The surname French is an ethnic name for someone from France, deriving from the Middle English term frensche, meaning “ a Frenchman.” The name was brought to England with the Norman invasion in the 11th Century. The first written reference to the name is found in Devon, south England in the Domesday Book of 1086. The family in Devon are descendents of Theophilus de France who accompanied William the Conquerer to England and was granted lands in Devon as a reward. The name French is also found in Ireland where it was brought by followers of Strongbow in the 12th Century.
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