This most unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a dialectal variant of the locational name Friskney, in Lincolnshire, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "frescan ea" meaning river with fresh water. The placename is recorded as "Frischenei" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Freschenei" (1150) in the Index to the Charters and Rolls in the British Museum. During the Middle Ages when it was increasingly common for people to migrate from their birthplace to seek work further afield, the custom developed that they would adopt the placename as a means of identification.The surname dates back to the late 12th Century, (see below). Church Records list the marriage of Mary Friskey to Clement Hambleton on the 19th May 1660 at St. Giles', Cripplegate, London, and the christening of Mary, daughter of Jonathan and Elizabeth Friskey, on the 27th December 1793 in South Thoresby, Lincolnshire. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is blue, a saltire between four gold crosses crosslet. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Freskenay, which was dated 1193, in the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189-1199. 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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