Drake Genealogy

Sorry, but your Uncle Charlie is not a direct descendent of Sir Francis...

Sir Francis Drake's signature

The genealogy of the Drake family is neither a subject on which I have spent much time nor one which is particularly appropriate to these pages. However, I get a fair amount of mail from persons who do have interests and questions in this regard, so I've added some very basic information here.

For those seeking further information, I can recommend Roy Andrew's recently established web site in Australia, part of which is dedicated toDrake Family History. There is also a Drake genealogy email-list - populated in large part by friendly and knowledgeable Drakes - which can be accessed through that site.

I'll still be happy to hear from anyone with questions or comments in this regard, and I try to answer all mail, however inadequately. One never knows where such things might lead, and sometimes interesting things occur. For example:

Long-Lost Relatives Reunited Via Sir Francis Drake Web Site!
Not long ago, Alice L. wrote here asking for information about her direct ancestor John Martin (also spelled Martyn) who, she had been told, had sailed around the world with Drake (and who later himself became a captain). I was able to verify for her that his name indeed appears in that regard on a contemporary document (and I was also able to provide her with a copy of his signature). Recently I received an almost identical request from a Kathy W., who is also a direct descendent of Capt. Martin. I of course put these cousins in touch with one another and now, having digitally fallen into each other's arms, they’re happily talking over old times. (They're also interested in learning more about Capt. Martin, as am I, so if anyone has any information about him please let me know via the mail link on these pages.)

Well, you weren't expecting Livingston & Stanley, I hope; but this sort of thing is fun when it happens and illustrates the fascinating unpredictability of historical research. On to the matter at hand:

Sir Francis Drake's Immediate Family:

Probably most significant, and to some perhaps most disappointing, is the fact that the Sir Francis Drake, though married twice( to Mary Newman, d. 1582, and then Elizabeth Sydenham), had no children. I mention this first, because of the number of people who are under the impression that they or someone they know are direct descendents of the great mariner. Unless they know something no one else does, they're not.

The other side of the coin is that Drake had a passel of uncles and brothers. Thus there were, in theory at least, multiple opportunities for continuation of the line of which he was a part.

There is also some confusion because other persons with the name Francis Drake are in the mix; there is even another Sir Francis Drake, the Drake's nephew and heir to his title. Then there is at least one later Capt. Francis Drake. As already stated I am no authority on these matters but it would seem reasonable that some of these later names and titles may be at the root of at least some family fables.

More will be added here as I find time. If anyone would like to construct a chart or similar graphic representation of the immediate family relationships of Sir Francis Drake, I will be happy to post it here.

Author's Note: Much of the material on these pages (but not, as it happens, on this particular page) is adapted from my forthcoming book Francis Drake in Nova Albion - The Mystery Restored, in which these and neighboring thickets are explored much more deeply than on these few web pages. Thus there may be references here not fully explained, or answers missing their questions. Also lacking here is documentation, provided in the book by 782 endnotes. - Oliver Seeler

Nova Albion Research
Copyright 1996, 1997 by Oliver Seeler
Please feel free to send your comments to oseeler@mcn.org
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