The distinguished surname Friary emerged among the industrious people of Flanders
, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish
and English nations, many Flemish
migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name
surnames were derived from the common trades of the medieval era. The surname Friary is an occupational
name for a friar. The surname Friary is derived from the Old French word frere,
which means friar.
Early Origins of the Friary family
The surname Friary was first found in Lothian
where they held a family seat
from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.
Early History of the Friary family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Friary research.Another 165 words (12 lines of text) covering the year 1296 is included under the topic Early Friary History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Friary Spelling Variations
surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations
. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish
settlers in England
, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish
names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Freer, Fryer, Frier, Frere and others.
Early Notables of the Friary family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Friary Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Friary family to the New World and Oceana
Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Friary: Martin Freer settled in Pennsylvania in 1773; Walgrave Freer settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1718; George Frier settled in Virginia with his wife Ursula in 1764.