You wouldn't think that Drake is a common name. I don't encounter it very often and yet I descend from three separate people named Drake who came to this country, only two of whom were related (or at least, can be proven so). The other Drake family comes from Halstead in Essex, England. Isabel Drake accompanied her husband John Smith alias Bland to Watertown, Mass. Her brother, Robert Drake went to Hampton, New Hampshire and I descend from his two sons, Abraham and Nathaniel.
Which brings us to John Drake of Windsor, Conn., another of my ancestors. He appears in my bogus gateway ancestor list because for years he was thought to be of the same gentry Drake family as Sir Francis Drake. He's not. And to my mind this has been proven, and yet there continues to be debate on the subject. Part of this problem rests with my friend Doug Richardson. He's a great genealogist that has put colonial genealogical research on the shelf to pursue medieval genealogy full time. He never published an important article on the origins of John Drake of Windsor, though he found them. Because it is his story to tell, I've never told it, although I feel partially responsible for noting it on the Internet.
So apart from knowing that John Drake of Windsor is from Warwickshire and not Devonshire and therefore not royal, I still read how people are still claiming this and still trying to prove this. Even if you were unaware of Doug's research, there are two great articles by Robert Charles Anderson that show there were two John Drakes in early New England. The most damning piece of evidence, to my mind, is that John Drake of Windsor is referred to as Goodman Drake. If he were part of the gentry family, he would have been called Mr. Drake. There is no doubt in my mind that seals the deal. I have several ancestors of provable royal descent and I shall attempt to see how they were treated in colonial records.
Interestingly, I descend from the second Mrs. Drake whose name is given as Elizabeth Rogers. I finally found the genesis of that claim. It appears in a 1731 memoir by her great-grandson. See New York Genealogical & Biographical Record 2 (1871):99-101. Other than his statement there is no corroborating evidence to her maiden name. Yet.