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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

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

There are several possible origins for the distinguished surname Flay. Firstly, the name may be derived from "Flée," the name of a place in the Cote-d'Or in France; in this case, the name would mean "one from Flée," and would have been brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Alternatively, the name may be derived from the Old English "fleah," meaning "flea"; in this instance, it is likely that the name was bestowed on the original bearer as a nickname.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Flay, Flaye, Fleay and others.

First found in the southern counties of England. The earliest known bearer of the name was William Fleie, who was listed in the Feodarium Prioratus Dunelmensis of 1233.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Flay research. Another 210 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1233, 1332, 1620, and 1642 are included under the topic Early Flay History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 29 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Flay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Flay Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Edward Flay, who landed in Virginia in 1664

Flay Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Charles Flay, aged 25, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865
  • Mary Flay, aged 24, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865
  • Elizabeth Flay, aged 2, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865
  • James Flay, aged 1, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865

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  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  3. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  6. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  7. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 17 May 2014 at 00:23.

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