Region of origin
The basis of the Freie / Freije / Freye family is located in an area about 15/20 miles northeast of Osnabruck in Germany. There is a slightly larger village called: Ostercappeln.
This place is surrounded by many small rural villages and hamlets, including the stamping places of many Freies: Stirpe, Oelingen, Herringhausen. It was originally a 100% agricultural and animal husbandry area.
Nowadays that is less, but the farm is still being run.
And there in a nice Lutheran church (hidden in the woods and agricultural area) I found, in the archieves, most of my ancestors: my great-grandfather and his family, my great-great-grandfather and his
family. And so on back to about 1700. And that is probably the earliest year I can find, because the church and the archieves burned down in 1740.
I also found several acts in the archive of the Roman-Catholic St. Lambertus church in Ostercappeln. Although the family were Evangelical-Lutherans many of them were baptisted and married in the church in
Ostercappeln. That was because of the financial contribution that had to be paid to the church. And in that time the Roman-Catholic church was still influencial.
After 1700-1725 the Lutherans could be baptised and married in their own church.
I have a lot of information from the church archives of the church in Arenshorst (pict) and the church in Ostercappeln.
I have made links to THOUSANDS of CERTIFICATES and NAME-LISTS
from the Arenshorst Church-archieves.
You can find there not only members of the Freie family, but of all families who lived in that region.
Herringhausen, Stirpe, Oelingen and the other villages fell under the Evangelical Lutheran congregation of Arenshorst.
There was quite a bit of turmoil (wars) and diseases (potato plague) in Europe in the first half of the 19th century and this may have been one of the reasons
that this Freie family has left Germany to seek a better and safer future for themselves and their children in the Netherlands.
In the same period, many went abroad. Even across the ocean to America. Many of those Americans eventually settled as farmers
in the states of Ohio, Iowa and Nebraska.
The red-framed part (fig) is the Ostercappeln branch with the red line to the Dutch branch, which has spread from the province of Groningen to the Netherlands and the blue line, which emigrates to America.
The blue frame and blue line is the branch from Schale, many of which have left for America.
I don't know if there is a link between the Ostercappeln branch and the Schale branch. But these 2 areas are not that far apart, so I hope to find a link someday.
Both branches often have the same first names, so that gives some hope.
From the red branch, 2 lines actually go to the Netherlands. One line first settles in Oude Pekela and generally has the surname Freie or Freië.
The other line settles in Harkstede and has the surname Freije.
The name Freie is written in the Netherlands WITH and WITHOUT the diaeresis on the last 'e'. We were 4 brothers in our family: the 2 oldest boys officially have NO diaeresis
and are therefore called Freie, while the 2 youngest brothers officially DO have a diaeresis and are therefore called Freië. This diaeresis was introduced for the first time in the Netherlands.
Although my official name is Freië (with diaeresis), I often use the name on the internet without (laziness - and sometimes easier). I don't care so much about those 2 dots.
The family that settles in Oude Pekela, Netherlands the most sons become sailors. Then, at least, you had a better future than to get started as a farm worker in Groningen.
The young men (including my great-grandfather) who went to sea (between 1850 and 1900), most of them eventually became captains. And they mainly sail on 2 or 3-masted sailing ships (pic).
Initially, those journeys went across the Baltic Sea to Russia (St. Petersburg), Estonia and Poland. Later they were traveling to the "West": Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname and to
the west coast of Africa.