This is a very rare and interesting surname. It appears to be recorded as Fratson, Fretson, Fretstone in the north of England and in the registers of the city of London as Fratsol. This spelling is shown below as a recording, and we think that this may be a simple spelling error from Fratson. The surname appears to derive like the surname Fretwell, from the pre 7th century Olde English personal name 'Fraeta.' This may originally have been female, in that there was a goddess of the name in pagan times. The meaning is unclear but is probably 'fair' or 'white'. The surname is well recorded in the county of Yorkshire and particularly the city of Sheffield and the town of Doncaster, but its epicentre was clearly somewhere else, although where is not known. Examples of recordings taken from surviving Yorkshire church registers include Richard Fretson who married Jane Wilson at Doncaster Parish Church, on July 5th 1795, and rather confusingly a William Fratson who married Christiana Wilson at Hatfield near Doncaster on December 15th 1818. In London we have the recording of Thomas Fratsol and his wife Mary, who were christening witnesses to their daughter Jane at the church of St George the Martyr, Southwark, on October 25th 1801.
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