Show ContentsDefrance History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

From the historical and enchanting region of France emerged a multitude of noble families, including the distinguished Defrance family. Originally, the people of this region went by one (personal) name. Surnames evolved during the Middle Ages when people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. These names then began to be "fixed" or hereditary. One of the types of names adopted as surnames, were habitational names; those derived from place names. The Defrance surname was likely first used by someone who held lands belonging to the French king, or perhaps for someone from the Île de France. A habitational name was often used for someone who had moved away from the place after which they were named. This name was sometimes used by soldiers in the feudal period. In French Canada, it was used as secondary "dit" name.

Early Origins of the Defrance family

The surname Defrance was first found in Picardy (French: Picardie) in northern France, where this celebrated family held a family seat since ancient times.

One of the noble branches of the family originates from Jehan La France and a distinctive member of this branch was the Attorney of the King at the Bailliage (district government) of Orléans in 1378. The family remained at Montech during the 1400's and Pierre of Montech is recorded as staying at Montauban around 1500. In 1570, Pierre was a Consul and then in 1596 he was promoted to 1st consul. Jean, Attorney for the King in the Chamber of Edicts of Castres in 1640, was the remaining member of the branch of the France Mandoul family and in 1651, he was granted the title of Lord of Mandoul.

By 1721, this noble family had branched to Béarn, Gascogne, Périgord and Comtat. As a result of their prominent position in society, the family formed many alliances with other powerful families of the times and in this way, the family acquired several titles and lands as dowries. The Béarn family of France possessed the seigniory of Benejac and of Incamps. However, this branch took the name of Vignau after an alliance with the Vignau family of Biaznos.

Jacques Lafrance, born in 1678, son of Jacques and Marie, travelled from France to Canada in the 17th century. After arriving in the Canadian province of Quebec he married Marie-Louise Alary, born in 1686, daughter of René and Louise, on 21st November 1712. They remained together in Quebec until Jacques passed away on 24th December 1750. Marie-Louise passed away on 18th July 1754. [1]

Early History of the Defrance family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Defrance research. Another 104 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1223, 1291, 1297, 1300, 1354, 1357 and 1363 are included under the topic Early Defrance History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Defrance Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Lafrance, Lafrence, Lafrense, Lafrensse, Lafronce, Lafransse, Lafranse, Lafronse, Lafronsse, France, Francès, Frence, Frenche, Lefrance, Lefranche, Le France, La Franse, French, Frances, Lafrence, Lafrench and many more.

Early Notables of the Defrance family

More information is included under the topic Early Defrance Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Defrance Ranking

In France, the name Defrance is the 1,048th most popular surname with an estimated 5,110 people with that name. [2]

United States Defrance migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Defrance Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John DeFrance, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1740 [3]
Defrance Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Martha Defrance, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1839 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Defrance (post 1700) +

  • W. H. DeFrance, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Nebraska, 1904 [4]
  • Abram Defrance, American politician, Member of Mississippi Territorial House of Representatives, 1809 [4]
  • Jean-Marie Antoine Defrance, French Divisional General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 [5]

  1. Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print
  3. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 11) . Retrieved from
  5. Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, February 26) Jean-Marie Defrance. Retrieved from on Facebook