middlesex Wills

1687, Oct 28. Admin. of the estate granted to his son George Drake of Piscataway; N.J. Arch. XXI, p. 104.

1687, Oct 28. Bond of his son George Drake of Pisc., planter, as admin. of the estate. Benjamin Hull of same place, gentleman, fellow bondsman. Middlesex Wills

1688, Aug 20. Account of the estate, as admin. by his son George Drake, showing payments to brother Hugh Dun and brother John Drake, in all 62 pounds 14 shillings 4 pence

1692/3, Feb. 27. Account of payments from the estate, by George Drake, to his mother, sister Elesebeth Dun, brother John Drake, Samuel Walker of Boston, merchant, Benjamin Hull, Charles Follet, Walter Robeson, Hugh Stonnels and John Goning, in all 68 pounds, 3 shillings, 6 pence.

The marriage and death dates given above are from the Piscataway Town Records. Since others are intending to publish the "Piscataway Drakes" I shall only touch on them lightly here. However, I do want to say that a great deal of erroneous material has been printed about them. At this writing no one really knows who Capt. Francis' father was, or where he came from before he appeared in New Hampshire were the earliest record I have found of him is in 1646 (Portsmouth Town Records). It is, of course, great fun to speculate over what little evidence there is, but too often wishful thinking has put down speculation as truth.

xxxx End of quotation from Cynthia Rummel xxxx

There is quite a bit more about Rev. John Drake, Benjamin Drake, and Zachariah Drake, as well as their other children and grandchildren. I will submit it as I have time. It was refreshing to find the work of this obviously careful and competent genealogist after wading through so much obvious nonsense about the early New Jersey Drakes.

Other Sources:

1. Register N.J. Society of Colonial Dames of America, I (28 p. 342).

2. Drake House Museum in Plainfield

From: "Douglas Drake"

To: "DRAKE family genealogy list"

Subject: Drake House Museum

Date: Tuesday, 4 March 1997 3:37 AM

3. Bi-Centennial Piscataway Planters by Oliver B. Leonard, Esq., p.112.

4. Francis is supposed to be a

son of Robert although he is not mentioned in his will."Ref: Early Germans in N.J., Chambers, p. 337.

Francis Drake was born in Ireland and came to America after 1653. He was a weaver and was probably among the group of residents from the Portsmouth, NH area who moved to Piscataway, NJ

1 Notes from Barbara Denahey: The earliest Drake ancestor identified is Captain Francis D r a k e. He was born about 1618probablyinDevonshire,England. He apparently immigrated to Port s mouth,NewHampshire by 1635.He later lived in Piscataway, New Jersey. His will was dated 2 9 S e p 1667and was recorded in Middlesex County, New Jersey.

CAPTAIN FRANCIS DRAKE - Born circa 1615, England. Died 24Sep1687, Piscataway, NJ. Married Mary Walker. Was the first Commander of the Ancient and Honorable Order of the Jersey Blues (1673- 1685). DRAKE, Captain Francis

Born: Abt 1615, Devonshire, Devon, England Married: Abt 1650, Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire Died: 24 Sep 1687, Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire Buried: Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey

   General Notes:Note: from Clan McCullough Newsletter; April 1985 Robert Drake b. 1580 Eng. died Jan 14, 1668 New Hampton (New England). His wife Ann died May 1640 Epping, Essex, Eng and he immigrated from Colchester, Esses, Eng to New Hampshire in the autumn of 1640. He died Jan 14, 1668 at age 88 years. He was a selectman of Hampton and was a "searge maker." He opened a store with goods brought from England (NE Hist and Gen, Vol 101, pg 67). Robert and Anna had children: Nathaniel; Francis; Susannah; and Abraham. Captain Francis Drake, son of Robert and nephew of Sir Francis Drake, was b. 1615 Eng, died 24 Sept 1687, was a direct descendent of John Drake of Devenshire Eng settled at Portsmouth, NH about 1650. Went to Piscataway twp, Middlesex Co, NJ in 1668. His daughter, Elizabeth married Hugh Dunn (1640-1694) in Jan 1670. He went to Piscataway with the Dunns, two sons and his wife. Captain Francis Drake was a selectman; constable and justice of peace. In 1682, he was made judge of Middlesec Co Cout of Conn., which had jurisdiction over the New Jersey settlement. Therefore, if one is looking for early NJ records, you would need to look in this court in Connecticut. Drake was a tavern owner. He removed to New Jersey in 1667 after becoming estranged from his neighbors, having taken up the BAPTIST cause. 40,000 "rich" acres purchased in Middlesex Co., were named Piscataway Twp in memory of the Piscataway River settlement in New England. Francis/Mary Drake were in the second party of 14 settlers, following the original 6 families which included John Martin (334 acres); Hopewell Hull(284 acres); Charles Bibnan (340 acres); and Hugh Dunn (138 acres). This settlement proclaimed liberty of conscience in matters of religion. Hugh Dunn/Elizabeth Drake had a son, Hugh, who married Elizabeth Martin, 9 Aug 1697, probably the ancestor of Isaac Dun of Western PA.

LDS Ancestral file gives Capt Francis a birth date of 1618. Clifford and Martha Hardin quote from C.I. Kephart on page 6:

FRANCIS DRAKE, who was the founder of the family in New Jersey, was a petitioner in 1665 at Dover, N.H., for protection to his property and religious rights. But the province being settled entirely as a trading interest, all laws were disregarded and a permanent residence there by peaceful citizens became unendurable. This same year the liberal concessions by the East Jersey proprietors were proclaimed in that region and Francis Drake, with others, shortly afterwards availed themselves of the generous invitation and moved to these quiet fields, where he spent the rest of his life till 1687, the year of his death. His sons Francis, George and John, born in New England, came with him, and their posterity has materially assisted in peopling this province for generations past. Of George, it is known that he married, in 1677, Mary Oliver, of Elizabethtown, and was a useful public servant of the township and colony. He was appointed supervisor of many important local matters and served as a legislator in the General Assembly for 1684 and several successive years following. From his sons George and Andrew many useful and industrious citizens have descended who helped to make the church and community an honor and a blessing. The Rev. George Drake and Simeon J. Drake were descendants of this line.

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Capt. Francis Drake, of Devon & Piscataway's Timeline

Essex, England
Age 32
Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire, USA
December 25, 1654
Age 36
Devon , England
July 5, 1655
Age 37
Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire
Age 39
Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire, United States
Age 40
- 1685
Age 55
Was the first Commander of the Ancient and Honorable Order of the Jersey Blues
September 24, 1687
Age 69
Piscataway Township, Middlesex, New Jersey