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Francis Surname Origins

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Francis Surname Origin

The Francis surname is an ethnic name meaning Frank, in reference to Frenchmen, and dates to the 12th century.[1] It is very unlikely that this surname originated from a single individual. DNA studies show the Francis surname is polyphyletic, meaning it cannot be traced to a single individual. In fact, 7 individuals have been identified as originating in Great Britain, within the last 10,000 years, whose descendants use the surname Francis.[2]

The name is particularly associated with St. Francis of Assisi, and with the Knights Templar.[3]

Some Francis family names may have developed as a patronymic.[4] In Scotland, the name derives from the Latin name Franciscus, and may have been part of the Francis family that settled in Derbyshire, prior to the Norman Invasion, in 1066.[5]


  1. SurnameDB Website
  2. FamilyTreeDNA Website
  3. SurnameDB Website
  4. House of Names Website
  5. House of Names Website

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Categories: Francis Name Study