Show ContentsFrame History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The earliest origins of the Frame surname date from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name reveals that an early member was a person who was considered brave and vigorous. 1 The surname Frame originally derived from the Old English word fram which referred to a vigorous quality. 2 The surname Frame belongs to a broad and miscellaneous class of surnames. Nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character.

Early Origins of the Frame family

The surname Frame was first found in Devon, where John filius Frame was record in 1250. Later, Geoffrey Frame was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Norfolk and Suffolk in 1196. 1

Much further north in Scotland, "several persons of this name are recorded in the Commissariot Records of Campsie and of Lanark. Adam Frame 1495. Arthur Fram, [was a] witness in Glasgow, 1551. Daniel Frame, burgess in Edinburgh, 1642, William Fram is recorded in parish of Calder, 1679, and William fframe in Mauldslie was warded in the Canongate Tolbooth, Edinbergh, 1683." 3

Early History of the Frame family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Frame research. Another 96 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1100, 1273, 1279, 1551, 1577, 1642, 1664, 1700, 1719, 1726, 1733 and 1796 are included under the topic Early Frame History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Frame Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Frame are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Frame include: Frame, Fram, Frayme, Fraym, Fraim, Fraime and others.

Early Notables of the Frame family

Notables of this surname at this time include:

  • John Frame (1733-1796), an English cricketer from Warlingham, Surrey who played for Dartford, Kent and Surrey...

Frame Ranking

In the United States, the name Frame is the 4,095th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. 4

Ireland Migration of the Frame family to Ireland

Some of the Frame family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 146 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Frame migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Frame or a variant listed above:

Frame Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Frame who settled in Virginia in 1637
  • Jon Frame, who arrived in Virginia in 1637 5
  • Rebecca Frame, who arrived in Virginia in 1656 5
  • Arthur Frame, who landed in Maryland in 1669 5
  • Robert Frame, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1682 5
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Frame Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mathias Frame, who settled in Maryland in 1735
Frame Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Frame, who landed in America in 1803 5
  • Andw Frame, aged 22, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817 5
  • Andrew Frame, aged 22, who landed in New York in 1819 5
  • J Frame, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 5
  • Christopher, Edward, George, John, Joseph, Noble, Robert, Thomas, and William Frame, who settled in Pennsylvania between 1772 and 1868
Frame Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Joseph Frame, who landed in Arkansas in 1901 5

Canada Frame migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Frame Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Archibald Frame, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
Frame Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Catherine Frame, aged 22, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Perseus" in 1834

Australia Frame migration to Australia +

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

Frame Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • "Miss Ann Frame, (b. 1811), aged 17, English convict who was convicted in Durham, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the ""Competitor"" on 9th June 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, she died in 1848" 6

New Zealand Frame migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Frame Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Daniel Frame, (b. 1854), aged 20, Scottish labourer from Lanark travelling from London aboard the ship "Tweed" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 4th September 1874 7
  • Grace Frame, aged 60, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1879
  • William Frame, aged 24, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1879
  • David Frame, aged 16, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1879

West Indies Frame 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. 8
Frame Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • William Frame, who landed in Barbados in 1680
  • Thomas Frame, aged 30, who arrived in Antigua (Antego) in 1683 5

Contemporary Notables of the name Frame (post 1700) +

  • Peter Frame (1957-2018), American ballet dancer and dance teacher who danced with New York City Ballet from 1976 until 1990
  • John Frame (b. 1950), American sculptor, photographer, composer and filmmaker
  • John Frame (b. 1939), American philosopher and Calvinist theologian
  • Esther G. Frame (1840-1920), née, Gordon, an American minister and evangelist, minister of the Society of Friends church for over 40 years
  • John M. Frame (b. 1939), American Christian philosopher and Calvinist theologian
  • Fredrick William "Fred" Frame (1894-1962), American race car driver who won the 1932 Indianapolis 500, inducted in the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame in 2004
  • Richard Frame, American author who wrote "A Short Description of Pennsylvania"; to attract settlers and investment, Frame offers a verse description of "what things are known, enjoyed, and like to be discovered" in Pennsylvania
  • William Frame, English architect, born at Melksham, Wiltshire
  • Peter "Pete" Frame (b. 1942), English music journalist
  • William Frame, Scottish three-time gold medalist curler
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

St. Francis Dam
  • Mr. Leslie Joseph Frame, American resident in Santa Clarita killed when the St. Francis Dam failed and flooded the area in 1928
  • Mr. John Harold Frame, American resident in Santa Clarita killed when the St. Francis Dam failed and flooded the area in 1928
  • Mr. Vernon Chester Frame, American resident in Santa Clarita killed when the St. Francis Dam failed and flooded the area in 1928

  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. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. 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)
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 8th March 2021). Retrieved from
  7. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
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