The "Ffrench" clan have been one of the prominent tribes of Galway since c.1425, when one line emigrated from their original Irish homeland of Wexford. The name may originally have been a development of "de Freynes" - "The Ash Trees", but it is equally likely to be from the Olde English "Frenchisc", first recorded in the 12th Century, a nickname surname. The Beytagh name derives either from the Gaelic "Biadtach", meaning "The Hospitales" one who gave food to the poor and associated with the Knights' of St. John (Malta) or from the Scottish "Beatty" it is first recorded in Dublin in 1654 at the Church of St. John the Evangelist as "Betagh". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter French. which was dated 1444, The Sovereign (Mayor) of Galway. during the reign of King Henry VI, the Founder of Eton, 1422 - 1461. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.