This blog is living document that continues to develop out of a desire for knowledge of the genealogical history of my fathers family line (French/ffrench) and my mothers family line (Grace). As the name of the blog implies, any true french connection to France occurred far, far in the past.
The surname “French” is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is from an ethnic name for someone from France, derived from the Middle English (1200 – 1500) “frennsee, frenche” a development of the Olde English pre 7th Century “frencisc”, meaning french.
Besides providing names, dates and locations, I plan to use the blog to tell short stories to open a window on the history of the United States and Canada through the migration of these families. My family includes European settlers arriving from England as early as 1621 to what would become the United States of America and from Scotland and Ireland to Nova Scotia, Canada by 1800.
My research continues to uncover previously unknown branches of our family. Recently, I learned that my 5th g-grandfathers, Joseph Simonds and Joel Viles, where two of the seventy-seven men of Captain John Parker’s Company of Lexington Militia who engaged the British on the Green and part of the “shot heard round the world.” Under our Foster family line, William Hilton was one of 35 brave colonists sailing on the ship Fortune who came to the rescue of the Mayflower colonists just after the “first thanksgiving” in November 1621.
Due to the tilt of history, my research frequently turns up historical records (wills, deeds, military service) on the men in my family tree. Sadly, there is often scant information provided on the women. A perfect illustration is found my post, Post Cards from the Fowler’s. Included in that post is a photograph of a proud Edward with two horses standing on his farm with his house in the background…and by the way, his wife. I will endeavor to shine a light on the women in my family tree whenever possible, I have one in mind one already about a snowshoeing midwife!
I have discovered during this endeavor that genealogical records are often imperfect and are subject to questions about the validity and quality of information. With this noted, I consider this blog and my research to be an ongoing process and will make corrections and add (hopefully) new information as it becomes available.
- David R. French