The distinguished English surname Freke 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 Freke family
The surname Freke was first found in Somerset
, where the Freke 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 Freke family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Freke 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 Freke History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Freke Spelling Variations
in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred
years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Freke have been found, including Freake, Freke, Freyke, Freche, Frech, Fryke, Freek, Freak, Frake and many more.
Early Notables of the Freke 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 Freke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Freke family to Ireland
Some of the Freke 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 Freke family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the social climate in England
was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland
, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Freke were among those contributors:
Freke Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Fra Freke, who landed in Virginia in 1662 CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
- William Freke, who settled in Barbados in 1666
- Henry Freke, who immigrated to Virginia in 1676
Contemporary Notables of the name Freke (post 1700)
- Timothy Freke, noted English philosopher and author
- Nathan Freke (b. 1983), the 2006 British Formula Ford Champion