This interesting name is of Anglo-Norman French origin, developed after the Conquest of 1066 as a status surname indicating a 'free man', and derived 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 'Fran(k)combe', 'Francom(b)', 'Frank(c)om' and 'Frankham'. Samuel Francombe married Mary Brome at St. Brides, Fleet Street, 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 (a wreath) signifying one who distinguished himself in battle. The Crest being, out of a ducal coronet a demi lion rampant, gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas le Franchume, which was dated 1234, in the Cambridgeshire Feet of Fines, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as the Frenchman, 1216 - 1272. 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.
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