Show ContentsFraunce History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Fraunce is derived from the popular medieval given name Franciscus. Much of the popularity of this personal name was due to the famous religious figure, St. Francis of Assisi.

Early Origins of the Fraunce family

The surname Fraunce was first found in Oxfordshire, where the earliest record is Hugo Francus, or Franceis in 1135, at Oseney. Other early records of the name include Robert le Franceis in 1169 in the Pipe Rolls of Devon; Roger Franceis in 1177 in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire; Adam le Francess in 1201 in the Assize Rolls of Somerset; and Robertus filius Franceis, in 1207 in the Curia Regis Rolls of Sussex. 1

Early History of the Fraunce family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fraunce research. Another 142 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1143, 1189, 1190, 1213, 1296, 1400, 1519, 1574, 1587, 1604, 1633, 1658, 1670, 1688, 1707, 1715, 1740 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Fraunce History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fraunce Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Francis, Frances, Franceys, Francies, Fraunces, Francys, Francess and many more.

Early Notables of the Fraunce family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was

  • John Fraunceys, Lord Mayor of London in 1400; Thomas Francis (c.1519-1574), English medical physician in London, born in Chester. He was President of the College of Physicians. 2

Ireland Migration of the Fraunce family to Ireland

Some of the Fraunce family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Fraunce family

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Fraunce or a variant listed above: Daniel Francis, who came to Virginia in 1624; John Francis, who settled in Virginia in 1635; James Francis, who came to Virginia in 1639; Alexander Francis, who came to Maryland in 1658.

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print on Facebook