The distinguished English surname Freik 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 Freik family
The surname Freik was first found in Somerset
, where the Freik 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 Freik family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Freik 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 Freik History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Freik Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations
. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Freake, Freke, Freyke, Freche, Frech, Fryke, Freek, Freak, Frake and many more.
Early Notables of the Freik 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 Freik Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Freik family to Ireland
Some of the Freik 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 Freik family to the New World and Oceana
Because of the political and religious discontent in England
, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Freik name or one of its variants: William Freak, who settled in Maryland in 1639; Mary Freek, who arrived in Maryland in 1664; John Freake, who came to Boston in 1665; William Freke, who settled in Barbado in 1666.