This is one of the most interesting of English surnames. Recorded in the spellings of Freston, Freeston, Freestone, Fryston, Friston, Fristone and several others now apparently extinct, it is locational, and derives either from the village of Freston in Suffolk, or the triple villages of Monk, Water, and Ferry Fryston, in Yorkshire. All have the same meaning of 'the place' (tun) of the Frisians, and as such refer to the settlements of the earliest invaders after he Romans left in 410 AD. The Frisians, along with their neighbours the Jutes, were from the Netherlands and Germany, and in the centuries before the coming of the 'Anglo-Saxons' and the later 'Vikings', they raided the East Coast of England, sometimes penetrating far inland. The village names are recorded as early as 963 a.d. in the register of churches, the surnames being later. Early examples of the surname recordings include Thomas de Freston the lord of the manor of Freston in the Hundred Rolls of the year 1293, and Robert Freston, son of John Freston, christened at St Andrews church, Warmfield, Yorkshire, on March 1st 1504. Other examples include Elizabetha Freston at St Andrews church, Norwich, Norfolk, on April 24th 1560, and Thomas Freeston, who married Jone King at St Stephans, Coleman Street, London, on November 26th 1598. Fraunc Frestone was christened at St Peter Mancroft, Norwich, on July 12th 1605, and Thomas Freestone married Joane Mortimer at St Botolphs Aldergate, London, on December 9th 1604. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Frieston. which was dated 1272, in the 'Testa de Neville' rolls of Lincoln, during the reign of King Edward Ist known as 'The Hammer of the Scots' 1272-1307. 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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