The distinguished English surname Freike 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 Freike family
The surname Freike was first found in Somerset
, where the Freike 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 Freike family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Freike 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 Freike History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Freike Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations
are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Freake, Freke, Freyke, Freche, Frech, Fryke, Freek, Freak, Frake and many more.
Early Notables of the Freike 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 Freike Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Freike family to Ireland
Some of the Freike 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 Freike family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England
at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Freike or a variant listed above: 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.