I can go back as far as

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Posted by Lawrence Frewin on 28 October , 2003 at 19:42:09:

In Reply to: I can go back as far as posted by Wendy Frewin on 27 October , 2003 at 16:09:59:

Hello Wendy.

I haven't been able to find anything on our database about any of the people you mention, but that is not surprising as you seem to have long Canadian roots and most of the data we have is from the UK.

The John Frewin you mention as being born on August 30, 1877 in Queen Sharlottes Hospital (actually Queen Charlottes Hospital - see here - is not on our database either.

It seems that your Great Grandfather must have left Britain quite young to get married aged 28 in Canada. Do you know anything more about his family here as we have several possible matches of John Frewins born around 1877 but with no further information on their movements.

I am not sure about the story of the Welsh Origin for the name Frewin. If William of Orange (who was born in 1698AD) had some part to play in the creation of the Frewin surname, it could not have appeared in the Domesday Book which was written around 1086AD, some 600 years earlier. I have records of the actual surname Frewin (ie not a variation) being used in about 1260AD, so it is certainly much older than William of Orange.

For information on William of Orange see here.

For The Domesday Book see here.

It's curious that your story does bear some resemblance to suggestions I have heard for the origin of the surname Fruin though, and even the timeline is similar.

I seem to recall that someone suggested that Fruin was chosen as a surname by some of the defeated Macgregor clansmen after the battle of Glen Fruin in Scotland as the Macgregors were banned from using their clan name after the battle (apologies if I have got this all wrong!).

Both the Fruin and Frewin surnames are considerable older than the Battle of Glen Fruin though, with Fruin's also appearing in official records in the 13th century.

I also have news relating to the Coat of Arms you mentioned. I am afraid that the Coat of Arms was awarded to a Frewen, not a Frewin, so Frewin's can't officially use it!

Never mind, there is still hope with finding out about your family roots if you can help me out with a bit information about your Great Grandfather. I suspect he is probably listed on our database but we need to know a bit more about him to tie him down. In particular, do you know where his parents were from?

The 1830 -1900 period was a period of great movement in Britain as the Industrial revolution helped move families off the land and into the cities, and the Frewins were very much caught up in that. If you know where his family was originally from it will help enormously. It is quite possible that he was from London as a small contingent has always lived there, but many more Frewin's were to be found in Oxfordshire prior to 1820.


Lawrence Frewin

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