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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Fry family come from? When did the Fry family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Fry family history?

Fry is a name of Anglo-Saxon origin. It was a name given to a person who was referred to as the fry, which literally means free. It has also been suggested that Fry comes from the Middle English word fry, meaning "small person," or "child." In either instance, the origins of the name are as a nickname which referred to characteristics of the first person who used the name.


Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Fry were recorded, including Fry, Frye, Free and others.

First found in Wiltshire where they held a family seat from very early times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fry research. Another 173 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1307, 1312, 1474, 1609, 1657, 1666, 1748, 1777, 1861, 1780 and 1845 are included under the topic Early Fry History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 159 words(11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fry Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Fry family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 31 words(2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Fry family emigrate to North America:

Fry Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Henry Fry, who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Alice Fry, who settled in Virginia in 1650
  • Alex Fry, who landed in Virginia in 1650
  • Tho Fry, who arrived in Virginia in 1650
  • Wm Fry, who landed in Virginia in 1663

Fry Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Peregrin Fry, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Christopher Fry, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1729
  • Hance Uldrick Fry, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1729
  • Hans Peter Fry, aged 4, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733
  • Elizabeth Fry, aged 9, landed in Pennsylvania in 1733

Fry Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Joh Fry, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1803
  • John F Fry, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1806
  • William Fry, who arrived in America in 1811
  • John Fry, who arrived in Maryland in 1813
  • Henry Fry, who landed in Maryland in 1813

Fry Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Nathan Fry, who arrived in Mississippi in 1903
  • Michael Fry, who landed in Alabama in 1916
  • Joseph Fry, who arrived in Alabama in 1919


  • Birkett D. Fry (1822-1891), Confederate general in the American Civil War
  • Brigadier-General James Clyde Fry (1897-1982), American Commanding General 2nd Division (1952-1953)
  • Roger Fry (1866-1934), English art critic and painter
  • Sir Edward Fry (1827-1918), English lawyer, made a judge of the high court of justice in 1877
  • Edwin Fry (1899-1987), English architect and planner
  • Christopher Fry (1907-2005), English playwright and poet
  • Maxwell Fry (1899-1987), English architect
  • Cecil Roderick Fry (1870-1952), English confectioner
  • Mr. John Richard Fry (d. 1912), aged 39, English First Class passenger from Liverpool, Merseyside who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Henry Kenneth Fry (1886-1959), Australian Rhodes Scholar, physician and anthropologist



  • Can You Find Me: A Family History by Christopher Fry.
  • Descendants of Peter Fry, Born 1787, York and Adams Counties, PA by Nancy Fry Carter.
  • Some Descendants of John Fry, Late of Licking County, Ohio by Charles Recker.


  1. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  4. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  6. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  11. ...

This page was last modified on 6 October 2014 at 17:08.

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