Sunset at Gowanus Bay

Sunset at Gowanus Bay
Sunset at Gowanus Bay, Henry Gritten, 1851

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Drakes of Orange County, New York and Related Families

Drakes of Orange County, New York and Related Families is a manuscript collection of notes compiled by Imogene H. Lane in 1970. It is available on microfilm from the Family History Library (FHL film #872801, item 4). My copy was included in the William B. Bogardus Collection, and the scanned pages are now online as a PDF using the above link. The file is large so it must be downloaded to your computer or devise. It cannot be viewed online.

Imogene H. Lane was born Imogene Thetis Hawks in Nebraska in 1913. In 1941 she married Harry H. Lane. She is a descendant of Samuel Drake and Eunice Carpenter of Orange County, New York. Samuel Drake, who was born (according to Lilian Drake Avery) in 1746, in Orange County, has been said to be a son of Joseph Drake and Amy Carmen of Goshen, in Orange Co., New York, and a descendant of Josias Drats and Aeltje Brouwer. This claim is not correct. Samuel is not a son of Joseph Drake and is not descended from Josias Drats and Aeltje Brouwer. Samuel Drake's ancestry has not been proved and is not presently known. I suspect that he may descend from Samuel Drake who was at Fairfield, Connecticut and Eastchester, New York, and who died in 1686. But this possibility also has not been proved. (Imogene H. Lane's Drake Ancestry).

In 1989, Imogene H. Lane published a thirteen generation genealogy of descendants of John Hawks of Windsor, Connecticut and Hadley, Massachusetts. A digital version is available online through the Family History Library, John Hawks, A Founder of Hadley, Massachusetts... (be forewarned, this takes a while to download).

As stated above, The Drakes of Orange County, New York manuscript is a collection of notes concerning the Drake families found in Orange County, New York. Although relatively small in geographical area, Orange County, New York was populated, from the mid 1700s on, by a number of unrelated families named Drake. Whether or not Imogene H. Lane realized this is not clear. When common given names, especially John, William and Samuel, are factored in, it can be appreciated how the Drakes of Orange County have been confused by researchers over the years. Lillian Drake Avery's, Drake Genealogy in the Line of Samuel Drake of Lower Smithfield Township, Northampton (now Monroe) County, Pennsylvania (Pontiac, MI: the author, 1926) and Louis Schneider Drake's Jesayas Jansze Drake of New Netherlands, 1648-after 1720?: With an Explanation of tieup between Bogardus, Webber, Brouwer and Drake Families (Edwardsville, IL: the author, 1967) are two examples of published genealogies focused on Drake families of the Orange County, New York area, that did not appreciate the fact that a number of unrelated Drake families are found there. Both works are riddled with errors reflecting this misunderstanding, and both must be used with caution. Frankly, I would suggest avoiding Louis S. Drake's work completely. It is apparent from her notes that Imogene H. Lane did rely somewhat on Lillian Drake Avery's published work, including the incorrect placement of her ancestor Samuel D. Drake as a son of Joseph Drake of Goshen, New York.

Included in the manuscript are occasional notes referring to Anneke Jans Bogardus and her, believed, Drake descendants. (Please take note that there are no persons named Drake, during the colonial period, who are descendants of Anneke Jans Bogardus). Much of this material was collected by Imogene H. Lane from earlier researchers who deposited their work with the Orange County Historical Society. None of it should be accepted at face value by anyone conducting research today. There is also a good deal of notes and correspondence originated by Victor M. Drake in the late 1800s. Much of it is focused on Francis Drake of Blooming Grove, Orange County, New York. This Francis Drake is not related to the Drakes descended from Josias Drats and Aeltje Brouwer. Additionally, there are some notes on the Oakley and Holly families of Orange County, New York, a brief Hawks genealogy, and a lineage beginning with Richard Drake and Mary Wood.

As I alluded to above, nothing in this manuscript should be accepted verbatim. Look to original records (vital, church, probate and deeds) to confirm any relationships found within. It is, however, a collection that anyone researching the surname, Drake, in Orange County, New York, should have access to.

Details on many of the above mentioned can be found at the Drake Genealogy Database website.


  1. So glad I found your post. I am a descendant of Samuel Drake through his daughter Abigail, and when I looked at the Orange County Drake publications I knew they didn't make sense with the documentation I was finding. I have been working from some letters between Mrs. Lane and the Ontario Historical Society and wanted to double-check some of her assumptions. At least she did give me the Eunice's maiden name and parents, which I have been able to confirm :)

    1. Have you found any more information on Samuel D. Drake and his descendants? Any married to a Woodard?


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