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Fremantle Coat of Arms / Fremantle Family Crest

The surname of FREMANTLE was a locational name 'of Freemantle' a parish in the diocese of Wincehster, near Southampton. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1086, from any of the minor places called Fromental. The place name seems to have originated as a sort of nickname for a forest, as providing some sort of inadequate cover for a poor man who could not afford a cloak of his own. The bulk of European surnames in countries such as England and France were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did. Early records of the name mention Richard de Fremantell, 1300 County Norfolk. John Freemantle of Salisbury, was buried at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in 1737. Thomas Wells married Sarah Freemantle at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1784.

Habitation names were originally acquired by the original bearer of the name, who, having lived by, at or near a place, would then take that name as a form of identification for himself and his family. When people lived close to the soil as they did in the Middle Ages, they were acutely conscious of every local variation in landscape and countryside. Every field or plot of land was identified in normal conversation by a descriptive term. If a man lived on or near a hill or mountain, or by a river or stream, forests and trees, he might receive the word as a family name. Almost every town, city or village early times, has served to name many families.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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