This unusual Cornish surname, of uncertain origin, is probably an altered form of the name "Friday", itself coming from the Germanic personal name "Freitag", Middle High German "Vritac", Old High German "Friatag, Frijetag". The German name may have denoted someone born on that day of the week or who performed his feudal service then, but the day was superstitiously considered unlucky throughout the Middle Ages. The farm called Freathy in St. John's parish near Antony in South East Cornwall is probably so named from the surname. Variations in the spelling of the surname include Freethy, Frethey, Freathie, and Freathye. Cornish Church Records list the christenings of Walerus, son of Rogeri and Alicie Frethie, on the 8th November 1552 in Landulph, and John, son of Richard Freathye, on the 5th May 1601 at Botus Fleming. Benjamin Freathy married Thomas Blanch on the 8th September 1730 in Boconnoc. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Freathy, which was dated 1522, in the Cornwall Military Survey, during the reign of King Henry V111 - Bluff King Hal, 1509-1547. 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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