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Origins Available: English, Irish


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 Freeman is derived from a nickname for a free-born man. The surname Freeman is derived from the Old English words "freomann" and "frigmann," which both mean freeman. The surname Freeman is also used as an Anglicized version of Mac an tSaoir, which means son of the craftsman.

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The surname Freeman 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 in 1172.

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Freeman research. Another 360 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1172, 1296, 1301, and 1690 are included under the topic Early Freeman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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More information is included under the topic Early Freeman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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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 Ameri ca. 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 Freeman:

Freeman Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Bernardns Freeman, who landed in New Netherland(s) in 1620
  • Domine Bernardus Freeman, who landed in New Netherland(s) in 1620
  • Ralph Freeman who settled in Virginia in 1622
  • Bridges Freeman, who landed in Virginia in 1623
  • Edmund Freeman, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1632
  • ...

Freeman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Edward Freeman, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
  • Thomas Freeman, who arrived in America in 1706
  • Abraham Freeman, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1731
  • Abram Freeman, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1731
  • Georg Freeman, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1739
  • ...

Freeman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Michael Freeman, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1807
  • Thomas D Freeman, who landed in America in 1809
  • Bernard Freeman, aged 34, landed in Missouri in 1840
  • Anthony Freeman, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848
  • Joseph Freeman, aged 26, arrived in New York in 1849
  • ...

Freeman Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Andrew Freeman, who arrived in Alabama in 1920

Freeman Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • William Freeman, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Robert Freeman, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749
  • William Freeman, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • James Freeman, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • James Freeman, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • ...

Freeman Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Frederick Freeman, aged 12, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Ranger" in 1834
  • Bridger Freeman, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1838

Freeman Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Arthur Ben Freeman, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Freeman Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John Freeman, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • William Freeman, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on October 16, 1826, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Edward Freeman, English convict from Worcester, who was transported aboard the "America" on April 4, 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Mark Freeman, English convict from Berkshire, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on November 13, 1832, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John F. Freeman arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Canton" in 1838
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Freeman Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • George Freeman landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • J S Freeman landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Westminster
  • Thomas Graham Freeman, aged 39, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • Margaret Freeman, aged 33, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • Ann Elizabeth Freeman, aged 15, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "London" in 1842
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  • Morgan Porterfield Freeman Jr. (b. 1937), American Academy Award, Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award winning actor, film director, and narrator, currently ranked as the 3rd highest box office star
  • Julius Freeman (d. 2016), African American fighter pilot, was one of the Documented Original Tuskegee Airmen, awarded the Congressional Gold Medal
  • Robert Louis "Bobby" Freeman Sr. (1934-2016), American attorney and politician, 47th Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana (1980-1988)
  • Walter Jackson Freeman III (1927-2016), American biologist and theoretical neuroscientist, President of the International Neural Network Society in 1994
  • Paul Douglas Freeman (1936-2015), American conductor who made nine-LP series following the history of Black symphonic composers from 1750 to today
  • Roger Freeman (1965-2014), American politician, Washington State Representative (2013-2014)
  • Theodore Cordy Freeman (1930-1964), American test pilot and former NASA astronuat
  • Kathleen Freeman (1919-2001), American comedy actress known for her many roles in film, television, and the theater
  • Walter Jackson Freeman (1895-1972), American neurosurgeon who introduced psychosurgery in the United States and performed almost 3,000 lobotomies
  • Richard Cameron Freeman (b. 1926), American federal judge from 1971 to 1999
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Freeman Historic Events



Empress of Ireland

  • Mrs. Mary Freeman (1869-1914), née Massoth American Second Class Passenger from West Allis, Wisconsin, United States who survived the sinking on the Empress of Ireland on May 29th 1914
  • Mr. Henry Freeman (1865-1914), American Second Class Passenger from West Allis, Wisconsin, United States who survived the sinking on the Empress of Ireland on May 29th 1914

Halifax Explosion

  • Mr. Mason  Freeman, Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917

HMS Hood

  • Mr. Mark H P Freeman (b. 1925), English Midshipman serving for the Royal Navy Reserve from England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. Douglas E Freeman (b. 1923), English Ordinary Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Leicester, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. Leslie Freeman, British Able Seaman, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Alexander Freeman, British Stoker, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking

Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie)

  • Paul Matthew Stephen Freeman (1963-1988), Canadian Passenger from London, England, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died

RMS Lusitania

  • Mr. Matthew Freeman, English Waiter from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
  • Mrs. Rachel Freeman, (née Grant), Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Falkain, British Columbia, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking by escaping on a starboard boat
  • Mr. John Freeman, Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Falkain, British Columbia, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Richard Rich Freeman Jr., American 1st Class Passenger from Boston, Massachusetts, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking

RMS Titanic

  • Mr. Ernest Edward Samuel Freeman (d. 1912), aged 43, English Deck Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett
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  • Coppedge/Freeman and Next of Kin by Mildred C. Siever.
  • Freeman-Palmer and Related Families by Mary Ann Palmer-Schrepfer.
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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.

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Citations



    Other References

    1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    2. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
    3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
    4. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
    5. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
    6. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
    7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    8. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
    9. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
    10. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
    11. ...

    The Freeman Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Freeman Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 8 August 2016 at 13:32.

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