Show ContentsFreke History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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, [1] 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 115 words (8 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

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.

Ireland 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 102 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Freke migration to the United States +

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, 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 [2]
  • Henry Freke, who immigrated to Virginia in 1676

Australia Freke migration to Australia +

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

Freke Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Freke, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 27th October 1819, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]

West Indies Freke migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [4]
Freke Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • William Freke, who settled in Barbados in 1666

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

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. 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)
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th March 2021). Retrieved from
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