Freeman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Freeman family

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.

Early History of the Freeman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Freeman research. Another 140 words (10 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.

Freeman 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 Freeman family (pre 1700)

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

Freeman World Ranking

In the United States, the name Freeman is the 123rd most popular surname with an estimated 184,038 people with that name. [1] However, in Canada, the name Freeman is ranked the 596th most popular surname with an estimated 8,448 people with that name. [2] And in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Freeman is the 751st popular surname with an estimated 57 people with that name. [3] Australia ranks Freeman as 176th with 17,943 people. [4] New Zealand ranks Freeman as 291st with 2,089 people. [5] The United Kingdom ranks Freeman as 207th with 27,270 people. [6]


United States Freeman migration to the United States +

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 Freeman:

Freeman Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Bernardns Freeman, who landed in New Netherland(s) in 1620 [7]
  • Domine Bernardus Freeman, who landed in New Netherland(s) in 1620 [7]
  • Ralph Freeman who settled in Virginia in 1622
  • Bridges Freeman, who landed in Virginia in 1623 [7]
  • Edmund Freeman, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1632 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Freeman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Edward Freeman, who arrived in Virginia in 1705 [7]
  • Thomas Freeman, who arrived in America in 1706 [7]
  • Abraham Freeman, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1731 [7]
  • Abram Freeman, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1731 [7]
  • Georg Freeman, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1739 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Freeman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Michael Freeman, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1807 [7]
  • Thomas D Freeman, who landed in America in 1809 [7]
  • Bernard Freeman, aged 34, who landed in Missouri in 1840 [7]
  • Anthony Freeman, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848 [7]
  • Joseph Freeman, aged 26, who arrived in New York in 1849 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Freeman Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Andrew Freeman, who arrived in Alabama in 1920 [7]

Canada Freeman migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

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
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Freeman Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Frederick Freeman, aged 12, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Ranger" in 1834
  • Bridger Freeman, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1838
  • Mr. Pheasant Freeman, aged 59, English farmer, settled in Rochester, Ontario prior to the 1871 Census of Canada [8]
  • Mrs. Sarah Freeman, aged 56, English settler, settled in Rochester, Ontario prior to the 1871 Census of Canada [8]
  • Miss Mary Freeman, aged 29, English settler, settled in Rochester, Ontario prior to the 1871 Census of Canada [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Freeman Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Arthur Ben Freeman, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Australia Freeman migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Freeman Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Charles Freeman, (Lapish, Ingram), British Convict who was convicted in Leeds, Yorkshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Earl Cornwallis" in August 1800, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Mr. Samuel Freeman, (b. 1785), aged 15, English millwright who was convicted in Hertfordshire, England for life for stealing, transported aboard the "Earl Cornwallis" in August 1800, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1855 [9]
  • Mr. Thomas Freeman, British Convict who was convicted in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Earl Cornwallis" in August 1800, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • John Freeman, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Mr. John Freeman, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 27th October 1819, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Freeman migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

  • Mr. George Freeman, (b. 1850), aged 28, Cornish farm labourer departing on 8th August 1878 aboard the ship "Edwin Fox" going to Marlborough, New Zealand arriving in port on November 1878 [12]
Freeman Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • George Freeman, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • J S Freeman, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Westminster
  • Thomas Graham Freeman, aged 39, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • Margaret Freeman, aged 33, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • Ann Elizabeth Freeman, aged 15, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Freeman migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [13]
Freeman Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Miss Elizabeth Freeman, (b. 1617), aged 18, British settler traveling aboard the ship "John" arriving in St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 [14]
  • Mr. Thomas Freeman, (b. 1616), aged 19, British settler travelling aboard the ship "Expedition" arriving in Barbados in 1636 [15]
Freeman Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • Arthur Freeman, who landed in Antigua (Antego) in 1785 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Freeman (post 1700) +

  • 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
  • Martin John Christopher Freeman (b. 1971), English Emmy Award, BAFTA Award and an Empire Award winning actor, best known for portraying Tim Canterbury in The Office and Dr. John Watson in the British crime drama Sherlock
  • Heath Freeman (1980-2021), American film and television actor, best known for playing the role of Gavin Dillon in the American legal drama television series Raising the Bar
  • Robert Thomas "Bobby" Freeman (1940-2017), American soul and R&B singer, songwriter and record producer, best known for his 1958 hit "Do You Want to Dance"
  • Julius Freeman (d. 2016), American fighter pilot, was one of the Documented Original Tuskegee Airmen, awarded the Congressional Gold Medal
  • Dennis Edward "Denny" Freeman (1944-2021), American Texas and electric blues guitarist, born in Orlando, Florida
  • S. David Freeman (1926-2020), American engineer, attorney, and author, from Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Frankie Muse Freeman (1916-2018), born Marie Frankie Muse, an American civil rights attorney, the first woman to be appointed to the United States Commission on Civil Rights (1964-1979)
  • Lorenzo Z. Freeman (1964-2016), American football defensive tackle who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1987–1990) and the New York Giants (1991)
  • Robert Louis "Bobby" Freeman Sr. (1934-2016), American attorney and politician, 47th Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana (1980-1988)
  • ... (Another 29 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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 [16]
  • Mr. Henry Freeman (1865-1914), American Second Class Passenger from West Allis, Wisconsin, United States who survived the sinking on the Empress of Ireland [16]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. Mason  Freeman, Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [17]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Mark H P Freeman (b. 1925), English Midshipman serving for the Royal Navy Reserve from England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [18]
  • Mr. Douglas E Freeman (b. 1923), English Ordinary Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Leicester, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [18]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Leslie Freeman, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [19]
  • Mr. Alexander Freeman, British Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [19]
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 [20]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Matthew Freeman, English Waiter from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [21]
  • 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 [22]
  • Mr. John Freeman, Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Falkain, British Columbia, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [22]
  • Mr. Richard Rich Freeman Jr., American 1st Class Passenger from Boston, Massachusetts, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [23]
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 [24]


The Freeman 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.


Suggested Readings for the name Freeman +

  • Coppedge/Freeman and Next of Kin by Mildred C. Siever.
  • Freeman-Palmer and Related Families by Mary Ann Palmer-Schrepfer.

  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  3. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  4. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  6. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ Canada, Library and Archives. (retrieved 8 Apr. 2020, www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/census/1871/Pages/1871.aspx.)
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-cornwallis
  10. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Almorah voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1817 with 180 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/almorah/1817
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/coromandel
  12. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to other ports, 1872 - 84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  13. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  14. ^ Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved October 4th 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/daphne)
  15. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 29th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  16. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 16) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  17. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  18. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  19. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  20. ^ Pan Am Flight 103's victims: A list of those killed 25 years ago | syracuse.com. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/12/pan_am_flight_103s_victims_a_list_of_those_killed_25_years_ago.html
  21. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 10) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  22. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  23. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  24. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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