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

Where did the English Fry family come from? What is the English Fry family crest and coat of arms? 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?

The ancient Anglo-Saxon culture once found in Britain is the soil from which the many generations of the Fry family have grown. The name Fry was given to a member of the family who was 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.


Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Fry family name include 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.


For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Fry surname or a spelling variation of the name include :

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. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  4. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  6. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  7. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  8. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Fry Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Fry Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

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

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