Recorded in many spellings including Freind and Frend (English), Freund, Freundlich, Frundt, Frondt, and Frind (German and Flemish), and Vriend, Du Vreient (Dutch), this most unusual name is a nickname. It is one of that fascinating group of early surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of a nickname given with reference to a distinguishing qualitiy. This may have been physical or mental and moral characteristics, or in this case personal relationships. It is said that this surname is a development of the Olde English pre 7th century word "freond", used as a nickname for a companionable person, or in the Middle Ages a relative or kinsman. In some cases it may have been acquired as a status symbol for someone who belonged to the family of a more important figure in the community. Early examples of the name recordings include Gervase Lefrend, in the Curia Rolls of England in 1221, and Kunrad Frund, of Weira, Germany, in 1418. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Frend, which was dated 1166, in the "Pipe Rolls of Nottinghamshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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