An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Origins Available: English, German-Alt, German, Jewish, Scottish
The ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of England produced the name of Franks. It was given to 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 Franks was first found in the Domesday Book where bearers of the name Franks 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.
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Franks has appeared include Frank, Franks, Franke, Frankes, Frenk, Frink and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Franks 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 Franks History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Franks Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Franks 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.
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Franks arrived in North America very early:
Franks Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Franks Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Franks Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Franks Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Franks Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Franks Settlers in New Zealand 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 Franks Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Franks 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 29 April 2016 at 17:25.