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The Drake Exploration Society

The Issue of the Drakes' Descendants

Extensive research has been conducted by society member Susan Jackson on Drake's family tree. Therefore, we are prepared to assist the serious researcher in this area. However, we wish to emphasise our opposition to those claiming to be descended from Sir Francis Drake. Our view is based upon the following facts.

  1. It is impossible for anybody to be descended from Sir Francis Drake. Although he was married twice, he did not produce any children. Furthermore, there is no evidence whatsoever, of any illegitimate issue.
  2. Descent from his brother Thomas could be possible but highly remote. Thomas only fathered two children and the direct male line died out in the 18th century. There are indirect descendants of Thomas via the female line; in England, America and Switzerland. However, the relationship is very distant and tenuous.
  3. Descent from a cousin is not possible. Sir Francis only had two paternal cousins, being John and Robert Drake; both of whom died without issue. The word cousin or kin were very loose terms in Elizabethan England and covered a multitude of relationships. Some of these were very distant.
  4. We are not overtly interested in descent from a 16th century Drake, unless a direct relationship can be proved. A descendant, even from a 16th century Tavistock Drake does not prove an ancestral link to Sir Francis. Therefore, unless substantial contrary evidence emerges, we regret that the direct line of the Drake's of Crowndale died out in the 18th century.

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