The surname Francke is of English origin. It is derived from the Norman given name ‘Franc’, in origin an ethnic name for a Frank, a member of the Germanic people who inhabited the lands around the river Rhine in Roman times. In the sixth century under their leader Clovis I, the Franks established a substantial empire in central Europe, which later developed into the Holy Roman Empire. Their most famous ruler was the Emperor Charlemagne ( 742-814 ). Their name is of uncertain etymology, it may be akin to a Germanic word meaning ‘javelin’, of which the Old English form is ‘franca’. The surname may also be a nickname from the Middle English ‘franc’, liberal, generous ( earlier ‘free’, deriving from the fact that in Frankish Gaul only those of Frankish race enjoyed the status of free men ). To the Germans, Flemish, Czechs and Hungarians it is an ethnic or regional name for someone from Franconia; a region of South West Germany so called from its early settlement by the Franks. It was also a name given to Jews who were exempted from taxes because of services rendered to the King of Castile duri… Coat of arms: Vert a saltire …
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