The following excerpt was taken
from "Genealogies of New Jersey Families". This section was written by James Tanis.
In the course of the past few years, I have
jotted down variant spellings of Domine Frelinghuysen's family name which appeared in
autograph signatures by his family. The list would have been extended even further if I
had constantly watched for variants, but the present list gives some idea of the
combinations and variations which were used. Often the "y" appears with two dots
over it like a German umlaut. Actually this is the equivalent of the diphthong
"ij" which was familiar in 17th-century Low German and continues to this day in the Dutch language. Though often
"ij" and the dotted "y" were used interchangeably, only the "ij" form is used in
this list. This diphthong sounds very much like a long "e," so that the modern spelling, Frelinghuysen, comes
close to the original in the pronunciation of the first syllable. The final double syllable, "huysen,"
was pronounced more like the English "housen" than the present pronunciation, "heisen."
No variant spellings have been included which
appear in printed or manuscript sources by other than members of the family, nor are any children's signatures included. It
is not only as
a curiosity, but also as a word of caution to guide those who will continue to pursue Frelinghuysen
studies, that the following list of variant spellings is presented.
Though his great-grandfather used the spelling
Freijlinghaus, his grand-father used at least three further spellings (Frelinghausen, Freijlinghauss, and Frilinghauss), and his
father used three others (Frielinghauss, Frilinghausen, and Frijlinghausen),
T.J.F. singed his surname
in at least thirteen wasy: Freilinghuysen, Frelinghausa, Frelinghuyze,
Frelinghausen, Frielinghausen, Frielinghusen, Frielinkhuasen, Frelinkhuizen,
Frilinghuisen, Frilinghuisen, Frijlinckhausen, Frijlinkhuisen, and the two Latinized forms,
Frelinghusius and Frilingius. His sons
contributed five more variants: Frealinghousing, Frelinghousen, Frelinghuizen,
Frielinghuisen, and Frielinghuysen. Yet none of them appears to have used the form "Frelinghuysen," which his
descendants have adopted!.