This interesting and unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from a status term which gradually evolved into a surname. The term was used in two ways; as a byname, or given name, derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "Freo-beorn", free-man, recorded in the "Feudal Documents of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds" (Suffolk), as "Freben" in 1095, and in 1221, as Frebern de Eshcot, of Warwickshire. Another use of the term was as a nickname, or second, "by"-name, an example of which is given below in the first recording of the surname.In this instance the term has a slightly different derivation, from the Old English "freo", free, and "boren" born and was used to signify someone born a free man, as opposed to someone born a serf and emancipated in later life. One, George Freeborn married Mary Duckworth at St. Jame's, Duke's Place, London, on November 16th 1684. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Frebern, which was dated 1163, in the Northumberland Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 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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