This unusual and interesting name is of medieval German origin, and is a compound, 'ornamental' name, composed of the elements 'Friede', peace, with 'bach', stream. Many early German surnames were similarly constructed, with seemingly disparate elements, such as Friedenberg, 'peace hill', Friedenreich, 'kingdom of peace', Friedenstein, 'peace stone', and Friedenthal, 'peace valley'. The name is recorded in America in the 18th Century; one Charlotta, daughter of Johannes and Maria Friedebach, was christened on May 19th 1795, in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania. In Germany, Georg Anthon, son of Petrus and Catherina Friedenbach, was christened in Moerzheim, Pfalz, Bayern, on July 29th 1840. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Joanna Catharina Friedenbach (christening), which was dated October 2nd 1759, Maikammer, Pfalz, Bayern, Germany, during the reign of Francis 1 of Lorraine, Emperor of Germany, 1745 - 1765. 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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