Last name: Franklin

This interesting old status name has its origins in the feudal system of medieval England. It derives from the Middle English "frankelin", from the Anglo-Norman French "franc" meaning free, in the sense of liberal and generous, plus the germanic suffix "ling". The status of the Franklin varied somewhat according to time and place in medieval England; in general, he was a free man and a holder of fairly extensive areas of land, a gentleman ranked above the main body of minor freeholders, but below a knight or a member of the nobility. The surname dates back to the late 12th Century, (see below). One, Luke le Franckeleyn is registered in the Cambridgeshire Feet of Fines (1234). In the modern idiom the name has six spelling variations, Frankling, Francklyn, Francklin, Franklen, Franklyn and Franklin. On February 11th 1560, George Franklin married Agnes Hills, at St. Dionis Backchurch, London. The American statesman and scientist Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), was of British descent. His father, a maker of soap and candles, had emigrated in about 1682, from Ecton, Northamptonshire, to Boston, where his son was born. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Frankelein, which was dated 1195, in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2015

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Surname Scroll

Sandra Harrison Vasko

Has anyone in here with the last name of Franklin taken a DNA test. I highly recommend doing so at You would be surprised at how many relatives you find.

Vernon Franklin

Hope I can find some of that land.

Alexander Franklin

My dad found out that we are descended from Ben franklin's brother John


Have you done a DNA test?

Hugh Franklin
My history teacher told me this many years ago, but not the bit about being ranked just under a knight

Peter Francklin
When what's the letter c added to my name

Robert Franklin
I wish I could trace my lineage back to Ben Franklin...

Justin Franklin
He only had one son an he died at a very early age so anyone related to him wouldn't have the franklin last name

katy franklin
That's pretty interesting stuff!

Abby Franklin
hello my last name

Kenneth Franklin III
I wish. It'd be nice to my family's origin

Alan Franklin III
Pretty cool, I knew it meant "free," but I didn't know about the wealthy part. *I so wish*

Cherry Franklin
'A holder of fairly extensive areas of land'? I wish lol

tommy franklin
it looks like you are french tommy