An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Origins Available: English, German-Alt, German, Jewish, Scottish
The name Franke comes from a name for a person who was referred to as being free or generous. The surname was originally derived from the Old French franc, which meant "liberal, generous." In this case, the name would have been initially bestowed as a nickname either on someone who was generous or in an ironic way on someone who was stingy. The surname also has origins from the Norman official title, the frank which also means free. To confuse matters more, the surname could have been derived from the Norman personal name "Franc," which was originally an ethnic name for one of Frankish race.
The surname Franke was first found in the Domesday Book where bearers of the name Franke were granted lands in Shropshire, Yorkshire, Norfolk, and Surrey. The name appears with some frequency in various counties between the 11th and 14th centuries; early bearers of the name include Ricardus filius Franke, who was living in London in 1188, and Ricardus Franc, who was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of Essex in 1201.
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Franke include Frank, Franks, Franke, Frankes, Frenk, Frink and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Franke research. Another 171 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1613, 1664, 1640, 1775, 1624 and 1708 are included under the topic Early Franke History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Franke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Franke 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.
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Franke or a variant listed above:
Franke Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Franke Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Franke Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Franke Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
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: Non nobis nati
Motto Translation: Born not for ourselves
The Franke Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Franke 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 10 March 2016 at 12:40.