Origin of the Name Francis
The ancient history of the name Francis
was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives. Meaning 'le Fraunceys', the Frenchman, this is a locational name. Variants include France s, Francies, Franses, Francois and Franey. This name became widespread after Saint Francis of Assisi, 1181-1226, whose baptismal name was actually Giovanni, but who was nicknamed Francisco because his Father was absent in France at the time of his birth. This name is of Anglo-Norman descent spreading to Ireland , Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts in these countries. Examples of such are an Adam Fraunceys, who was recorded in the 'Poll Tax' of the West Riding of Yorkshire in the year 1379 and a Richard de Fraunceys, who was recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', in the year 1273.
In Ireland this name and its variants were introduced into Ulster Province by settlers who arrived from England and Scotland , especially during the seventeenth century. It was the 'Plantations of Ireland ' in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that marked the end of Gaelic supremacy in Ireland . While the influx of settlers in the wake of the earlier Anglo-Norman invasion of the twelfth century resulted in a full integration into Irish society of the new arrivals, the same never occurred with the Ulster Planters who maintained their own distinct identity.
It can also be found in the form 'Proinseis' in County Galway .
The Francis coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Francis descendants.