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French Family Name



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A French and Irish surname the French family name comes from the Old French term ‘fraxinus’ which meant one from the alongside the ash tree. An early French spelling for French surname was de Freynes. A Middle English spelling of ‘frensche’ referred to someone who appeared to be of ethnic French heritage.

Spelling variation for French include Frenche and Frain.

In England the early French families lived in Devon and the name was written de France. The French families later settled in London, Kent, Essex, Surrey and then in Yorkshire and Lancashire. In Scotland the French surname is scattered across the country. Most with the French name live in Lanarkshire, Midlothian and Moray.

Within the United States most with the French surname live in Alaska, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, California, Texas, Iowa, New York, Connecticut, Virginia, Tennessee and Massachusetts.

Famous: Daniel French (inventor of steam engine later used on the steamboat), Domingo French (political leader of Argentina), Frederick Fillmore French developer of the Knickerbocker Village, skyscraper of Fred F. French Building and Tudor City in New York), Ian French (rugby player from Australia), Marilyn French (author), Jim French (professional baseball player), Ray H. French (artist) and Samuel G. French (Civil War Confederate Army Major General).

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