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Ian Beissel
Posted on Friday, June 30, 2006 - 10:25 am:   

I have a relatively new web-site concerning the Drake family of Barnstaple, in county Devon, England: The Drakes of Barnstaple http://users.tpg.com.au/mcbei/barnstapledrakes/

The Drake family had an important association with Barnstaple for at least two centuries. This branch of the Drake family descended from Henry Drake who was Mayor of Barnstaple in 1679. Henry Drake's descendants continued to live at Barnstaple, often occupying key public positions in the community. Male members of the Barnstaple Drakes tended to undertake professions in the law, banking and public life. The primary purpose of the web-site is to publish material relating to the individuals listed below, from Henry Drake in a paternal line of descent:
• Henry Drake (d. 1688), Mayor of Barnstaple in 1679; married (1) Marie Ley (née Bayley) (2) Anne Noyes (née Yeo) (1647 - 1719)
• John Drake (1682/3 - 1712/3); married Christian Hacche (b. 1684)
• John Drake (1710 - 1770); married (1) Anne Gregory (2) Jane Harwood
• Henry Drake (1745 - 1806); married Anne Hammett (1747 - 1822)
• Richard Drake (1786 - 1853); married Frances Sarah Lee (1791 - 1849)
Information regarding all the individuals, except the last one (Richard Drake), have been up-loaded. Much of the information so far on the web-site – from Henry Drake (d. 1688) to Henry Drake (1745-1806) – uses as a principle source the publication Devonshire Notes and Notelets, principally genealogical and heraldic by Sir William Richard Drake (London: privately printed c.1878). The information regarding Richard Drake (yet to be up-loaded) is mostly the product of original research.

As well as the Drake family as detailed above, the web-site includes information regarding the families of the various maternal lines. Details regarding the Hacche family, Gregory family and Hammett / Hamlyn families has been uploaded. The Gregory family information includes a web-page on Lewis Gregory, who was Mayor of Barnstaple in 1722.

Future plans for the web-site include a discussion and presentation of evidence (pro and con) regarding the possibility that Henry Drake had a direct connection to the Drake of Ashe family. The researchers, who are descendants of this family living in Australia, have two principle objectives in publishing the material:
• To make contact with other descendants of this family and other interested persons, in order to exchange information and provide a forum for continued research;
• Find an answer to a long-standing question regarding the origins of the Drakes of Barnstaple and where they fit within the various branches of the wider Drake genealogy.

Any additional information or corrections regarding any of the individuals included on the web-site would be appreciated.

Ian Beissel

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