Recorded as Frears, Frearson, Freeson, Fresson, and even Fryerson, this interesting surname is early medieval English. It is a patronymic form of Frear, deriving from the pre 10th century Old French word "frere", meaning a friar or monk, and ultimately from the Roman Latin word "frater", a brother. The name would not necessarily be given to the son of a friar or monk as such, but would more likely be a nickname for a person with qualities associated with such a man. This may be a pious bearing, (or the reverse!) or it may be occupational for a person employed in a monastery. The creation of surnames from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day surnames derive from medieval nicknames referring to personal characteristics. Robert le Frere is noted in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire in 1196, but the patronymic is not recorded until the 14th Century (see below). Early recordings of the surname from surviving English Church Registers include: the marriage of Henry Frierson and Isabell Litler on July 2nd 1571, at St. Gregory by St. Paul, London; and that of Luke Fresson who was christened at St O;aves Sothwark on December 27th 1640. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John le Frereson. This was dated 1335, in a catalogue of Ancient Deeds of the county of Staffordshire, during the reign of King Edward 111rd of England, 1327 - 1377. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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