This ancient name has many alternative spellings which is not perhaps surprising given its origins. It derives from the old (pre - Roman) British 'Fridd' or 'Firhpe' meaning 'one who dwells by a wood or brushland'. The alternative spelling include Frith, Firth, Fridd, Freeth, Vreede, Thrift, Frake, Freak, Freake and Firk, the plurals as they occur implying the patronymic 'Son of Fridd'. The name development includes Nicholas atte Ferthe (1296, Sussex) Thomas atte Vrythe (1333, Somerset), John del Friht (1203, Norfolk) Alexander del Frike (1275, Worcester) Mary Frake (1559, Bermondsey London) and Harry Frayke (1863, London). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Delfrid, which was dated 1176, The Surrey County Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Henry II, 'The Church Builder' 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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