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Surname Frearson - Meaning and Origin

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Frearson: What does the surname Frearson mean?

The last name Frearson is an English surname derived from the Old French word "frere," meaning brother. It was most commonly found used as an occupational surname, denoting a patron of a free house or innkeeper. The related form Frasier has also been found in England and Scotland.

Alternatively, the name may be locational in origin, derived from a place called either Freeeson, Frisby or Frisbey, all of which are found in the British Isles.

During the Middle Ages, Frearson was a name given to a brother-in-law or even a friend. As such, a marriage between two close friends or family members was called a "frereson" marriage, based on the idea that the two of them were considered brothers.

The modern spelling of Frearson is actually a combination of "frere" and "son," referred to as a metronymic surname. A metronymic surname is one that was derived from the mother’s or grandmother’s given name. Thus, the name Frearson would indicate that an ancestor's mother was named Frere or some variant thereof.

No matter its origin, Frearson is an evocative last name that has graced many generations of families descended from England and Scotland.

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Frearson: Where does the name Frearson come from?

The last name Frearson is most commonly found in the United States, Canada, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and Northern Ireland. According to Forebears, a genealogy website, the last name Frearson is most prevalent in the United States, which has approximately 8,650 people with the name in 2020. In Canada, there is an estimated 350 people with the name Frearson. In England, there is approximately 1,830, while in Scotland, one can find around 320 people with the last name Frearson.

The countries with the fewest amount of people with the last name Frearson are Ireland and Wales with just about 30 people each. Northern Ireland also has an estimated 60 individuals with this last name.

The Appeal Court of Canada mentioned this surname in 1797 as ‘Freason’, which is a variation of the last name. The earliest mention of this surname dates back to 17th century England when one, Thomas Frearson was convicted of robbery, burglary, and murder in 1660, in which he was sentenced to hanging.

The origin of the last name Frearson is believed to come from Old French, which means the ‘free-son’ or ‘freesman’. This means that the name was given to those who held freedom from bondage and servitude. Alternatively, it could also be derived from an old Scandinavian word meaning ‘sheet’, which is believed to refer to someone who made bedclothes.

Regardless of the origin of the name, its popularity continues to grow in the United States and Canada, and it is expected to persist as a common last name.

Variations of the surname Frearson

The surname Frearson is a variant of Fripperson. This is an English surname which first appeared in the 13th century and was spelled in many different ways. It is derived from the Old English word "fripere", which meant a tailor.

Spellings and variants of Frearson include Fryperson, Frierson, Friosperson, Freason, Frieson, Freesen, Frysen, Frypson, Fryssen, Frippisson and Frypperson.

The surnames Friese and Frieds are also derived from the same original spelling. These could be either slight variations or anglicised spellings from German areas.

The suffix “son” in the original name implies a family whose ancestor was a tailor. The spelling variations show how inconsistently surnames were recorded in medieval times. The most common modern variant of the name is Fripperson.

Other more recent Americanized variations include Fryerson and Frisson, while German variations include Friedmann and Freyesen.

Whichever spelling is used, the name alludes to a tailor or one who stitched together garments for a livelihood. Thus, Frearson will continue to be an interesting surname which can be connected to a variety of other spellings across different countries and cultures.

Famous people with the name Frearson

  • Jessie Frearson: British actress, model, and singer, known for her work in the horror-comedy short "The Taxidermist's Cut".
  • Joan Frearson: American-born actress in British silent films, most influential during the 1920s.
  • Sarah Frearson: British Artist, known for her abstract works and paintings.
  • Jackie Frearson: British television presenter, best known for her work on the Channel 4 show, 'Richard & Judy'.
  • Adam Frearson: British comedian and writer, well-known for his work on 'Live at the Apollo', as well as his own stand-up comedy specials.
  • Helena Frearson: British screenwriter, nominated for a BAFTA for her first feature length film 'Friends in the Park'.
  • Heath Frearson: American singer-songwriter and musician, known for his music in the indie-rock scene.
  • Graeme Frearson: British sports broadcaster and commentator, currently a co-presenter on Sky Sports F1.
  • Harry Frearson: British author and essayist, best known for his 2009 book, 'Echoes of the Conscious Mind: Exploring Unconscious Connections'.
  • Ava Frearson: American figure skater, competing in the Olympics in 2014.

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