T his Drake family was probably of Dutch descent (the name possibly a variant of DeRaet, Drack, Drait, etc). The earliest certain patriarch of the family was Josiah Drake b. 1750 in Fishkill, Dutchess County, d. 1833 at New Paltz, Ulster County, NY. They migrated from Dutchess County, New York to Ulster County, New York. Later, members of the family removed to the Prattsburg Township, Steuben County, New York. With the opening of Michigan for settlement in about 1830, a number of Drakes removed to Clinton County Michigan by 1838.

Brothers Cornelius, Uriah and Levi Drake are all living in Bengal Twp, Clinton Co, MI in 1850 and later appear in the federal census thus making it clear that they were the same brothers listed as sons of William, who was the son of Josiah Drake of Ulster County New York per the will of Josiah Drake. This group was determined from deposition written by William McCroden, Notary Public, in Kent Co. Michigan for Josiak Drake, a descendant, who signed the document with an X. It was dated August 17, 1889. The will of Josiah Drake establishes William Drake as a son.

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