Archived Story

Van Buren family history published

Published 9:16pm Tuesday, February 21, 2012

DECATUR — Just released, “The Drake Families of Van Buren County, Michigan: Volume 1″ is an extensive family history of the Joshua Drake family of Bangor and collateral lines of Goss, Folk, Goodrich and Shugars.
The title is the latest publication by area genealogist Toni Benson of Decatur.
“This book is actually a second edition to the original published in 1991,” Benson said. “Unlike that first endeavor which was compiled on a typewriter, this one includes complete source information, many more photographs and includes hundreds more descendants. Painstaking care was taken to seek out all records open to the public and to contact living relatives to invite them to share information.”
The focus of the work is the life, descendants and ancestry of Joshua Cope Drake, who settled in McDonald (Bangor Township) in 1872, migrating from Palmyra Township, Lenawee County.
Joshua, a United Brethren minister, was married twice, resulting in a large family of 15 children, nine of whom are known to have had children, accounting for well over 1,000 descendants.
Along with extensive family histories, the 560-page book includes photographs, maps, documents and transcripts of obituaries, court and vital records and tombstones. An every-name index is also provided.
Joshua Cope Drake was born in 1817, in Ontario, Canada, and was one of 15 siblings.
His brother, Alvin Drake, and sister, Margaret (Drake) Dobbyn, also migrated to Van Buren County and left large descendancies in the area.
Benson has collected similar information for these and other Van Buren County Drake families and plans to publish additional volumes in the near future.
Drake Families is privately published with a limited number of copies available for sale.
For more information about how to purchase a copy, contact the author at swmichigangenealogy@yahoo.com or reach her at Van Buren District Library in Decatur.

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