Last name: Franks

This interesting surname is of Norman origin, introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066. Recorded in the spellings of Frank and Franks and the unusual West Country dialectals Frunks and Fronks, it is a patronymic of the Norman given name "Franc". In origin this is an ethnic name for a "Frank", a member of the Germanic people who inhabited the lands around the river Rhine in Roman times. In the 6th Century, under their leader Clovis 1, the Franks established a substantial empire in central Europe, hich later formed the basis of the Holy Roman Empire. Their most famous ruler was the Emperor Charlemagne (742 - 814). Their name is of uncertain ultimate etymology; it may be akin to a Germanic word meaning "javelin", of which the Olde English pre 7th Century form is "franca". Franco and Francus (without surname) are listed in the Domesday Book of 1086, and the surname is first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below). Walter le Franc is noted in the Curia Regis Rolls of Cumberland (1221). On August 14th 1574, Joane Franks was christened at the Church of Harrow on the Hill, London, and George Franks married Esther Wilson on December 30th 1686 at the Church of St. James', Duke's Place, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a green shield, on a gold saltire a red torteau, the Crest being on the trunk of a tree a hawk proper charged on the breast with a red torteau. The Motto "Sic vos non vobis" translates as "So you not for yourselves". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ricardus Franc, which was dated 1201, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Essex", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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.

Ā© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017

Surname Scroll

Enjoy this name printed onto our colourful scroll, printed in Olde English script. An ideal gift. View Details.

Joshua Alexander Franks
Well, I must admit that I've always wondered about the origin of my forefathers. And its amazing to finally get this amount of information. My Grandfather was Alexander Franks and had a borther John and sister Sarah.

Chloe Franks
Very interesting. I'll have rip make a recreation of this coat of arms sometime

Mia Franks
Nice information, thanks :) We are only a few FranksĀ“ in Denmark but I know that my forefathers came from somewhere in England.

Z. Franks
There's a lot of us around Kent, UK but I have never actually met anyone with the same surname as me that isn't part of my immediate family!

Nina Franks
It was previously thought that origins of the Franks name denoted those of French origin. In fact France takes it name from the Franks, 'Free People', originating from those Germanic tribes of Frankonia, whose lands founded the Holy Roman Empire and gave rise to modern day France (having become Catholics during their collaboration with the Roam Empire). We have quite an interesting history in the Middle East too. Frankish Emperor Charlemagne was the first to create the order of knighthood and gave rise to the first of the Frankish Knights who dominated central and western Europe, and later the near and middle East.

izzy franks
all this time i thought me surname it meant frankfruters, hot dogs, sausages, bratwurst!
what a releif!

Burge Franks
Pretty amazing history, as our name dates back to at least the 3rd century.

Franks - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The name Franci was originally socio-political. To the Romans, Celts, and Suebi, the Franks must have seemed alike: they looked the same and spoke the same language, so that Franci became the name by which the people were known.

William Franks

We are only 1 family of Franks here in Honduras ( Central America) my greatgrandfather came to live here after WWI.

Susan White nee Franks

I was born in York. My father came from a large family who lived in the city centre. He was born in Grape Lane, York in 1919. My uncle Wilf emigrated to Oz after WW2 and died 2 years ago and there were about 30 beneficiaries (nephews and nieces). Regarding our family what I do know is that my sister still lives in South Africa and I live in Leeds, UK

Candace Franks

We are the only franks I know of around Oklahoma USA

Matthew Franks
There is a group of us Franks' living in British Columbia and Alberta Canada. I'm not sure exactly when my family emigrated to Canada but I know that at least as far back as my great grandfather we've been here. Prior to that we were in the eastern United States and in England before that. I was always told that our family name goes all the way back to the Germanic tribes of old. If this article is true then maybe that's right!

Megan Franks
We are in New Zealand :)

Callum franks
There is quite a few franks in Australia.. It is belived that my grandfather was put in a orphanage during the war along with 2 other brothers by my great grand mother and father. My father knows no history of his side as his father grew up in orphanages .. It's quite sad as I'd have liked to have family in my fathers side if any one has any history or ties to this email me at

Heinz Frank
My brother, sister and I are the only kin of our family living in Melbourne Australia. My father immigrated here after WW2 and not much is known of my linage suffice to say that my father recalls huge gatherings of naval officers when he was a boy. My grandfather served as a high ranking officer before dying in the war and the Frank family estate located somewhere in the east of Germany was overtaken by the Russian's. All was lost. The family survivors (grandmothers maiden name Jung) wound up in some sort of labour camp in Poland living hand to mouth... I've been able to gain a German passport and would one day like to visit the ancestral homeland.

Joshua Franks
There are a few Franks around Birmingham ,AL however not many. My Franks lineage came from the blue ridge mountains in North Carolina where my Great Great grandmother was Cherokee. I wish there was a way to see pictures as the male Franks traits seem to be very dominant as everyone in my family has blue eyes and at for the most part at some point had blonde hair before age set in.

Victor Hugo Franco
Hello everyone... I've been looking for so many years about name and last names now I know.... My father used to tell me stories of The Franks and read and read and read and find all I need it to know but!.... More questions in my mind didn't let me be in peace until I made the DNA test... Bingo my father's blood DNA came from the place where the Frankish empire were ruling .... Now I'm going to tattoo My ancestry and pass info to my kids and grandkids ... Living in New York (hi to all) ... From Argentina

Subscribe to our newsletter

View previous newsletters.

Powered by MailChimp