This interesting name is of Norman-French origins. It developed after the famous Conquest of England in 1066 as a status surname indicating a 'free man', from the Olde French feudal term 'franchomme'. The name is composed of the elements 'franc', in its original meaning 'free', referring to the fact that in Frankish Gaul only those of Frankish race (from a Germanic tribe around the Rhine) enjoyed the status of free men, with 'homme', man, from the Latin 'homo'. The spelling of the surname gradually altered because of the vernacular association with such common English placename endings as '-combe' and '-ham'.The modern surname can be found as Francombe, Frankcomb, Francom, Francom, Frankcom and Frankham mand others. An early example from the church registers is that of Samuel Francombe who married Mary Brome at St. Brides Fleet Street, in the city of London, on the 9th November 1697. The coat of arms most associated with the family has the blazon of six barrulets gold and black, overall a chaplet proper signifying one who distinguished himself in battle. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas le Franchume. This was dated 1234, in the tax rolls known as the Feet of Fines for Cambridge, during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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