This page is dedicated to the history of the Frank family of the North Yorkshire Moors.

The surname Frank appears to have a particular concentration in Yorkshire, and families bearing the name were established in the North Yorkshire Moors by at least the 16th century. The name may have its origins in Frankish settlers from mainland Europe (probably transmitted via Norman immigrants), via a nickname from the Old French 'franc' (literally meaning generous or liberal, but possibly used ironically for someone with the opposite characteristics), or possibly from the Norman official title frank meaning free. The appearance of Frank as a Norman first name, and references such as Richardus filius Franke (London, 1188), also suggests the possibility of the (probably more likely) derivation of Frank as a patronymic. The Yorkshire antiquary Richard Frank (1698-1762) was one of the Franks of Campsall Hall in the West Riding.

From the early 17th century, several Frank families appear in the parishes around Pickering, Lastingham and Rosedale, and a tentative line of descent has been traced for the Rosedale Franks from the William who was having children from 1637-1655 down to his probable great-grandson Robert Frank (1744-1838), who appears to have settled in Glaisdale, where his descendants flourished. Parallel lines in Hackness (later moving to Whitby) and Lastingham have also been explored, but the principle focus of this study is the descendants of Robert Frank (c.1660-1696) of Danby, whose descendants continued there and also in Egton and Goathland, later marrying into the Smallwood family. It remains unclear how these various strands of the Frank family interconnect, but research into the overall structure and earlier origins of the Franks of this area is ongoing.


Anyone interested in further details of this branch of the Frank family, or who is able to provide additional details relevant to this branch, is invited to contact the coordinator for this page Ian Hall.


This page was last updated 01 May 2012