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OTHER SCRIPTS: Bomefree
PRONOUNCED: BAWM-free (Dutch)
Meaning & History
This name is clearly derived from Sojourner Truth, a former African-American slave who was born as Isabella Bomefree (but at some point the surname was changed to the more German-looking Baumfree). Although Sojourner's original owners - James and Elizabeth Bomefree/Baumfree - were apparently of Dutch descent, it is questionable whether the surname is really of Dutch origin. The first part of the surname could indeed refer to a tree (from Dutch boom, German Baum - plural: bomen, Bäume) - but the second part of the surname is very atypical for a Dutch surname. Either this surname was somewhat tampered with by the ancestors of the Baumfree family (adding a self-invented part to the original surname), or the surname is actually of English origin. In the case of the latter, it might be derived from the medieval herb comfrey, which was used for aiding blood clotting and for expelling phlegm. Please also note the similarity of Bomefree/Baumfree with Pomfrey, the surname of the "Harry Potter" character Poppy Pomfrey.