The obvious explanation is that it denotes someone of French origin, but this may not true in some cases. The Frenches of Galway, in Ireland, are said to have been called "de Freyne" in earlier times. This is the French De La Freigne, denoting someone whose home was near an ash tree, or who lived at a place whose name meant "the Ash". According to tradition the original de Freyne homeland was in South Leinster where the name is still found in the forms Freeney, Freyne and Frain. A branch that removed to Galway had their name changed to French. They later obtained estates in County Roscommon, where they gave the Barony of Frenchpark its name.