This surname of FREELAND was originally from the Norman given name FRANC, in origin an ethnic name for a FRANK, a member of the Germanic people who inhabited the lands around the river Rhine in Roman times. In the 6th century, under their leader Clovis I. the Franks established themselves a substantial empire in central Europe, which later developed into the so-called Holy Roman Empire. Their most famous ruler was the Emperor Charlemagne (742-814). Only the Frankish race enjoyed the status of being free-men in early times. Hereditary surnames were originally imported from France into England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the two centuries or so after the Conquest surnames were acquired by most families of major landholders, and many landed families of lesser importance. There appears to have been a constant trickle of migration into Britain between about the years 1200 and 150O, mostly from France and the Low Countries, with a small number of migrants from Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and the Iberian peninsular, and occasional individuals from further afield. During this period groups of aliens settled in this country as for example, the Germans who from the late 15th century onwards settled in Cumbria to work the metal mines. Immigration during this time had only a small effect on the body of surnames used in Britain. In many cases, the surnames of immigrants were thoroughly Anglicised. The late sixteenth century saw the arrival, mostly in London and the south-coast ports of large numbers of people fleeing from the war regions of France. A notable member of the name was Valentin FRIEDLAND (1490-1556) the German educationist, more commonly known as Trotzendorf from his birthplace near Gorlitz. He studied under Luther at Wittenberg. Settling at Goldberg in Silesia, he founded a school in 1531 which was run entirely by the boys themselves. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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