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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Franklin family come from? What is the English Franklin family crest and coat of arms? When did the Franklin family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Franklin family history?

The Franklin family name dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. The name comes from when an early member worked as a landowner who was not a member of the nobility. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Old French word fraunclein, which became frankeleyn in Old English, and denoted rank within the feudal system; a person who owned land but did not have the right to call himself a lord.


Franklin has been spelled many different ways, including Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Franklyn, Francklyn, Francklin, Franklin, Franklind and many more.

First found in Buckinghamshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Franklin research. Another 175 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1195, 1234, 1274, 1630, 1684, 1647, 1625, 1640, 1630, 1685, 1661, 1679, 1697 and 1735 are included under the topic Early Franklin History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 119 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Franklin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Franklin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 47 words(3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Franklins to arrive on North American shores:

Franklin Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Josiah Franklin settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1630
  • William Franklin settled in Massachusetts in 1633
  • William Franklin, who landed in New England in 1633
  • Henry Franklin, who arrived in Virginia in 1634
  • Jonathan Franklin, aged 17, arrived in Barbados in 1635

Franklin Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Cesar Franklin, who arrived in Maryland in 1740

Franklin Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Franklin, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808
  • Joseph Franklin, aged 25, landed in New York in 1812
  • George Franklin, who arrived in Mississippi in 1830
  • Edward Franklin, who arrived in New York in 1832
  • D Franklin, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850


  • Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), American statesman, scientist, philosopher, and publisher, the most well-known Founding Father of the United States
  • Kenneth Franklin (1923-2007), American astronomer and chief scientist at the Hayden Planetarium from 1956 to 1984
  • Stan Franklin (b. 1931), American mathematician, computer scientist and cognitive scientist
  • John Hope Franklin (1915-2009), American historian of the United States and former president of Phi Beta Kappa, the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, and the Southern Historical Association, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Aretha Louise Franklin (b. 1942), American singer, songwriter, pianist and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Major-General John Merryman Franklin (1895-1975), American Assistant Chief of Transportation (1944-1946)
  • Melissa Jeanette "Missy" Franklin (b. 1995), American four-time gold medalist swimmer
  • Bonnie Gail Franklin (1944-2013), American Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Award nominated actress, best known for her leading role in the television series One Day at a Time (19751984)
  • Frederic "Freddie" Franklin CBE (1914-2013), British-born, American ballet dancer and director
  • Rosalind Elsie Franklin (1920-1958), British biophysicist, physicist, chemist, biologist, and X-ray crystallographer



  • Ancestors and Descendants of My Raymoure, Hubbell, Franklin, Osborne Grandparents: Includes 40+ Connecting Lines by Dorothy Raymoure.
  • Cook's Crier, The Franklin's Fireplace by Betty Harvey Williams.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Pro rege et patria
Motto Translation: For King and country.


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  1. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  2. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  6. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  9. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  10. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  11. ...

The Franklin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Franklin Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 19 September 2014 at 19:16.

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