Show ContentsDrye History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

This name is a nickname for someone who is 'enduring, patient', 'doughty, fierce', 'slow, tedious' from the Middle English word "dre" or "dregh." [1] Another source claims the name means 'crafty, cunning' from the same Middle English word. [2]

Early Origins of the Drye family

The surname Drye was first found in Norfolk where the Pipe Rolls of 1219 listed Roger Drie as holding lands there at that time. Later records show Geoffrey Drye in 1292 and the Feet of Fines for Essex list William Drye there in 1321. The Feet of Fines for Cambridgeshire includes an entry for Walter Drye in 1339. [1]

Early History of the Drye family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Drye research. Another 112 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1321, 1455, 1487 and 1858 are included under the topic Early Drye History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Drye Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Dry, Drey, Drye, Dray, Dreigh, Drie, Dreye and others.

Early Notables of the Drye family

More information is included under the topic Early Drye Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Drye Ranking

In the United States, the name Drye is the 8,748th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]


United States Drye migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Drye Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Drye, who arrived in Virginia in 1654 [4]
Drye Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Samuell Drye, who landed in Virginia in 1702 [4]
Drye Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Rosine Drye, who arrived in Baltimore in 1881

West Indies Drye migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [5]
Drye Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • George Drye, who settled in Barbados in 1664


  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/last-names/
  4. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies


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