Freer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Freer emerged among the industrious people of Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. Occupational surnames were derived from the common trades of the medieval era. The surname Freer is an occupational name for a friar. The surname Freer is derived from the Old French word frere, which means friar. [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Freer family

The surname Freer was first found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 which listed: Benedictus le Frere, Cambridgeshire; and John le Frere, Norfolk. [3] Over in Somerset, Cecylia le Frere, was listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [4]

Another source notes that Robert (le) Frere was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire, 1196-1195 and Roger le Frier was listed in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1243. [5]

Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Margota Frere; and Isabella Frere as holding lands there at that time. [3]

"There were gentle families of the name in Great Wigston and Blaby, Leicestershire, during last century. John Freer was rector of Knossington in the reign of Anne. One of the name was mayor of Leicester about a century ago. The name also occurs in Yorkshire. Since Leicestershire, Rutlandshire, and Yorkshire are all of them homes of both the Freers and the Fryers, the two names are probably different forms of the same name." [6]

Early History of the Freer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Freer research. Another 117 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1296, 1563, 1517, 1521, 1525, 1525, 1571, 1563, 1544, 1548, 1555, 1672, 1563, 1623, 1733, 1671, 1605 and 1598 are included under the topic Early Freer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Freer Spelling Variations

Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Freer, Fryer, Frier, Frere and others.

Early Notables of the Freer family (pre 1700)

Prominent in the family at this time was John Fryer (d. 1563), English physician, born at Balsham, Cambridgeshire, educated at Eton and elected thence to King's College, Cambridge, in 1517. "He graduated B.A. in 1521 and M.A. in 1525. On 5 Nov. 1525 he was incorporated at Oxford, being one of three masters of arts who had been preferred to Cardinal Wolsey's college in that university." [7] John Fryer ( fl. 1571), the English physician, who has been erroneously described as the son of John Fryer, M.D. (d. 1563) [q. v.], was born at Godmanchester, Huntingdonshire, and educated at Cambridge...
Another 98 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Freer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Freer migration to the United States +

An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Freer arrived in North America very early:

Freer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Amall Freer, who arrived in Virginia in 1636 [8]
  • Hugo Freer, who arrived in New York in 1675 [8]
Freer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Walgrave Freer, who settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1718
  • Martin Freer, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1773
  • Francis Freer, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1799 [8]
Freer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Freer, who landed in Maryland in 1820 [8]
  • Henri Freer, who landed in Texas in 1850 [8]
  • Frank Freer, who landed in Arkansas in 1872 [8]

Australia Freer migration to Australia +

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

Freer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Jonathan William Freer, aged 43, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "James Jardine"
  • William Freer, aged 17, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "James Jardine"
  • Alice Freer, aged 15, a nursemaid, who arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "James Jardine"
  • Elizabeth A. Freer, aged 18, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "James Jardine"
  • Hannah Freer, aged 14, a nursemaid, who arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "James Jardine"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Freer 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:

Freer Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Freer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Annie Wilson" in 1863
  • Elizabeth Freer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Annie Wilson" in 1863
  • Julia A. Freer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Annie Wilson" in 1863
  • Sarah Ann Freer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Annie Wilson" in 1863
  • Zillah Freer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Annie Wilson" in 1863
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Freer (post 1700) +

  • Charles Lang Freer, American railroad-car manufacturer from Detroit, Michigan
  • Romeo Hoyt Freer (1846-1913), American Republican politician, Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney, 1871-73; Presidential Elector for West Virginia, 1872; U.S. Representative from West Virginia 4th District, 1899-1901 [9]
  • Robert Franklin Freer (b. 1892), American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Bristol, 1917-18 [9]
  • Robert Elliott Freer (b. 1896), American Republican politician, Member, Federal Trade Commission, 1935-48; Chair, Federal Trade Commission, 1939, 1944, 1948 [9]
  • Leon D. Freer, American politician, Member of California State Assembly 26th District, 1881-83 [9]
  • Jacob S. Freer, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Ulster County 1st District, 1852; Member of New York State Senate 10th District, 1862-63 [9]
  • Charles Freer, Churchman
  • Mike Freer (b. 1960), British politician
  • Frederick Alfred William Freer (1915-1998), Australian cricketer
  • Dave Freer, South African-born science fiction author

HMAS Sydney II
HMS Royal Oak
  • Thomas F. Freer, British Chief Mechanician with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [11]


  1. ^ Sims, Clifford Stanley The Origin and Signification of Scottish Surnames. 1862. Print.
  2. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  10. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  11. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


Houseofnames.com on Facebook
Shipping
Fastest Delivery Possible

Digital Products on Checkout, all other products filled in 1 business day

Money Back
Money Back Guarantee

Yes, all products 100% Guaranteed

Support
BBB A+ Rating

The Best Rating possible

Payment
Secure Online Payment

Entire site uses SSL / Secure Certificate