Show ContentsFriman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Friman is a ancient Anglo-Saxon name whose history dates back to the days before the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name is derived from "freomann" or "frigmann," Old English words and personal names meaning "free-born man." [1] [2] [3]

We did find this interesting take on the origin of the name: "In the early days of feudalism two neighbours bearing some common Christian name would be distinguished by epithets denoting their respective conditions, as John le Freeman and John le Bonde, and these epithets would often become family names. In the Hundredorum Rolls we have not only many Le Fremans, but also one Matilda Frewoman, and an Agnes Frewif, or free wife, probably the wife of a bondman." [4]

Early Origins of the Friman family

The surname Friman was first found in the county of Essex, where it was borne as a personal name by Freman Sceil in 1188. The first recorded instance of Friman as a surname appeared shortly thereafter; William Freman was listed in the Feet of Fines of Norfolk in 1196. A few years later, Reginald le Freman was found in the Assize Rolls for Worcestershire in 1221 and Osbert Friman was listed in the Liber Feodorum [5] for Bedfordshire in 1240. As a forename, Freman Sceil was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Essex in 1188. [6]

Later the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: John le Freman, Huntingdonshire; and Geoffrey le Freman, Buckinghamshire. [7]

"This name is confined to the centre of England and to the adjoining eastern and western counties. Two lines drawn west from the Wash and the Thames to the Welsh border will roughly include the principal area of this name, which for au area of its size is remarkably well defined. It is at present most numerous in Suffolk and in Worcester; and likely enough the Freemans of the west and of the east may owe their surname to different events in the history of our country. Not improbably "Freeman" early appeared as an appellation in the counties bordering Wales, since we learn that in the 10th century the Welsh captives, reduced to slavery, were so numerous in the English shires on the border that the proportion of slaves to freemen would seem to have been unusually large. " [8]

The first record of the family in Scotland was Jacob Freman del counte de Pebbles who rendered homage to King Edward I of England in 1296. [9]

Early History of the Friman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Friman research. Another 88 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1196, 1627, 1630, 1645, 1611, 1575, 1670, 1720, 1610, 1655, 1646, 1710, 1667, 1723, 1821, 1794, 1655, 1680, and are included under the topic Early Friman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Friman Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Friman family name include Freeman, Fryman, Friman and others.

Early Notables of the Friman family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Francis Freeman (c.1645), a British religious writer; and John Freeman (fl. 1611), an English divine, matriculated in the University of Cambridge as a sizar of Trinity College, 26 Nov. 1575. [10] John Freeman (fl. 1670-1720), was an English painter who had some repute as a history painter in the reign of Charles II; Sir Ralph Freeman (fl. 1610-1655), was English civilian and dramatist, who was probably the son of Martin Freeman. Richard Freeman (1646-1710) was...
Another 80 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Friman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Friman family to Ireland

Some of the Friman family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 150 words (11 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 Friman family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Friman surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Samuel Freeman and his wife Apphia Quick, who arrived in Mssachusetts in 1630 with their son Henry; Alice Freeman, who settled in New England in 1635.

  1. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  4. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. Testa de Nevill or "Liber Feodorum" or "Book of Fees," thought to have been written by Ralph de Nevill, for King John (1199–1216)
  6. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  7. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  8. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  9. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  10. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print on Facebook