Franklin Family History
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Franklin Name Meaning
English: status name from Middle English frankelin ‘franklin’, a technical term of the feudal system, from Anglo-Norman French franc ‘free’ (see Frank 2) + the Germanic suffix -ling. The status of the franklin varied somewhat according to time and place in medieval England; in general, he was a free man and a holder of fairly extensive areas of land, a gentleman ranked above the main body of minor freeholders but below a knight or a member of the nobility. The surname is also borne by Jews, in which case it represents an Americanized form of one or more like-sounding Jewish surnames. In modern times, this has been used to Americanize François, the French form of Francis.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press