If your last name is Fryou, then it probably was once Frioux or Frio or Ferio. But it was never Frillot. Make sense?
One of the maddening things about genealogy is the spellings of names change. There’s a good reason for that. Literacy was once a privilege of the upper class. Chances are, your Cajun ancestor didn’t read or write. He had no clue how to spell his last name.
Take the Frioux family. The line started in Louisiana with Francois Frioux, who arrived in Louisiana in 1785 with his son Francois. Francois Sr.’s wife, Susanne, must have died in France before the journey across the ocean. The Spaniards – who were in charge of the colony at the time – gave Francois Sr. an axe, a hatchet, a shovel a meat cleaver and two hoes to help with his new life along Bayou Lafourche.
Onboard the same ship as the Frioux father and son was Isabelle Bourg, who would soon become Francois Sr.’s second wife. They would have two sons: Francois Filbert (called Filbert to make things less confusing) and Joseph Elie.
The three boys had lots of children. Over the years, the name Frioux evolved – probably because no one was quite sure how to spell it. Fryou, Frioux, Frio, Ferio all were used. There were also a lot of Frillots over in Acadiana, but they don’t appear to be related to the Fryou/Frioux/Frio family.
I’m including the succession index from the Assumption Parish courthouse just to show how the name evolved in a single parish.