Posted by Lawrence Frewin on 03 March , 2003 at 21:03:58:
In Reply to: looking for ancestory posted by Stephen Fruen on 16 February , 2003 at 11:25:07:
: looking for ancestory thaught I origanally german decent.
It's not impossible.
I have found some records for German Fruen's, but I am not sure whether they are related to English Fruen's or not.
None of the German records I have seen are more than about 200 years old, whereas the earliest English Fruen records I have found are from the early 16th Century. There also seems to be very few people in Germany with a Fruen type surname, whereas there are thousands of us in the UK, Ireland, USA and Australia
Given the number of Fruen's around in the 16th Century, it seems probable that there were several generations before then that went unrecorded, and that the name may go back to the 12th or 13th century in Britain. It is not impossible therefore that the German Fruen's are descended from the English Fruen's.
It is also possible that the name Fruen is originally Saxon, introduced into Britain between 450AD and about 1200AD. The relationship between the words Frauen (German for woman) and Fruen (Danish/Nordic for Maid or married woman) has been touched on previously here, and it seems likely that Saxons introduced the name into Britain originally.
This is a question that could be answered by DNA testing though. Perhaps some of the various strains of Fruen's, Frewin's, Frewen's and Fruin's will volunteer for a DNA test at some stage to see just how close the links are, and what the most likely root for the name coming to Britain is. That would be interesting.
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