Married Couple Hubert and Maria Gertrud Franken née Huth
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The "Deutsches Namenslexikon" (1) explains our family name this way:

"Fran(c)k" [high german dialect], "Fran(c)ke" simply designates a person belonging to the tribe of the Franconians. Sometimes it is also used as surname. A familiar form of the name is "Fränk(e)l", "Fränkle". Patronyms - the name is created according to ones father's name - are "Frenking" [dialect of the lower rhine area], also Fran(c)ken [low german dialect].

The tribe name of the Franconians originated from the germanic adjective "franka" (2) meaning 'courages'. Originally it did not mean "the free ones" as it does today. It received this meaning first only in the Romanic parts of the Franconian territories (3). Our nowadays adjective "frank" was borrowed from the French language during the 15th century.

If "Frank-" shows in it's sense as modifier of a composed place name the ending of genitive plural (Frankono- etc.), then it is the tribe's name. If "Frank-" shows the ending of genetive singular (Frankinheim, Franchindorf, Francunbach, Frankenesberg), then it's the family's name. Especially a person's name is indicated by all name forms having mutated into "-in" because of the Old High German genitive singular (Frenchin-bach).

Our family name as we know it today, shows many different writings in the past. In catholic parish books and other official documents of the following places around Erftstadt these writings were found:

1720: Frang, Gymnich; 1733: Frangens - Gymnich; 1764: Franck - Dirmerzheim; until 1813 Franckens, Francken - Dirmerzheim, Gymnich, Lechenich; since 1813: Franken - Dirmerzheim, Gymnich, Lechenich

Literature on German Family names: (1) Bahlow, 1987: Deutsches Namenslexikon; (2) Kaufmann, 1968: Altdeutsche Personennamen; (3) Kaufmann, 1968: Altdeutsche Personennamen

© Daniel Franken, 2001 - All Rights Reserved
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 URL: Last Update 12.03.2006