This unusual and interesting name has two possible origins, the first and most generally applicable being of Anglo-Saxon origin, from the Olde English pre 7th Century byname or nickname "Draca", meaning "dragon" or "snake", in Middle English "Drake", Old Norse "Draki", plus the Anglo-Saxon "ard", a short form of hardy or strong. The derivation for all these forms is from the Latin "draco", snake, or monster. As a nickname, it would presumably apply to someone formidable and fierce in battle, but it could also be a metonymic "occupational" surname for a standard-bearer, as in "Draker" (1260, Cambridgeshire). "Draca" was used in medieval England to mean a battle-standard as well as a dragon. In the modern idiom the surname can be spelt as Drache, Drakard and Drake.The name may also be from the Middle English "drake" male of the duck. Sir Francis Drake (1540 - 1596) is perhaps the most famous name-bearer, defeating the Spanish Armada in 1588. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a silver shield with a red wyvern, wings displayed and tail nowed, the Crest being a dexter arm erect couped at the elbow proper holding a black battle-axe. The Motto, "Aquila non captat muscas", translates as, "The eagle catcheth not flies". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Leuing Drache, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Hampshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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