This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a short form of one of the variant surnames generated by the Old English pre 7th Century personal name "Freowine", in Middle English "Frewine". The modern surnames from this source range from "Frewen", "Frewing", "Frowen" and "Frowing", to "Fruen" and "Fruin", with "Frow" and "Frew" being abbreviated forms. "Frow" is found in both England and Scotland, where the name is first recorded (see below). The Old English name is composed of the elements "Freo", free, noble, generous, or perhaps the rarer "frea", lord, master, with "wine", friend. One Richard Frrow was christened on the 20th June 1576 at St. Margaret's, Westminster, in London and John Frow was christened on the 19th March 1633 at Howden, Yorkshire. In Scotland Matthew Frow is recorded as a merchant in Kilwinning, in 1689. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Frowe, which was dated circa 1250 - 1266, Charters of the Hospital of Soltre, Midlothian, during the reign of King Alexander III of Scotland, 1249 - 1286. 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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