Family Origins (was Moses Frewin of Goring)

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Posted by Lawrence Frewin on 21 March , 2002 at 10:24:29:

In Reply to: Moses Frewin of Goring posted by Kathy Hamblin on 20 March , 2002 at 14:56:31:

Hello Kathy,

> I'm trying to get a feel for the family in general

Perhaps the best way to explore the origins of the family is to look the earliest records I have found for each variant of the surname and let you draw your own conclusions:

circa 400AD, Germany, (Anglo Saxon Chronicles)

1150, Pipe Rolls, no area given


1200, Pipe Rolls, no area given
1564, Henley, Oxfordshire
1570, Ipsden, Oxfordshire
1571, Hurley, Berkshire
1574, Rotherfield Peppard, Oxfordshire
1584, Aldham, Essex
1594, Harpsden, Oxfordshire
1600, London
1600, Whitchurch, Oxfordshire


1526, Hanley Castle, Worcestershire
1560, Ipsden, Oxfordshire
1561, Cholsey, Berkshire
1564, Much Marcle, Herefordshire
1568, Westbury on Severn, Gloucestershire (Frewwen)
1574, Wing, Buckinghamshire
1576, South Stoke Oxfordshire
1577, Hurley, Berkshire
1583, Northiam, Sussex
1589, Upper Snodsbury, Worcestershire
1589, Lexden, Essex
1595, Uxbridge, Middlesex
1596, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire


1542, Dymock, Gloucestershire
1567, Hanley Castle, Worcestershire
1572, Benson, Oxfordshire
1574, Ombersley, Worcestershire
1580, Sarsden, Oxfordshire
1586, London
1591, Great Milton, Oxfordshire
1597, Reading Berkshire
1603, Hartley Wespall, Hampshire
1605, Weston under Penyard, Herefordshire


1563, Little Wittenham, Berkshire
1576, Henley, Oxfordshire
1590, Great Waltham, Essex
1590, Sutton Courtenay, Berkshire
1592, Henley, Oxfordshire
1597, Bedwardine, Worcestershire
1599, Stepney, London
1606, Henley, Oxfordshire
1610, Whitchurch, Oxfordshire


1546, Bushley, Worcestershire
1563, Westminster, London
1569, Uxbridge, Middlesex
1572, Tring, Hertfordshire
1575, Ipsden, Oxfordshire
1578, Wing, Buckinghamshire
1606, Sandford on Thames, Oxfordshire


1559, Ivinghoe, Buckinghamshire
1607, Stepney, London


1545, Stanford Rivers, Essex

Whilst this gives some idea of where the early Freawine type surnames were located, it doesn't give the whole story.

The entries above are from records that are about as early as you can find in Britain, and some areas or parishes started keeping records earlier than others.

There have certainly been many Frewins, Frewens, Fruins and Fruens etc. that have gone unrecorded prior to the introduction of formal records, and there are still plenty of records to be searched.

As you can see, there are definite correlations between the surnames, dates and areas. This is mostly due to the difficulty early recorders had with spelling the Freawine type surnames.

As for the Frewins, it looks to me as though they moved to Oxfordshire (or were already there but in small numbers) in the period 1550 - 1570.

They majority seem to have stayed for about 350 years, mostly working the land, and then they left in droves at the beginning of the industrial revolution, often towards London, following the laying of the new train tracks.

Because of the amount of time that the many generations of Frewins spent in Oxfordshire in the period 1500ad - 1900ad, the most populous area for Frewins is without doubt South Oxfordshire, in particular, the triangular area bounded by Oxford in the north, Reading in the south west and Henley in the south east.

You could probably squeeze more than half of all Frewins that lived before 1900ad into that small area. See here for a map of the area.

I have found records for around 7000 Frewins/Frewens/Fruins/Fruens so far, but quite a number of those will turn out to be duplicates.

If you extrapolate what we have so far to a steadily reducing number going back in time, it seems that prior to 1900 AD there may have been less than 15,000 Frewins, Frewens, Fruins & Fruens (ie all variants of the name) etc IN TOTAL.

If you measure that against the average Premier League Football match attendance of around 30,000 people in an afternoon, and you start to get an idea of just how few of us there really have been!


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