Francis French

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ChartsAncestors of Wilford Ervie Billings
Francis French, son of Elizabeth (…), was born at England, about 1625.1 He died at Derby, Connecticut, 14 February 1690/91.2

Francis married Lydia Bunnell, daughter of William Bunnell and Ann Wilmot, 10 April 1661.3,4,5

Jacobus follows the Register article in calling Francis a son of William and Elizabeth French of Billerica, but Anderson notes that Francis is only possibly the son of William and Elizabeth, and with no further record after his arrival on the Defence. Holman does not list him as a child of William and Elizabeth, probably because he is not named in William's will.

Possibly, he is indeed the Francis who came on the Defence in 1635, but only with his mother, Elizabeth (30) and three siblings, enrolled on the 4th of July. A separate listing made on the 5th shows a William French (30) and Elizabeth his wife (32), with no children, as servants of Roger Harlakenden. My hypothesis is that these are two separate women named Elizabeth French, the first being a widow and her children going with her French brother-in-law and his wife.

It should be recognized that there is no evidence that Francis of Milford and Derby is one and the same as the 10-year old who came on the Defence.

Francis removed to Milford, Connecticut in 1650 and was one of the first settlers of Derby in 1654. "He did his work faithfully and manfully, without show or public notoriety."6,3,2,7,8


Lydia Bunnell b. say 1643, d. 1 Apr 1708
  • Lydia French2 b. 21 Aug 1662, d. 7 Sep 1669
  • Elizabeth French2 b. 20 Jun 1664, d. 18 Nov 1739
  • Anna French2 b. 10 Aug 1666, d. Dec 1695
  • Mary French2 b. 7 Sep 1668, d. 16 Jan 1688/89
  • Lydia French2 b. 28 Sep 1670
  • Samuel French2 b. 6 Jan 1672, d. 26 Oct 1777
  • Susanah French2 b. 6 Jun 1675
  • Francis French2 b. 11 Feb 1677, d. 11 Sep 1751
  • Jane French+2 b. 18 Nov 1679, d. 4 May 1759
This person was last edited on28 Apr 2016


  1. [S2053] Robert Charles Anderson, George F. Sanborn Jr. and Melinde Lutz Sanborn, The Great Migration: Immigrants To New England, 1634-1635 (7 vols., Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999-2011), 2:588-593, further cited as Anderson, et al., The Great Migration.
  2. [S53] Donald Lines Jacobus, Families of Ancient New Haven, 9 vols. in 3 (1924-1932; reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1974), 624, further cited as Jacobus, New Haven Families.
  3. [S99] John M. French, "Lieut. William French and His Descendants," The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 44 (Oct 1890): 367-372, further cited as William French, "The New England Historical and Genealogical Register."
  4. [S53] Jacobus, New Haven Families, 358-359, 624.
  5. [S1872] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 579, further cited as Torrey, New England Marriages (2011).
  6. [S2053] Anderson, et al., The Great Migration, 2:.
  7. [S85] Mary Lovering Holman, The Scott Genealogy (Boston, Massachusetts: Harriett Grace Scott, 1919), 196, further cited as Holman, Scott Genealogy.
  8. [S1298] John Camden Hotten, The Original Lists of Persons of Quality; Emigrants; Religious Exiles; Political Rebels; Serving Men Sold for a Term of Years; Apprentices; Children Stolen; Maidens Pressed; and Others Who Went From Great Britain to the American Plantations 1600-1700: With Their Ages, the Localities Where They Formerly Lived in the Mother Country, the Names of the Ships in Which They Embarked, and Other Interesting Particulars (1874; reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1983), 99-100, further cited as Hotten, Original Lists of Persons of Quality.