This rare and interesting surname is of German and Flemish origin and is an ethnic name for someone from Frisia (Friesland). The name of this region is ancient and of uncertain etymology, but is thought to derive from of Indo-European root word "peri", meaning to cut, and referring to the dykes that were necessary for the low-lying land of that country. There is archaeological evidence of the construction of such dykes along the southern shores of the North Sea from at least the time of Christ. It may also be that the source of this surname is an occupational name for a builder of these dams and dykes, as the word was used in this sense in medieval Germany, and this being a major occupation among Frieslanders. The variant spellings include Fryze, Freeze, Fries(e), Fryse, and Freese. One Alicia Feise married Reynoldus Sawnder Backe, on June 14th 1567, at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Abraham Frise (christening), which was dated November 2nd 1561, St. Botolph wihout Aldgate, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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