|About The Drake Family of Cruwys Morchard Devon
This webpage is a collaborative effort on the part of a small group of family
researchers descended from the Drakes of Cruwys Morchard, Devon. For privacy
reasons no living people have been included on this database.
The research group presently consists of: Andrew Dawson, Russell Downe,
Bernard & Louise Drake, David Drake, Jack & Stella Drake, Guy Harris, Julie
Moss, Lara Pollard, Marion West, and Jean Wilby.
Although a proven link is yet to be established, it is strongly believed that
the Drake family of Cruwys Morchard are related to the Drake family of Ashe.
It is probable that John Drake who died at Cruwys Morchard in 1552 was a
younger son or grandson to John Drake of Otterton and the daughter of John
Cruwys of Cruwys Morchard; the date of whose marriage is uncertain. The
first two Drake generations on this family tree are therefore probable but
Available records indicate that the Drake family first lived at the manor of
Ruckham, Cruwys Morchard around 1540; although tax records indicate that
there were Drake's in the area (Witheridge Hundred) prior to taking up
residence at Ruckham.
Every effort has been made to authenticate and verify the information
contained on this site; however, no guarantees can be made regarding
The transcripts of most of the Wills are from the Olive Moget Collection and
Oswyn Murray Collection which are located at the West Country Studies Library
in Exeter. They are reproduced on this site with permission from the West
Country Studies Library, Exeter. Please respect their copyright and do not
reproduce these documents without seeking permission. The details of
acknowledgement/source are given in the notes accompanying each of the
Most of the original Wills were destroyed by the bombing of Exeter during
World War II.
To view the Will transcripts and notes you need to click on the picture and a
larger version should appear. If you have difficulty and the transcripts are
not clear or large enough to read, I suggest you download them to your hard
drive. You can then open the document with a program that reads JPEG files
and use the magnification icon to enlarge the print.
For those that might not know, official church records (ie. baptism, marriage
& burial records) have only been recorded since royally decreed in 1538.
Anything prior is dependent upon other official records such as: taxes, court
records, wills and other chancery documents. Many of the older documents are
written in Medieval English or Latin. Spelling was not standardised until the
1700's, so names before that time were spelt phonically.
From medieval times until the Calender Act of 1751, the new year began on Lady
Day (25th March), so there can be a bit of confusion over dates. Before 1752,
if an event happened in January, February or March then using our present
calendar, the year is actually a year later than stated.