When the Strongbownians began to settle in Ireland
, they initially ignored the established Gaelic system for developing of patronymic
names and solely relied on their own traditional naming practices. Eventually, however, the two differing customs drew upon one another to some degree. The Strongbow
settlers, unlike their Gaelic neighbors, frequently used nickname
surnames. These Anglo-Norman nicknames were frequently of two types: "oath names" and "imperative names." Oath names often carried blessings or were formed from habitual expressions. Imperative names, formed from a verb added to a noun or an adverb, metaphorically described the bearer's occupations. The nick name surname Freehan is derived from a nickname for a free-born man. The surname Freehan is derived from the Old English words "freomann" and "frigmann," which both mean freeman. The surname Freehan is also used as an Anglicized version of Mac an tSaoir, which means son of the craftsman.
Early Origins of the Freehan family
The surname Freehan was first found in County Cork
(Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland
in the province of Munster
, where they were granted lands by Strongbow
after the invasion of Ireland
Early History of the Freehan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Freehan research.Another 140 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1172, 1296, 1301, and 1690 are included under the topic Early Freehan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Freehan Spelling Variations
During the lifetime of an individual person, his name was often spelt by church officials and medieval scribes the way it sounded. An examination of the many different origins of each name has revealed many spelling variations
for the name: Freeman, Freman and others.
Early Notables of the Freehan family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Freehan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Freehan family to the New World and Oceana
During the middle of the 19th century, Irish families
often experienced extreme poverty and racial discrimination in their own homeland under English rule. Record numbers died of disease and starvation and many others, deciding against such a fate, boarded ships bound for North America. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. Unfortunately, many of those Irish that arrived in Canada or the United States still experienced economic and racial discrimination. Although often maligned, these Irish people were essential to the rapid development of these countries because they provided the cheap labor required for the many canals, roads, railways, and other projects required for strong national infrastructures. Eventually the Irish went on to make contributions in the less backbreaking and more intellectual arenas of commerce, education, and the arts. Research early immigration and passenger lists revealed many early immigrants bearing the name Freehan: Ralph Freeman who settled in Virginia in 1622; along with Thomas, Bennett, Bridget, Francis, James, Jane, Richard, Thomas, and William Freeman, who all settled in Virginia between 1630 and 1670.
The Freehan Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Nec temere, nec timide
Motto Translation: Neither rashly nor timidly.
Freehan Family Crest Products