Captain John Drake

Painting by Archibald M. Willard
 Revolutionary War Captain

Born:September 5, 1748, Hunterdon, NJ
Died:March 7, 1839, Huntsville, AL
Buried:Drake Cemetery on Garth Rd., Southeast of Huntsville, Madison Co., AL
Father of:Elijah Drake


•  Married to Jane Neely (Nealy)o n January 22, 1775 in Botetourt, Virginia. -

•  He owned the land now known as Jones Valley. The family first started moving here in 1807 and the land was purchased before 1815. - Nilsson

•  Soldier of the American Revolution: Captain (Officer) served in the Virginia Line, Botetourt, Virginia - Patriot Database

•  One of few officers from the Revolutionary War settling in Madison County, AL - Editor's Note

•  Associate with the Militia Company of Captain May, who participated in the siege of Yorktown. - Heritage

•  Son of Zachariah Drake (1725-1766) and Elizabeth Balckwell (1721- ) -

•  He is buried at Drakes Cove (Little Cove) Huntsville in the family cemetery. -

•  All John's children were born in Finnis, Botetourt County, Virginia and they are:
1. Zachariah Drake (Dec. 12, 1775 - Dec. 11, 182,1 Williamson Co.,TN) Married 1.) Anna Leftwich with no children 2.) Rhonda Neely with four children
2. Robert Drake (Dec. 23, 1777 - 1824)
3. James Drake (April 30, 1780 - March 19, 1945, Madison County, AL) Married 1.) Rossanna Neely with four children 2.) Agnes Neely with four children
4. John Drake (Jan 31, 1783 - May 27, 1843 Franklin Co., AL) Married to Rhoda Neely with no children (That is what say, however Windows To Your Past makes no mention of Rhoda and says he married Frances Campbell)
5. Andrew Drake (1785 - Nov. 12, 1858, Madison Co., AL) Married 1.) Permelia "Amelia" Leftwish Dixen with eight children 2.) Caroline McCartney with six children 3.) Frances Campbell with no children
6. William Michael Drake (1789 - Jan. 12, 1866 Franklin Co., AL) Married Elizabeth Leftwich and they had 12 children
7. Anna Neely Drake (1791 - 1822) Married Jackson "Jacky" Leftwich and they had five children
8. Elijah Drake (1793 - June 17, 1848, Madison Co., AL) Married Elizabeth Mills Buford and they had 15 children
9. Elizabeth Drake (1795 - Jan. 22, 1836, Madison Co., AL) Married James W. Addison Neely with two children
10. Neely Drake (1798 - Jan. 17, 1876 Noxubee Co., MS) Married 1.) Lucinda Grinder (Guder) with one child 2.) Eliza "Elila" Leftwich
11. Mary Ann Drake (1836 - 1905) -

•  "Drake, John - age 91 years. He was a soldier of the Revolution. He removed from Virginia and settled near this place many years ago, where he has ever been known as one of our best citizens, maintaining through his long life the most unimpeachable character. He was a member of the Baptist Church, and was universally esteemed a truly just, pious and good man. He has left a large family connection to lament his loss. The Fincastle (VA) Democrat will please copy the above. Huntsville. The Democrat, March 2, 1839." - AHQ

•  "At a meeting of field officers Aug, 31, 17 82 for Botetourt Count for purpose of executing state's quota of troops to serve the U. S. for term of 3 years. . . Ordered that John Drake, John Neely, (and others) of Capt. May's Company be considered the Fifty-fourth District." - Windows Into Our Past

•  In 1807, two of Capt Drake's sons (James, then 27, and William, then 18) and his son-in-law, James Neely, came down the Tennessee River by flat-bottomed boat and landed at "Ditto Landing" in Madison County. They settled in Little Cove (soon becoming Drake's Cove and later becoming Jones Valley) and prepared for the arrival of the rest of the Drake clan (Capt. Drake, his other five sons and their families) in 1810 and 1811. "They were squatters until 1815. John and son James went by horseback to Nashville, TN to purchase land grant for $2.00 per acre." "The Drake family held the Huntsville estate for approximately 70 years. The Drake estate was sold in 1881 to Mr. William Garth, who later sold the property to Mr. Jones. - Heritage

•  "John was a Quaker Baptist, and wrote a book on baptism. He spoke old English and wore knee breeches and high buckled shoes." - Heritage

•  Captain Drake was known for his horsemanship and traveled far and frequently. He "had a horse named Selah and, at age, 65, rode from Huntsville to Philadelphia to visit his sister and brother." - Heritage

•  John Drake tombstone:
"The crown that my Savior bestows
Yon permanent sun will outshine
My joy everlasting flows
My God my Redeemer is mine." - Heritage

Related Links:

•  AHQ - The obituary is on a family genealogical page owned by Kathy Drake and from The Alabama Historical Quarterly, Vol. 1944, p. 557.

• - Page owned by holloway1937 and requires membership to view. (Originally found at

•  Heritage - The Heritage of Madison County, AL by Madison County Heritage Book Committee, submitted by Howard W. Drake, printed in 1998, pp. 167-8.

•  Roots Web - Drake chat page

•  Windows Into Our Past - Genealogy

•  Nilsson - Why Is It Named That? By Dex Nilsson, Twinbrook Communications, © 2003, pp. 57-8.

•  Patriot Database - Tennessee Valley Chapter Alabama Society of Sons of the American Revolution - List of Revolutionary War Soldiers and Patriots Buried in Madison County, Alabama.

The Following Pages Link to this Page:
•  Elijah Drake
•  Nilsson
•  Patriot Database