The distinguished English surname Freek is thought to be derived from the Old English word "firhpe," meaning "frith, wood, woodland." Alternatively, it may be related to the Old English "freca," meaning "man, warrior."
Early Origins of the Freek family
The surname Freek was first found in Somerset
, where the Freek family was anciently seated as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy
, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron
, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England
to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant
of the lands of Breham, held by William de Mohun, a Norman Baron, who was recorded in the Domesday Book
census of 1086. The village held 2 Mills, 300 sheep and 22 wild mares.
Early History of the Freek family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Freek research.Another 229 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1603, 1516, 1591, 1688, 1756, 1848, 1920, 1707, 1694, 1692, 1693, 1695, 1699, 1675, 1717, 1703, 1717 and 1797 are included under the topic Early Freek History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Freek Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations
are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans
introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Freake, Freke, Freyke, Freche, Frech, Fryke, Freek, Freak, Frake and many more.
Early Notables of the Freek family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Edmund Freke (also spelled Freake or Freak; c. 1516-1591), an English dean and bishop; John Freke (1688-1756), an English surgeon who... Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Freek Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Freek family to Ireland
Some of the Freek family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 195 words (14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Freek family to the New World and Oceana
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland
, North America, and Australia
in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England
. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Freek or a variant listed above:
Freek Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Mary Freek, who arrived in Maryland in 1664
Freek Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Jacob Freek, aged 46, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1743 CITATION[CLOSE]
Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
Freek Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- James Freek, who was living in Ontario in 1871