Subject: Re: Freeman
Author: Jim Young   (guest)
Date: January 24, 2007 at 5:31 AM
Reply to: Re: Freeman by yallison

It can be Jewish, but it's a an English surname from way back.
My theory of Freeman as a Jewish surname is that it was originally Friedmann which became Freeman in the English-speaking world. Friedmann literally means "peace-man", which itself may be a stand-in for the Hebrew Shalom, which was a male personal name meaning (all together!) "peace". However, there is also a Jewish surname Frei, or Frey, which means "free", so, what price theories?
As an English surname Freeman meant what it says, the bearer was a free man and not a serf. Franklin is another surname with the same meaning.
Just to complicate matters the Irish took a liking to the name and used it as an English language version of Ó Saoraidhe (also Seery) and Mac an tsaor (also Macateer, Macintyre). Note that both names incorporate the word saor, which is Irish for "free".

I bet you wish you'd never asked.

Messages in this thread:
  • Freeman - Alix  Jan 23 2007, 4:07 PM
    • Re: Freeman - yallison  Jan 23 2007, 5:05 PM
      • Re: Freeman - Jim Young  Jan 24 2007, 5:31 AM