Francis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The earliest forms of hereditary surnames in Scotland were the patronymic surnames, which are derived from the father's given name, and metronymic surnames, which are derived from the mother's given name. Scottish patronymic names emerged as early as the mid-9th century. The patronyms were derived from a variety of given names that were of many different origins. The surname Francis is derived from the popular medieval given name Franciscus. Francis 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 Francis family was established in Derbyshire, prior to the Norman invasion of England, in 1066.

Early Origins of the Francis family

The surname Francis 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 Francis family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Francis 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 Francis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Francis Spelling Variations

The frequent translations of surnames from and into Gaelic, accounts for the multitude of spelling variations found in Scottish surnames. 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 Francis has also been spelled Francis, Frances, Franceys, Francies, Fraunces, Francys, Francess and many more.

Early Notables of the Francis family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Francis family to Ireland

Some of the Francis 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 Francis migration to the United States +

Some of the first North American settlers with Francis name or one of its variants:

Francis Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Daniel Francis, who arrived in Virginia in 1624 [1]
  • Jon Francis, who landed in Virginia in 1637 [1]
  • James Francis, who settled in Virginia in 1640
  • Bedford Francis who settled in Virginia in 1642
  • Bedford Francis, who landed in Virginia in 1642 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Francis Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Margaret Francis, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [1]
  • Anne Francis, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [1]
  • Nicholas Francis, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1759 [1]
  • Samuel Francis, who landed in America in 1760 [1]
  • Barnaby Francis, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1765 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Francis Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Adam Francis, who arrived in Maryland in 1802 [1]
  • Martha Francis, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • Patrick Francis, aged 33, who arrived in New York in 1812 [1]
  • Charles Francis, aged 38, who landed in Connecticut in 1812 [1]
  • Frank Hewson Francis, who arrived in America in 1812 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Francis migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Francis Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Edward Francis, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Edward Francis, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Ann Francis, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Peter Francis, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Jerem Francis, who landed in Quebec in 1784
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Francis Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Francis, who arrived in Canada in 1820
  • James Francis, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1821
  • Miss. Margaret Francis, aged 3 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Champion" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in September 1847 [2]
  • Mrs. Mary Francis, aged 60 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Lord Seaton" departing 12th April 1847 from Belfast, Ireland; the ship arrived on 10th June 1847 but she died on board [3]
  • Miss. Mary Francis, aged 2 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Lord Seaton" departing 12th April 1847 from Belfast, Ireland; the ship arrived on 10th June 1847 but she died on board [3]

Australia Francis migration to Australia +

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

Francis Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Joseph Francis, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Barwell" in September 1797, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]
Francis Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Henry Francis, a engineer, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Anthony Francis, a weaver, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • William Francis, a bricklayer, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Mr. William Francis, (b. 1809), aged 25, English miller who was convicted in Essex, England for life for theft, transported aboard the "Bengal Merchant" on 27th September 1834, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Mr. Richard Francis, (b. 1807), aged 28 born in Truro, Cornwall, UK convicted in Worcester on 5th January 1835, sentenced for 14 years for housebreaking, transported aboard the ship "Layton" in 1835 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Francis 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:

Francis Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Francis, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • John Francis, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Mr. John Francis, (b. 1806), aged 35, British agricultural labourer travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 24th May 1841 [7]
  • Mrs. Frances Francis, (b. 1805), aged 36, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 24th May 1841 [7]
  • Mr. Thomas Joshua Francis, (b. 1840), aged 9 months, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 24th May 1841, he died on board [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Francis (post 1700) +

  • Dr. Norman Christopher Francis (b. 1931), American academic, President of Xavier University of Louisiana, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2006)
  • Esther Charlotte Emily Weisbrodt Francis (1836-1913), Italian-born, American Mormon pioneer
  • Kay Francis (1905-1968), born Katharine Edwina Gibbs, an American stage and film actress, nicknamed the "Queen of Warner Brothers," at one time earning almost ten times the salary of Bette Davis
  • Joseph Charles Naekauna "Joe" Francis Jr. (1936-2013), American NFL and CFL quarterback
  • Joseph Francis (1801-1893), American inventor, best known for his life-car which rescued thousands of stranded passengers and crew from shipwrecks near the shore, recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal
  • Connie Francis (b. 1938), born Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero, is an American pop singer, her "Who's Sorry Now?" was named one of the Songs of the Century
  • Arlene Francis (1907-2001), born Arline Francis Kazanjian, an American actress, radio talk show host, and game show panelist, best known for her role as a panelist on the television game show What's My Line? for 25 years
  • Anne Lloyd Francis (1930-2011), American Golden Globe winning Emmy Award nominated actress, best known for her role in the science fiction film classic Forbidden Planet (1956)
  • Thomas Francis Jr. (1900-1969), American physician, virologist, and epidemiologist and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Norman C. Francis (b. 1931), President of Xavier University of Louisiana, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • ... (Another 92 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Catherine Wood  Francis (1832-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the explosion but later died due to injuries [8]
  • Mrs. Edith  Francis (1883-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the explosion but later died due to injuries [8]
  • Mr. Charles  Francis (1883-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [8]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Victor R Francis (b. 1902), English Leading Stoker serving for the Royal Navy from Attleborough, Norfolk, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [9]
  • Mr. Charles A Francis (b. 1924), English Boy 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Great Bowden, Leicestershire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [9]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Edward Francis, British signalman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [10]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Leighton Richard Francis, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [11]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Hubert Arthur Francis (1919-1939), British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [12]


Suggested Readings for the name Francis +

  • 314 Captain William Upshaw, Gent., Planter of Virginia: Some of His Georgia Descendants and Allied Families, Francis, Wright, McAllen, Bardwell, Daves, Chalmers by Sophie W. Upshaw, Descendants of Joseph Francis of Maryland and Virginia by L.M. Dickson.

  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. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 29)
  3. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 76)
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 29th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barwell
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bengal-merchant
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/tasmanian_convicts_cornish.pdf
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  9. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  10. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  11. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  12. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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