Irish connection

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Posted by Bob Frewen on 11 September , 2002 at 18:11:51:

In Reply to: Irish connection posted by Lawrence on 11 September , 2002 at 09:21:23:

The Annals of the Four Masters are a goldmine for anyone interested in early Irish genealogy or history to the early 1600s. Four Franciscan monks compiled them in 1632-36, the main one being Michael O’Cleary who was a poet and antiquary before entering Orders. Their entire source notes on velum and parchment were destroyed during the Cromwellian and Williamite wars, so their legacy is priceless.

In the original text of the entry quoted above (M704.4) :
Oissene Fremhann, mac Galluist, abb Cluana Mic Nóis, d'ecc. Do Calraighe Tethbha a chenel.
For what it’s worth, variations of Fremhann or Freamhainne or Fremhoinn, etc. are quoted in several places in the Annals. The word Fremhann, which because it is pronounced somewhat similarly (Frewan or Frevan, depending on dialect) could be anglicised as Frewin but there any connection with Frewen/in stops! For the same phonetic reason the present day Irish spelling used by Frewens is Freamhainn (insertion of the "i" required by the genitive case.)

It has been recorded somewhere that a Freamhann was one of the Fianna, a semi-mythological band of warriors who were led by Fionn McCumhail (Finn McCool). Also mentioned in the Annals is a Battle of Fremhainn during the year 501AD. The site of the battle is in present day Co. Westmeath and is known as Frewin’s Hill. A Norman family (I think de Lacy) were lords of the land there and one of their titles is/was “Barons of Balrath, Frewen and Lynn.”

So the Irish Fremhann is a bit like the Danish Fruan mermaid.....

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