This is a Scottish locational name from the Fords of Frew (also known as "The Frews"), a fortified site on the River Forth. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "frwd" meaning a "current" or "stream". Frequently, settlements grew up at the lowest crossing point of a river as happened in this case. The surname is widespread in Perthshire and is first recorded in that latter half of the 16th Century. One, David Frew was a reader at the Kirk of Dunrossness in 1624. The name is recorded in Pebbleshire (1693), in Edinburgh (1735) and in Kilsyth (1795). Walter Edwin Frew, a noted financier in America was a Scottish parentage. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alexander Frew (witnessed a bond of friendship). which was dated 1581, Records at Caldwell, Glasgow. during the reign of King James VI of Great Britian, 1567 - 1625. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.