Frances History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

One of the most common classes of Scottish surnames is the patronymic surname, which arose out of the vernacular and religious naming traditions. The vernacular or regional naming tradition is the oldest and most pervasive type of patronymic surname. According to this custom, names were originally composed of vocabulary elements from the local language. Patronymic surnames of this type were usually derived from the personal name of the original bearer's father. The surname Frances is derived from the popular medieval given name Franciscus. Frances is a patronymic surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Many patronyms were formed when a son used his father's personal name as a surname, but in this case, the surname was originally derived from the famous religious figure, St. Francis of Assisi. The Frances family was established in Derbyshire, prior to the Norman invasion of England, in 1066.

Early Origins of the Frances family

The surname Frances was first found in Derbyshire, 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.

Early History of the Frances family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Frances research. Another 218 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1143, 1189, 1190, 1213, 1249, 1307, 1314, and 1400 are included under the topic Early Frances History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Frances Spelling Variations

Scottish surnames are distinguished by a multitude of spelling variations because, over the centuries, the names were frequently translated into and from Gaelic. Furthermore, the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent because medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. The different versions of a surname, such as the inclusion of the patronymic prefix "Mac", frequently indicated a religious or Clan affiliation or even a division of the family. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into Scotland, accelerating accentuating the alterations to various surnames. The name Frances has also been spelled Francis, Frances, Franceys, Francies, Fraunces, Francys, Francess and many more.

Early Notables of the Frances family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Frances family to Ireland

Some of the Frances family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 80 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Frances migration to the United States +

Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Frances, or a variant listed above:

Frances Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Frances, who landed in Maryland in 1663 [1]
  • John Frances, who landed in Maryland in 1676 [1]
Frances Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Michell Frances, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1727 [1]
Frances Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Frances, aged 30, who landed in New Castle, Del in 1804 [1]
  • Robert Frances, aged 30, who arrived in New Castle, Del in 1804 [1]
  • Jane Frances, aged 28, who landed in New Castle, Del in 1804 [1]
  • Mary Frances, aged 2, who landed in New Castle, Del in 1804 [1]
  • William Frances, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Frances migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Frances Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Frances, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia [2]
  • Mr. William Frances, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Captain Cook" on 2nd May 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • Mr. Nicholas Frances, (b. 1821), aged 19, Cornish shoe maker departing from Plymouth aboard the ship "Orient" arriving in Port Phillip, Victoria, Australia on 13th December 1840 [4]
  • William Frances, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "David Malcolm" in 1849 [5]
  • James Frances, aged 38, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1849 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Frances migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Frances Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Frances, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Pekin" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 29th November 1863 [7]
  • Miss Sarah Frances, (b. 1844), aged 22, British dairymaid travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Bombay" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 18th August 1866 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Frances (post 1700) +

  • Cornelia Frances (1941-2018), stage name of Cornelia Frances Zulver, an English-born, Australian actress
  • José Francés, Spanish novelist and art critic
  • Sir Philip Frances (1740-1818), English statesman
  • Emilio Sala Francés, Spanish painter
  • Vera Frances Deacon OAM (1926-2021), née Pember, an Australian historian, writer and philanthropist
  • Anne Frances Murphy (b. 1986), Canadian actress best known for her starring role as Alexis Rose in the CBC sitcom Schitt's Creek she garnered critical acclaim and won a Primetime Emmy Award, also receiving nominations for four Canadian Screen Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Critics' Choice Television Awards, and one Golden Globe Award
  • Jacqueline Frances Stallone (1921-2020), American astrologer, dancer and Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling's promoter, mother of actor Sylvester Stallone and singer Frank Stallone
  • Eavan Frances Boland (1944-2020), Irish poet, author, and professor at Stanford University, recipient of the Jacob's Award (1976) and the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry
  • Mrs. Annabel Frances Dunkels C.V.O., L.V.O. (b. 1956), British Director of Communications and Business Development for the Royal Collection, was appointed Commander of the Royal Victorian Order on 29th December 2018 [9]
  • Mrs. Lynn Frances Murray R.V.M., British Hairdresser to The Queen in Scotland was appointed the Royal Victorian Medal (Silver) on 17th June 2017


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1826 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1826
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/captain-cook
  4. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_victoria.pdf
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) DAVID MALCOLM 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849DavidMalcolm.htm
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) "PRINCE REGENT" 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849PrinceRegent.htm
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists


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