This unusual surname is post Medieval English, but possibly of early German antecedents. It is certainly derived from the early German word "vrilinc", meaning a freeman or a freed serf, and as such it is related to the 12th century Middle English cognate "freeth" meaning freeborn, which itself gave rise to such surnames as Free, Freet, Fry, Freyer, and Freeman. An early English surname form is recorded as Walter le Free in the Hundred Rolls of the county of Wiltshire in the year1255. The surname Frayling, also recorded as Freiling, Frelan, and Freeling emerges in London church registers in the late seventeenth century. This suggests that these entries may be associated with the Huguenot protestant refugees who fled the continent between 1580 and 1750, to avoid persecution by the catholics. An early example of the surname recordings is that of Samuel Frayling, who married Elizabeth Collum on August 20th 1710, at St. Botolph's church, Bishopgate, London, whilst a son Samuel, was christened at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, on March 29th 1719. The first recorded spelling of the family name is possibly that of Danill Freelan, which was dated March 24th 1677. This entry is in the registers of the church of St. Botolph's without Aldgate, London, during the reign of King Charles 11nd, 1660 - 1685. Surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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