The surname of FRANKS was derived from the Old French 'franc' a freeman, an unbonded tenant. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066, and FRANCO (without surname) was listed as a tenant in chief in the Domesday Book of 1086. Many of the early names recorded in medieval documents denote noble families but many also indicate migration from the continent during, and in the wake of, the Norman invasion of 1066. There was a constant stream of merchants, workmen and others arriving in England during this time. In 1086 the Record of Great Inquisition of lands of England, their extent, value, ownership and liabilities was made by order of William The Conqueror. It is known as the Domesday Book. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards. Other records of the name mention Ricardus filius Franc, 1188 in London, and Walter le Franc was recorded in 1222 in County Cornwall. Walter le Francke who was recorded in the year 1273 in County Wiltshire. William le Frank was documented during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307) and Robertus Franke of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of the year 1379. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884
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