French Family Association
The Official Website of the Surname French
of the Surname French
This page updated by Mara French on 4/17/11. Send any questions to this page to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thomas French was from Bures St. Mary and Assington, Suffolk, Co., England, immigrated to Ipswich, MA in 1630. DNA tests (Group 6) prove that FFA Charts E1, E2, and E3 are related. Thomas French, Sr., b. 11 Oct 1584 at Bures St. Mary, Suffolk County, a son of Jacob, moved to Assington ca. 1585/86, m. Susan Riddlesdale 5 Sep 1608 in Assington. Susan was b. 20 Apr 1584 at Boxford, Suffolk Co., England, dau. of John and Dorcas Riddlesdale, d. Aug 1658. Thomas d. 5 Nov 1639 in Ipswich, MA. Both Thomas and Susan immigrated in 1635 to Ipswich, five years after their son, Thomas Jr., immigrated.
William French was b. 1605/6 in Halstead, Essex Co., England, emigrated during the summer of 1635 on the Defence from Fenchurch, London (an area and nowadays a street, not a church), England. He d. 1681 in Billerica, MA. He is not the William French who was born in 1603 in Halstead and died in 1621 in London – this William is often confused with the William who immigrated to Billerica. DNA tests (Group 6) prove that FFA Charts E1, E2, and E3 are related.
John French was b. ca. 1610 most likely in Halstead, Essex Co., England and immigrated ca. 1636 to Cambridge, MA. John m1. Sarah, m2. Joanna Syday. His brother was William French of FFA Chart #2. John and Joan were married in Great Tey, Essex, England. In 1637 he was listed as a property owner, and in 1642, was on a list of proprietors of Cambridge. By trade he was a tailor. Had 5 children, 3 born in America. The oldest son, John, was born in 1633 in Great Tey, Essex, England. No record exists as to the ship he sailed on. DNA tests (Group 6) prove that FFA Charts E1, E2, and E3 are related.
Edward French was christened in Allesley, Warwickshire, England on 21 Sep 1595, and died in Salisbury, Mass., on December 28, 1674. Allesley is about 14 miles from Rugby where Edward married Anne Worcester on 3 Nov 1626. Note that French was spelled with 2 fÕs, as ffrench, as it was in the will of William Worcester, Salisbury, MA, 1662. For a year or so the family lived in Ipswich Colony, then about 1638 moved north to Salisbury, only a few miles from the New Hampshire border. Edward was a tailor and evidentally a man of business ability and a substantial and honored citizen. From 1646 to 1648 he served as Selectman; at one time was Sheriff and was prominent in the Church. He acquired land in the town and must have had a large holding as he paid the third largest tax in Salisbury. DNA tests (Group 3) prove that FFA Charts E4 and E6 are related.
Richard French was b. ca. 1623-1626, christened 6 May 1629 in Coggeshall, Essex, England, as the son of Richard and Elizabeth French, according to the Coggeshall Parish Registers Transcripts at the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford, England. He immigrated to Cambridge, MA. DNA tests (Group 3) prove that FFA Charts E4 and E6 are related.
Chart #E7. Stephen French and his sister Mary, ca. 1601
Stephen and MaryÕs father, Richard, was b. ca. 1575 and married Judith Adams. Stephen immigrated in 1630 and was the first person with the surname French to arrive in America. His home was in Misterton, Somerset Co., England. His father, Richard French, b. ca. 1575, of Misterton, Somerset Co., England, m. ca. 1599 Judith Adams, b. ca. 1581, dau. of John Adams (3), granddau. of Henry (2), great granddau. of John. John Adams was of Barton St. David, England, and made his will three days before his burial on 22 Mar 1603/4. Three children mentioned in will of John Adams: John, Stephen, and Mary. Richard most likely had other children after 1603 when John Adams died. None of these Frenches are listed in Samuel French the Joiner book, even though Misterton is 1 mile east of South Perrott where SamuelÕs ancestry lived.
Thomas French immigrated from Lewes, Co. Sussex, England to Connecticut in the 1600s. Thomas FrenchÕs father was John, chr. ca. 1585-89 in England, and married Rebecca Chapman.
Chart #E11. Samuel French, 1500s – 1600s
Samuel French was from Suffolk, England. A long line of Frenches in Saxmundham, Kelsale, Knodishall, and Lowestoft, Suffolk Co., England moved to Bradford Abbas and South Perrott, Dorset Co. and immigrated to Stratford, CT.
Chart #E20. Thomas French, 1600s
Thomas was born in the 1600s in Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire, England, and immigrated to New Jersey.
Henry French was b. 9 Mar 1755 in Lesbury, Northumberland, England, d. 11 Aug 1821 in Mercer Co., KY, m. Elizabeth Ersom (or Earsom as one of the French daughters married Simon Pancake and SimonÕs other was an Earsom), ca. 1770 in Germany. Elizabeth was b. 30 Nov 1755, d. 22 Mar 1828 at age 72 in Mercer Co., KY. Henry was a Gunsmith, Blacksmith, and Armourer. Henry immigrated probably ca. 1770 to Shenandoah Co., WV and later to Mercer Co., KY.
Thomas French (1) was born in Penhurst, County Sussex, England in 1774, most likely m. Mary who d. at age 73 in 1847 in Penhurst. His son was John French (2), was born in Penhurst in 1801. His son was James Jason French (3), was born in Penhurst, Sussex, England in 1843, immigrated to the US with his company in the 1860s and moved to Kalispell, MT. The 1870 U.S. census for Gold Creek, Deer Lodge, Montana Territory shows James French (3), age 31, born in England ca. 1839, working on the farm, living with 4 other individuals. John French (2) is listed in the 1841 census of England as 35, b. ca. 1806, in Penhurst, Sussex, England, living with Mary French age 20, Mary French age 65, Daniel French age 2, and Delia French age 3 mo. Thomas French (1) is not listed in this census; perhaps he had died – he would have been 67 years old.
Also in the 1841 England Census in Penhurst, Sussex, England are Daniel b. ca. 1839; Delia b. ca. 1841; Harris b. ca. 1840; John b. ca. 1806; Mary b. ca. 1816; Mary b. ca. 1838; Mary b. ca. 1821; Mary b. ca. 1776 (who could have been Thomas FrenchÕs wife); Robert b. ca. 1811; and Robert b. ca. 1836. (These records are not fully understood and need more research.
Chart #50, William French, 1865
William French, b. 1865, m. in St. Stephens Westminster, London, England. Also lived in Stratford, Chelmsford, Brentwood, Leytonstone, all in County Essex, England. The ÒCompany of Brooks, Davies & Foster, 37 Pembroke Ave., Hove, Sussex, EnglandÓ is tracing the French ÔÔrootsÕÕ and so far have only been able to go as far as the marriage of William French to Eliza Gardener, 18 Nov 1888, St. Stephens Westminster, London.
Chart #55, John Henry French, 1850
John Henry French (1), b. 1850 in Oxfordshire, England. John Sr., m. Polly Perkins. She m2. John Thorpe; John Henry French (2), m. 1872 Phoebe Reynolds of Katonah, NY; unk (3); Harold Martin French (4), b. 1 Aug 1904 m. Helen Amory French of Chart #9; Harold David French (5), m. Joan Faith Davis; Daniel French (6). David French Jr. (6) m. Abigail Hawley as first wife. Homesteads include Oxfordshire, England; Katonah, Mill Plain, Croton Falls, Brewster, Brooklyn, NY.
James Richard French (1), b. 1803 in Cornwell, England, d. 1850, m. Johanna Lloyd in Liverpool, England; William Lloyd French (2), b. 1837; (3) Thomas French, d. 1884 Prince Edward Island, Canada (4). James and JohannaÕs children were all from Prince Edward Island, Canada: Elizabeth, William Lloyd, James, Ricardo, Sarah Ann, Samuel, Albert. His son, James came to Prince Edward Island, Canada about 1826-8 with his bride Jeminia Lloyd whom he eloped with. In 1850 he left on a sea voyage and was never heard from. The ship was lost. His wife died at Detroit, MI. Homesteads are Prince Edward Island, Canada; Concord, MA; Oxford, MI. See DNA Test.
Chart #70, Edward French, 1803
Edward French, b. 17 Aug 1803 in Manchester, England, d. 1900 Farmington, IL. Edward (1); James Edward (2); Beryl Lorena French (3), m. Rush Blodget, Sr.; Rush Blodget Jr. (4). Edward had at least two sons: James Edward French, b. 2 Apr 1860 in Farmington, IL, d. Loomis, CA 19 Feb 1896, m. Mary Samuel Prosser on 5 Dec 1882. John Henry French was b. 18 Oct 1861, d. ca. 1961 in OR or WA. Their father, Edward, m. Ann Jane Jamison who was believed to have been b. in county Antrim, Ireland 18 Sep 1826, d. in Farmington, IL, on 25 Nov 1900. Edward immigrated in 1854 to Philadelphia.
Chart #76, Benjamin French, 1840
Benjamin FrenchÕs father was Rev. Robert French of England. Benjamin French was b. ca. 1840 in St. George Parish, Charlotte Co., or St. John, New Brunswick, Canada and his dau. Videlia French Kinney (1845-1886) according to the Canadian Census 1851 and 1871. Benjamin m1. Eliza Jane Mabee, m2. Margaret Crawford. The 1851 census states that Benjamin was b. in Canada; the 1871 census says he was b. in the USA. Other Canadian charts are William John French, Chart #44, and Edward French, Chart #57, and James French, Chart #63. Homesteads are St. John, Back Bay, Kingston, Kings Co., New Brunswick, Canada; Northampton, MA; FL.
Chart #101, John French, 1831
John French (1), b. 18 Dec 1831 in Lincolnshire, England, d. 2 Feb 1905, m. Jane Ward of Canada. George Edward French (2), b. in Mitchell, Canada on 21 Apr 1860, d. 15 Jul 1922, m. Alice M. Smith. Merle Rowland French (3), b. in Marcus, IA, 31 Jul 1893. Homesteads include Lincolnshire, England; Amherst, Jackson, Cherokee Co., IA; Mitchell, Ontario, Canada.
Chart #105, James French, 1730
George French, b. 1799 in Noel, Buckinghamshire Co, England, possibly Knoll Hill Farm northwest of Aylesbury. He m. Charlotte. George and Charlotte French came to America on the ship Caroline of Hanowell in 1830, lived in Oneida Co., NY and Ingham Co. MI. George d. 28 Jan 1861 probably in Onondaga, MI and buried at the Onondaga Village Cemetery with his wife, Charlotte (maiden name possibly Fuller). Children were: (1) Sarah French b. 1825, m. John Cockburn; (2) William French b. 1826, m. Mary Wheaton; (3) Alfred French b. 1828 m1. Phebe Ann Stuart, m2. Sarah David; (4) Mary Ann French b. 1829 m. George Harkness and apparently went to Calif.; (5) Caroline French b. ca. 1830/31 m. William Smith; (6) George French b. 1834 m. possibly Diana Bashford, maybe 2nd Ida Davis; (7) Charlotte French b. 1835 perhaps unmarried d. 1855; (8) Helen (Ellen) French b. 1837 m. William Stewart; (9) James French b. 1838 m. Elvira Short; (10) Matilda French b. 1842 m. Justus Eugene Wheaton; (11) John B. French b. 1846 m1. Minnie M., m2. unk Stocking, m3. Lizzie Allen or Lizzie Reece.
Chart #128, James French, 1740, connected to Chart #105
James French (1), b. 1740, Whaddon Parish, Thornborough, Buckinghamshire, England, d. 1810; William (2), Stephen (3) all from Whaddon Parish, German French (4), Wm. Marson French (5), Marson High French (6). Contact Daz Marks at email@example.com.
Philip French was b. 13 Feb 1666/67 in Hermitage, Wapping, Middlesex, London, England. He was christened on 13 Feb 1667 at St. Botolph Without Aldgate, London, as the son of Phillip and Elizabeth French (LDS film #C006333). He immigrated to NYC, mentioned in his fatherÕs will of 1697 as the eldest son living in New York. Philip Jr. was to receive his fatherÕs lands in Knoddishall that had been purchased by Jeremiah French (we have no idea who this is). Phillip entered NYC twice, first in 1686 directly to NYC and then in 1689. Philip m. Anatje Phillipse in 1694. She was baptized 27 Nov 1667. He died when his children were still young, before 3 Jun 1707, will probated in NY.
William French, b. 1796 at Dursley, Gloucestershire, England, and his son William Edward French, b. ca. 1840 perhaps in Dursley, Gloucestershire, England. Clara Ann Priest, b. 25 Jul 1841, at Lomey Town, Rowley Regis, Stafford, England, and William Edward French, birth and place unknown, marriage 25 Apr 1864 at the St. Thomas Church, Dudley, England, either in the USA, in England. They had at least 7 children born in England, who later lived in Quarry Bank, Cradley Heath, Wordsley, Kingswinford, and in Netherton, Worcestershire. William E. French was born 18 Feb 1840 in Dursley, Gloucestershire, England, but his name is not listed at St. CatherineÕs House in London. His father is William French, bap. 1796 at Dursley, Gloucestershire, England. No known connection to anyone in USA. Williams children were Lucy, John, William, a dau., Mary Ann, Mercy, and Mary, all born between ca. 1865-1875.
Chart #134, Samuel French, 1745
Samuel French (1745-1812) (1), m. Mary; Robert French (1774-1835) (2), m. Mary Wighton; Mary French (1802-45) (3), m. James Stuckbery; William Stuckbery (4), Robert French, 1774-1835, wife Mary Wighton (1770-1859), parents Samuel French and Mary. Resided in Hooks Norton, Oxfordshire, England. Siblings except Mary Stuchbery (1802-1845) unknown. Parts of the family moved to the Village of Kew near Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Homestead was Hooks Norton, Oxfordshire, England.
James French, b. 1650 in England, probably western England, d. 17 March 1733 (will proven), m. Elizabeth Meekin, dau. of William Meekin and Margaret Beard. James French purchased land in Hopton Park, St. MaryÕs Co., MD. James emigrated most likely from England in 1671. Former records indicating he was from Galway, Ireland, are incorrect. He emigrated to St. MaryÕs Co., MD in 1671, being transported to Maryland in 1671 by Thomas Notley. He was transported at the age of 21 along with 52 other adventures who planned to settle permanently in Maryland. He had 3 children: Martin, Mary, and Francis. See DNA Tests, Group 7. This chart does not match the DNA of Chart #36, Hugh French, also of St. MaryÕs Co., MD, who emigrated from England and not Ireland as originally thought.
The following charts were researched because they are of French families who lived in the same town or area as the emigrants mentioned above. Thru further research, we see that some of these ancestors were the ones who immigrated to America.
William French was of Halstead, b. ca. 1553. Was a weaver in 1612. William was not a minor in 1596/7, d. 23 Apr 1620 (age about 55) in Halstead, Senior from Greenstreet, m. Ellen Scotte on 26 Jul 1573 in Gosfield, Essex, England, when William was ca. 20 years old. No known reason why there are 9 years between first two children. Anne died 3 years after William on 7 Jul 1623 as a widow and the wife of William French from The Leete. Best bet would be to get WilliamÕs will. Other court records in which William was an adult: William, weaver, Halstead, to keep peace, 4 Jun 1612. William and footbridge issue, Halstead, 1596/7. William could have been the brother of Jacob (Chart #E1) and Christopher (Chart #EC). This chart merges into FFA Chart #E2 above.
Thomas French was b. ca. 1504, m. Elizabeth ca. 1520, wrote his will on 28 Jul 1551 in Arkesden and buried in the churchyard at Arkesden, lived on land called Shepecoote in Arkesden. Elizabeth d. 21 Sep 1556 in Arkesden. Held the Manor of Pitley in Great Bardfield, Essex which still exists today. Had daughters Elizabeth, Joane, Agnes, Jane, Grace, and one son, Thomas, who are mentioned in his will along with his wife, Elizabeth. Thomas gave in his will to the poor people of Arkesden, Mallenden (Manuden), Ffarnham, and Aldeburye (Albury) and it is assumed he had family in these villages. He owned land in Mallenden. Will probated at Stortford (BishopÕs Stortford). This is the line that most researchers have connected to William French who immigrated to Billerica, MA. However, the William of this family died in London in 1621. This line was combined erroneously with Chart #2 in Mary Queal Beyer's book.
Christopher French was b. ca. 1560 and d. 26 Aug 1616 in Halstead. His will was proved 17 Jun 1617 in Gosfield, Essex Co., England. Christopher French m1. Elizabeth Tewson on 12 Oct 1581 in Halstead. Christopher French m2. Mary before 1616 and was married to her at his death since she is mentioned in his will. Only sons John, Thomas, and William mentioned in will, and wife Mary. They also had daughters Susane and Anne. ChristopherÕs will was witnessed by Richard Greene, John Canham, and Philip Clarke, proved on 17 Jun 1617 in Gosfield, Essex, England. It appears that some children were not living in Halstead after ChristopherÕs death in 1616. It appears that this chart could very well show the son of Christopher who immigrated to America, John and William.
Robert French was b. ca. 1555, m. ca. 1578, raised family in Sible Hedingham. He d. 19 Oct 1619 in Sible Hedingham, a collier.
This French family married into the George Mason family of Pershore. The George Masons (and the George Washingtons from nearby) immigrated to Virginia. This French line has not yet been connected to the U.S. Chart #36; however, the Masons and Washingtons mentioned in this chart are the same as those mentioned in Chart #36.
Richard, John, and Robert French were born and raised children in Terling, but they were not necessarily brothers, but they were heads of household. Robert French also has a possible connection to William French, Chart #2. RobertÕs daughter, Mary, had an illegitimate daughter named Elizabeth French who was born 30 Oct 1603 and who might have married William French of Chart #2. The names that appear in the Terling lines are: George, Thomas, Hugh, John, Awdry, Rebecca, Edward, John, Robert, Richard, Mary, Jane, Elizabeth, and Elinor.
This French family can be traced back to John French and Elizabeth Bowles who married in Hempstead in 1756 and brought up their family in Finchingfield. Although of Finchingfield at the time of his marriage it appears that John was born in Felsted to William and Elizabeth (Page). It seems that William's brother John married Elizabeth's sister. Villages in Essex: Finchingfield, Shalford, Great Saling, Panfield, East Tilbury, Braintree, Bocking, Coggeshall, plus Birmingham, Warwickshire; Wickham, Hampshire
Thomas French, b. ca. 1515, had sons Richard French, b. 1535, d. Jan 1623, age 88 in Birdbrooke, a yeoman, m. ca. 1560. Also son Thomas French, b. ca. 1540, d. 5 May 1629, perhaps d. a yeoman in Wetherfield (wills list of 1629). Held Manor of Hersted Hall, Barnfield, Meadowfield, and Lavenhams in Birdbrook
William French, b. ca. 1540 in Mylcombe, Oxon, England, contact: Arthur French. William had 8 children: Agnes, Alyce, Robert, Thomas, Elisabeth, Francis, Susan, and Rychard. They were all born in Mylcombe, Oxon. Of these children, Robert m. Ursula Stranke and had 4 children born in South Newington, Oxon. They lived in South Newington for several generations at least until the 1700s. RobertÕs brother Thomas m. Elisabeth Greene and also moved to South Newington. RobertÕs brother Francis m. Christian and also moved to South Newington. Most of the family (300+ Frenches) remained in Oxon and did not immigrate to America.
Higher Scarsick Cottage in Treneglos, n. Boscastle, Cornwall, England, a working dairy and sheep farm which has been farmed by Heather French and her ancestors since the early 1920Õs.
This family also resided in Lewes, Co. Sussex, England, and may be connected to Thomas French of the same time period, who immigrated from Lewes to Connecticut, FFA Chart #9. Also see http://www.mandywillard.co.uk/surnames/french/family.htm.
James was born in the mid 1500s, m. Margaret Wilson on 19 Jan 1587/88 in Wickham. Their son Thomas was b. in 1589 in Whickham and m. Dorothy Middleton on 6 Oct 1613 in Banbury, Oxfordshire. Their son Samuell was b. 1620 in Bancury and m. Mary Pettifer on 10 May 1642 in Banbury. Their son Samuel was b. 1652 in Banbury and m. Anne Gill on 23 May 1667 in Cropredy. Future generations continue with William and George of Great Bourton and Grimsbury Nth in England. The compiler of this chart is Derek French of Whiston, Prescot, email: DerFrnch@aol.com.