French family crest

Framed photograph of French family crest
Framed photograph of French family crest

Edward French was born about 1590 in England. With his wife Ann and their children, French immigrated to America in 1636 and was a founder of Ipswich, MA.  He later was one of the original settlers of Salisbury, MA, and his name is featured on the town’s First Settlers Tablet in Portland Square. His ample plot of land is delineated on a circa 1639 map of Salisbury.     It is possible that Edward French brought the original French Family Crest to America.  The crest features a helmet surmounted by a boar’s head, above a striped shield with a chevron and three additional boar’s heads. The French family name is printed in the border at right, and a panel below is emblazoned with the motto “Tuebor” (“I will defend”). A photograph of the family crest is in French’s study at Chesterwood.   Daniel Chester French made his first trip to England in 1874, en route to study in Italy. He wrote, “I find that every body knows I am an American, how, I don’t know, but they never miss....”  French was impressed by the cultivated farms of the English countryside. In the late 1890s, while living in NYC, he purchased the Warner Farm in Stockbridge, MA, and fashioned himself into a gentleman farmer, growing grapes and planting gardens and orchards. French and his family lived at Chesterwood six months a year, and in his custom-built studio the sculptor modeled many of his most well-known monuments, including the Seated Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.  

Place(s): England,Massachusetts
Year: 1636

– Chesterwood, A Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more