This unusual and interesting surname may be either of Anglo-Saxon or Old Scandinavian origin, and derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century male given name "Frod(a)", cognate with the Old Norse "Frodi", Old Danish "Frothi", Wise, Prudent. "Frodo" (frater Abbatis) appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Suffolk, the namebearer being a brother of the abbot of Bury St. Edmunds. Surnames derived from given names are the oldest and most pervasive surname type, and in vernacular naming traditions (as distinct from religious), names were originally composed of vocabulary elements in the local language, and no doubt bestowed for their auspicious connotations. A quotation from the "Chronicle of the Sea Kings of Norway" reads, "The epithet 'frode', wise, was applied to more than one eminent Northman". Early examples of the surname include: Siward Frode (Sussex, 1187); William Froud (Staffordshire, circa 1203); William le Frode (Kent, 1334); and Robert Frowde (Sussex, 1524). In the modern idiom the name is variously spelt: Froud(e), Frowd(e), Frood and Frude. On July 19th 1700, Mary, daughter of John and Elizabeth Frood, was christened at St. Andrew's, Holborn, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the family depicts three gold lions rampant, ducally crowned red, on an azure shield with an ermine bordure, the Crest being a sable saracen's head between two silver ostrich feathers. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Frode, which was dated 1184, in the "Pipe Rolls of Devonshire", 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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