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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: German-Alt, German, Irish


The Fraley surname comes from the Irish Gaelic name O Fearghail, which means "man of valor."

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Individual scribes in the Ireland during the Middle Ages would often record a person's name various ways. How the name was recorded depended on what that particular scribe believed the proper spelling for the name pronounced to him was. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the Fraley family name include Ferrell, Farrell, O'Ferrall, O'Farrell, Farrelly, Fraleigh, Frawley, Frahill and many more.

First found in Leinster, where they were found mainly in County Longford.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fraley research. Another 319 words (23 lines of text) covering the years 1235 and 1248 are included under the topic Early Fraley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Fraley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The English-ruled Ireland of the late 18th and 19th centuries featured a rapidly increasing population and an agricultural-based economy. This combination proved to be disastrous in the 1840s after a couple of failed potato harvests. Thousands died of disease and starvation, and thousands more left the country, often bound for North America. Those that survived the journey to North America were put to work building the bridges, canals, roadways, and railways needed for the development of an industrial society. Those Irish, although often despised by those already established in North American cities and towns, played an instrumental role in making Canada and the United States the powerful and wealthy nations that they are today. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has shown many immigrants bearing the name Fraley:

Fraley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Alexdr Fraley, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1727
  • Frederick Fraley, who was naturalized in North Carolina in 1766
  • Frederick Fraley, who arrived in North Carolina in 1766
  • John Fraley, whose Oath of Allegiance was recorded in Pennsylvania in 1777
  • John Fraley went to Pennsylvania in 1777

Fraley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Maria Fraley went to Philadelphia in 1804
  • Jeremiah Fraley, aged 30, landed in New York, NY in 1846
  • Thos. Fraley immigrated to New Orleans in 1850
  • Patrick Fraley settled in Fairfield Co. Ohio in 1856
  • Christian Fraley, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1865

Fraley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Pat. Fraley, aged 28, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Osceola"

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  • Bradford Fraley (1878-1942), American Olympic fencer
  • Frederick Fraley (1804-1901), American businessman, politician, and civic leader
  • Oscar Fraley (1914-1994), American co-author, with Eliot Ness, of the famous American memoir The Untouchables
  • Henry "Hank" F. Fraley (b. 1977), American football offensive lineman
  • Patrick "Pat" Fraley (b. 1949), American voice actor
  • Robert T Fraley, American who received the 1998 National Medal of Technology as part of a team who pioneered achievements in plant biology and agricultural biotechnology, and was Co-President of the agricultural sector


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  1. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  4. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  5. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  6. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. 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. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  10. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 29 February 2012 at 19:31.

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