Show ContentsFew History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the distinguished surname Few are somewhat unclear. The name is of English origin, and is thought to be derived from the Old English "feawe," meaning "small."

Early Origins of the Few family

The surname Few was first found in Wiltshire, where the ancestral home of the family is thought to be located. Bearers of Few have been prominent in this county for centuries; their history in this region stretches back to the years following the Norman Conquest of 1066.

Early History of the Few family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Few research. Another 58 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1748, 1789, 1828, and 1845 are included under the topic Early Few History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Few Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Few include Few, Fewe and others.

Early Notables of the Few family (pre 1700)

Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Few Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Few Ranking

In the United States, the name Few is the 11,873rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

United States Few migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Few or a variant listed above:

Few Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Rich Few, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1682 [2]

Australia Few migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Few Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Few, English convict who was convicted in Devizes, Wiltshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Enchantress"on 6th April 1833, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]
  • William Few, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Cromwell" in 1849 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Few (post 1700) +

  • Mary Reamey Few (1885-1971), American Republican politician, Member of Republican National Committee from North Carolina, 1944-54; Delegate to Republican National Convention from North Carolina, 1948, 1952 [5]
  • George H. Few (1855-1948), American Republican politician, Mayor of Flandreau, South Dakota; Member of South Dakota State Senate 15th District, 1901-04 [5]
  • Bobby Few (b. 1935), American jazz pianist from Cleveland, Ohio
  • William Few (1748-1828), American political leader in the American Revolution, congressman, and senator from Georgia, Founding Father of the United States

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. 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)
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th April 2022).
  4. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CROMWELL 1849. Retrieved from
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 2) . Retrieved from on Facebook