This is from a copy of an email that was forwarded to me many years ago, but I don't know where or from whom the email originated. If anyone has any other information about the origins of the name, I'd love to receive it.

 

"MacLysaght states that Frizell, which has been in Ireland since 1216, is a variant of the Norman name Frisel, meaning a 'Fresian' or 'native of Friesland'.

P.H. Reaney claims that the name derives from the Old English 'frithu', meaning 'peace'. Both find 'unaccountable' the connection between Frizell and Frazer in Scotland. And yet Black, the authority on Scottish names, seems quite clear about it.

The original spellings of the name in Scotland, where it first appears in 1160, are de Fresellier, de Frisselle and de Fresel, and are that of a Norman family that stemmed ultimately from La Fresiliere in Anjou in France.

Black, in 'The Surnames of Scotland: Their Origin, Meaning and History', states that the names then became Fraissier, meaning 'strawberry bearer'. This process happened by the first or, at most the second, generation, for Sir Gilbert of Touch-Fraser in Stirlingshire, died by 1263, was a Frizell. He was a founder of the main line of the Clan Fraser. Fraser, however, continued to be pronounced Frizell or Frisell and indeed to this day in Tweedale and Lothian, Frisell is the common pronunciation.

As in the seventeenth century, Frizell is still most common in Co. Antrim. Families of this name were established in Munster in the thirteenth century, and gave their name to Freiselstown in Co. Limerick. The Justiciary, Patent and Chancery Rolls record a number of cases in which they are concerned, between 1295 and 1305. There was, for example, a dispute between two Freisels regarding their property at Freiselstown in 1297. The same year, Niolas [sic] Freysel was excommunicated by the Bishop of Cork. There was one family of Frizell in Kerry in 1901.

Sources: 'More Irish Famlies', 'The Surnames of Ireland', 'The Book of Ulster Surnames'."