The very first record of the family surname Deake in England was found in Cumberland, which is located in the English and Scottish Border Ridings. The Deake family traces their ancestral roots back to Strathclyde Briton origin before the year 1100. From here they branched and migrated, gaining prosperity as a notable family of the English and Scottish Border Ridings.  Professor P.H. Reamey of London an authority on surnames and author of "A Dictionary of British Surnames" lists the surname Deake as Welch, a derivative of Deakin and Daykin. All Welch derivatives mean "Son of David". Mr. Leslie Green (previously of Ware Sholes, S.C. a Dake Family Historian for over 50 years), believed the Deake name was Welch.  

My personal DNA analysis indicates our ancestors were most definitely from England.  Minehead, Somerset, England was a seaport in the 1700's and is located just across the Bristol Channel from Wales. This close proximity to Wales may be the reason for Mr. Green's belief of Welch origin; however the Deake surname can be found in abundance in the Minehead area of England dating back to the 1500's. The Deake line records go back to 1549 as recorded in the St. Michael's Parish records in Minehead, Somerset, England with the burial of Christian Deake on January 20, 1549/50.  They probably go back further but records of birth, death and marriage were not kept by the parish prior to 1534.   Research has uncovered the birthdates of George and Richard Deake, in the parish records of St. Michael's Parish, Minehead, Somersetshire, England to Charles and Mary (maiden name unknown) Deake.   Their birthdates had long been estimated based upon the date that they became Freeman in the Rhode Island colonies.

CHARLES DEAKE was born/baptised  in Minehead, Somerset, England on September 21, 1650, married a Mary (maiden name unknown), prior to 1675, and had a large family. They had children:

Charles (born May 8, 1675)
John (born Jan. 21, 1676)
Richard (born Nov. 22, 1680 - died Sept. 21, 1682)
RICHARD (born Nov. 27, 1682)
George (born April 6, 1685)
Mary (born Feb. 2, 1686 - died Sept. 11, 1687)
Mary (born July 26, 1688 - died 1688)
Sarah (born Sept. 16, 1689)
Mary (born Aug. 13, 1696)


The earliest recorded history of our Deake (Dake) family in the American colonies can be traced back to the Rhode Island Colony, prior to 1716. Based upon a story told and recorded in 1925 by the 90 year old town historian of Hopkinton, RI, two brothers who were "Pressed" Sailors, jumped ship in Providence, RI and escaped into the wilderness (the area later to become Hopkinton) and settled. At this time England was "pressing" young men into military service due to the lack of volunteers, so they probably deserted from a British military ship.  These two brothers were Richard and George Deake and we know from Hopkinton RI records, that they came prior to 1716. 

I found in the records of Mass. Bay Colony on Aug. 18, 1724: "Col. Thomas Westbrook impressed Mr. Dakes Schooner to convey Capt. Harmon from Falmouth, Mass. Bay (Portland, Maine) to Boston. Capt. Sanders was also sent in his Sloop to Saint Georges to guard it against Indian attacks." The reason for quoting this record is a possible connection between this Mr. Dake and a Capt. Edward Saunders in Hopkinton, R.I. who later became the guardian of George Deake's son Edward, after George passed away. It may also be an indication that the Deake brothers were in fact sailors.

The Deake surname, from Rhode Island origin, was changed to Dake in the early 1800's with the exception of one family line that migrated to Maine (George Deake Jr. Family) and one branch of the Edward Deake family line, which moved to Canada after the Revolutionary War and then back to Michigan. There are still members of the Rhode Island Deake family found in Canada and the northeast who still use the original spelling of the surname (Deake); however, most branches of this line changed the surname to Dake. It was a standard practice after the Revolutionary War for people to change their surname.  

 In researching the other Deake/Dake families in the United States, genealogists have found at least four other Dake genealogy lines; however, in all of these other lines the surname has always been Dake with the exception of one line mentioned below that started in Maryland. One Dake line started in Virginia and spread across the southern US. This line has been researched by Owen C. Dake. Another Dake line started in South Carolina and also migrated mainly across the southern US. A third line later came from Germany in the 1800's and migrated to the midwestern states in the US. There has been no connection found between these other Dake lines and the Rhode Island Deake/Dake line.

Other early records have been found of Deake surname individuals, in the early colonies. It is not known what branches of the family they may be related to at this time.  Another legend suggests that the family came first from Hungary in 1639 to England, and then to the Colonies. None of these legends is supported with proven facts and probably people trying to connect to a famous Deak family in Hungary.

In 1637, a William (Decke) of Wimborne age 12 years old sailed from Southampton in the ship Virgin to Barbados.   An Edward Deake was listed as a witness to the will of Murphy Daniell, planter in St. George Parish, Barbados in Dec. 12, 1667. Possible connections to this line is unknown.
A William Deake arrived in Virginia in 1638.   In 1665 Robert Deakes was transported by Thomas Powell to Maryland.   In 1678 Edward Deakes transported himself to Maryland and in 1691 a Henry Deakes Will was listed in Lyon Creek, Calvert Co., Md. This Henry Deakes father was John Dakes and Innholder of London in St. Buttols Aldergate parish.   None of these early Deakes have been proven to be linked with our family.




 Old Vicarage on left  Old Vicarage Building in 2018  St. Michaels's Church over looks Minehead  St. Michael's Church 

St. Michael’s church was built in the 15th century (built in 1430) on the site of a previous building from which parts of the south porch can still be seen.[1] William de Mohun gave the church to Bruton Priory in the 12th century. They held the advowson until the Dissolution of the Monasteries.[2]

Its tower used to display a beacon light for ships approaching the harbour.[3][2] After being caught in a violent storm at sea, Robert Quirke dedicated a ship and its cargo to God's service,[3] as well as donating a cellar near the quay for prayers to be offered for those at sea. Dating from 1628 and known as the Gibraltar Celler, it is now the Chapel of St Peter. Quirke also donated money from the sale of the ship and its cargo to build almshouses.[4][5][6][7]

Some of the tables and other items in the church as well as the outside of the church were defaced after the English Civil War in 1750’s.  This was because the Church of England were viewed as supporters of the crown.  Many castles were also destroyed during this period.  The church underwent Victorian restoration in 1880 and was further restored in 1974.[1] 

They just recently found a painting under the painted walls on the north end of the church, it is currently being restored.  The parish and benefice of Minehead are within the Diocese of Bath and Wells.[8]



Parish records were not kept until 1534, so we don’t know how far back the Deake name goes in this church.  The earliest recorded Deake was the burial of Christian Deake at St. Michaels on Jan. 20, 1549/50,

Robert Deake christened: son of John Deake St. Michael's Parish, Minehead, Somerset, England (Father of Charles Deake) Nov. 25, 1617.  This is the oldest record of our family that I can link.

Richard Deake christened Nov. 27, 1682 (born to Charles and Mary Deake - Minehead, Somerset, England). One of the two brothers (Richard and George) that were pressed into service by the British Navy and later jumped ship in Rhode Island Colony. 


George Deake christened April 6, 1685 (born to Charles and Mary Deake, younger brother of Richard Deake and our first grandfather in the Rhode Island Colonies.


On July 20, 2018, my son Timothy, grandson Brendan and I visited St. Michaels church and were give a tour by the church wardens.  We searched the church graveyard for tombstones with the name Deake.  The oldest tombstones that we could make out were from the mid-1800’s.  We were also told by the wardens that all the gravestones were dug up in 1750 and used to make the walls around the current day graveyard.