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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


The Frei surname comes from the Middle High German word "vri," meaning "free," and as a name, it referred to a free man, as opposed to a bondsman or serf in the feudal system.

Frei Early Origins



The surname Frei was first found in Bavaria, where the name Frey came from humble beginnings but eventually gained a significant reputation for its contribution to the region's medieval society. The family later became more prominent as many branches of the family acquired distant estates which elevated in turn their social status.

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Frei Spelling Variations


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Frei Spelling Variations



In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Frei include Frey, Freye, Frei, Freie, Frie, Fraie, Vrey, Vreye, Vrei, Vreie and many more.

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Frei Early History


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Frei Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Frei research. Another 124 words (9 lines of text) covering the year 1855 is included under the topic Early Frei History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Frei Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Frei Early Notables (pre 1700)



Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Frei Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



The great European flow of migration to North America, which began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century, was particularly attractive to those from Bavaria who wished to escape either poverty or religious persecution. For many Bavarian tenant farmers, the chance to own their own land was a major incentive. So the widespread colonization of the United States began in 1650, when many immigrants from Germany settled in pockets in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. In Canada, German settlement centered in Ontario and the prairie Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were:

Frei Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Jo Hendrik Frei, who arrived in New York in 1709
  • Hans Ulrich Frei, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1729
  • Hans Frei, who landed in America in 1731
  • Samuel Frei, who landed in America in 1731
  • Jacob Frei, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1749

Frei Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Peter Frei, who landed in Galveston, Tex in 1845
  • Andrew Frei, who arrived in St Clair County, Illinois in 1856
  • Joseph Frei, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1871
  • Heinrich J Frei, aged 49, arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1875
  • Haver Frei, who landed in America in 1886
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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Contemporary Notables of the name Frei (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Frei (post 1700)



  • W. H. Frei, American politician, Member of South Dakota State Senate 8th District, 1931-32

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Frei Family Crest Products


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Frei Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



    Other References

    1. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    2. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Journeys German Immigration, Settlement and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
    3. Bahlow, Hans. Mecklenburgisches Namenbüchlein Ein Führer durch Mecklenburgs Familiennamen. Rostock: Carl Hinstorffs Verlag, 1932. Print.
    4. Tarneller, Josef. Zur Namenkunde Tirolen Familiennamen. Bozen: Buchhandlung, 1923. Print.
    5. Neubecker, Ottfried. Wappen-Bilder-Lexikon der bürgerlichen Geschlechter Deutschlands, Oesterreichs und der Schweiz. Battenberg, München: 1985. Print.
    6. Brechenmacher, Josef Karlmann. Deutches Namenbuch. Stuttgart: Verlag von Adolf Bonz & Comp, 1928. Print.
    7. Nied, Edmund. Fraenkische Familiennamen urkundlich gesammelt und sprachlich gedeutet. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1933. Print.
    8. Oswald, G. Lexicon der Heraldik. Leipzig: 1984. Print.
    9. Bahlow, Hans. Deutschlands geographische Namenwelt Etymologisches Lexikon der Fluss- und Ortsnamen alteuropaischer Herkunft. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. Print.
    10. Bahlow, Hans and Edda Gentry. Translation Dictionary of German Names 2nd Edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2002. Print.
    11. ...

    The Frei Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Frei 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 2 February 2016 at 09:43.

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