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Family Crest


Coat of Arms

Franklin Surname History

Where did the English Franklin family come from? What is the English coat of arms/family crest? When did the Franklin family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the history of the family name?

The ancient name of Franklin finds its Origins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from a name for a landowner who was not a member of the nobility. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Old French word fraunclein, which became frankeleyn in Old English, and denoted rank within the feudal system; a person who owned land but did not have the right to call himself a lord.

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Franklin family name include Franklyn, Francklyn, Francklin, Franklin, Franklind and many more.

First found in Buckinghamshire where they were seated from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Franklin surname or a spelling variation of the name include : Henry Franklin who settled in Virginia in 1635; Thomas Franklin settled in New England in 1679; Josiah Franklin settled in Boston Mass. in 1630; William Franklin settled in Massachusetts in 1633.

Motto Translated: For King and country.

Suggested Readings for the name Franklin

  • Ancestors and Descendants of My Raymoure, Hubbell, Franklin, Osborne Grandparents: Includes 40+ Connecting Lines by Dorothy Raymoure.
  • Cook's Crier, The Franklin's Fireplace by Betty Harvey Williams.

Some noteworthy people of the name Franklin
  • Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), American statesman, scientist, philosopher, and publisher, the most well-known Founding Father of the United States
  • Norman Franklin, English Scientist
  • Sir Eric Franklin, United Nations Diplomat
  • Commander Phillip Franklin,
  • Barbara Hackman Franklin (b. 1940), the 29th United States Secretary of Commerce and was the highest-ranking woman in the Administration of President George H.W. Bush
  • Stella Marain Sarah Miles Franklin (1879-1954), Australian novelist. She wrote many interesting books of Australian pioneers, and in her will established an annual prize for the best Australian novel, which was known as the Miles Franklin Award
  • Miles Franklin (1879-1954), Australian novelist

Tell Me More About Family Crests

Family Crests: the Heraldic Artist

We have researched the Franklin family crest in the most recognized sources. Before an artist or craftsman can render a family crest, it must exist. In other words the crest must have been designed and recorded by the heralds from time immemorial.

Heraldic designs matriculated by the lay-artist in many cases becomes uninspired, meretricious and even ugly...

Family Crests: Timeline

Many of the symbols adopted into armory have been used since the time of the ancient Egyptians, but heraldry itself did not begin until the 11th century. In continental Europe, the most ancient recorded family crest was discovered upon the monumental effigy of a Count of Wasserburg in the church of St. Emeran, at Ratisobon, Germany...

Family Crests: Elements

In the Franklin coat of arms as in all coat of arms the crest is only one element of the full armorial achievement. Again the Family Crest is just part of the story of Coats of Arms or Heraldry. Heraldry is defined as the hereditary art or science of blazoning, the description is appropriate technical terms of Coats-of-Arms and other heraldic and armorial insignia, and is of very ancient origin...

Family Crests and Genealogy: how they relate

We encourage you to study the Franklin genealogy to find out if you descend from someone who bore a particular family crest. Anyone making a study of heraldry usually becomes interested in Genealogy or seeking legal claim to a particular family crest. No families, not even the royal houses, can make sound claim to the right to bear arms unless a proven connection is established through attested Genealogical records...


Surname Origin

National Trust Archives

1881 Population Map

How Are We Related?

While there are quite a few references to Benjamin Franklin's ancestry our family lineage goes back to the:

  • Folgers of Diss/Norfolk
  • Franklins of Ecton/Northhamptonshire
  • Cairneys, Folgers and Franklins have been related to each other in that area from the late 1400's to present.

Franklin Family Diss/Norfolk

Franklin Family ReUnion II