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Origins Available: English, Irish


The surname Freeman is a ancient Anglo-Saxon name whose history dates back to the days before the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name is derived from "freomann" or "frigmann," Old English words and personal names meaning "free-born man."

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The surname Freeman was first found in the county of Essex, where it was borne as a personal name by Freman Sceil in 1188. The first recorded instance of Freeman as a surname appeared shortly thereafter; William Freman was listed in the Feet of Fines of Norfolk in 1196.

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Freeman include Freeman, Fryman, Friman and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Freeman research. Another 185 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1196, 1221, 1240, 1645, 1646, 1710, 1667, 1723, 1821, 1794, and are included under the topic Early Freeman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Distinguished members of the family include Francis Freeman (c.1645), a British religious writer; Richard Freeman (1646-1710) was an English judge from Gloucestershire, who became Lord Chancellor of Ireland; Susannah Freeman (1667-1723), a famous...

Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Freeman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Freeman family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 287 words (20 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Freeman or a variant listed above:

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
  • 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
  • Lewis Ransome Freeman (1878-1960), American explorer, journalist and war correspondent
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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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Citations



    Other References

    1. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    2. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    3. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
    4. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
    5. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
    6. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
    7. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
    8. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
    9. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
    10. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 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 6 June 2016 at 09:38.

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