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

Where did the English Frisby family come from? What is the English Frisby family crest and coat of arms? When did the Frisby family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Frisby family history?

The name Frisby was brought to England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Frisby family lived in Leicestershire, in a town called Frisby which is now lost to the map. A number of towns called Frisby exist in England, all deriving their names from the Old Norman word frisir, which indicated someone from the area of Frisia or Friesland.

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Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Frisbie, Frisby, Frisbee, Frisebie, Frisebye, Friseby and many more.

First found in Leicestershire where the family were Lords of the manor of Frisby at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book, [1] a survey by William the Conqueror in 1086, after his conquest of England in 1066 A.D. Conjecturally they are descended from Fulk, a Norman noble who held this land from Hugh de Grandmesnil. The village is now deserted and lies on Frisby Hall farmland. Also in Leicestershire Frisby on the Wreake were estates held by Earl Hugh and may have had some connection to the family.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Frisby research. Another 141 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1965 and 1929 are included under the topic Early Frisby History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Frisby family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 35 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World 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 stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Frisby or a variant listed above:

Frisby Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Ann Frisby, who landed in Virginia in 1633
  • Elizabeth Frisby settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Ann Frisby settled in Virginia in 1637
  • Elizabeth Frisby, who arrived in Maryland in 1649
  • Thomas Frisby, who arrived in Maryland in 1652


Frisby Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • John Frisby, who landed in America in 1765

Frisby Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Adolphus Frisby settled in New York State in 1823
  • J Frisby, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • A Frisby, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • William Frisby, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1855
  • W Frisby, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1855


Frisby Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John Frisby arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Gratitude" in 1848

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  • Edgar Frisby (1837-1927), English-born, American astronomer from Great Easton, Leicestershire
  • Leander Franklin Frisby (1825-1889), American Republican politician and lawyer from Wisconsin
  • Joseph Hyrum Frisby (1850-1915), American politician, Mayor of Provo, Utah, 1906-07
  • John Frisby, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Albany County, 1802-03
  • George W. Frisby, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1936
  • George Frisby, American politician, Independent American Candidate for Presidential Elector for Arizona, 2012
  • Frank M. Frisby (b. 1888), American Republican politician, Member of Missouri State Senate, 1943-52; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Missouri, 1948
  • Ezra H. Frisby, American Republican politician, Member of Missouri State Senate 4th District, 1905-06; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Missouri, 1916
  • Clare Kathleen Frisby (b. 1966), English BBC newsreader for "Look North" in West Yorkshire
  • Captain Cyril Hubert Frisby VC (1885-1961), English recipient of the Victoria Cross

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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Semper fidelis
Motto Translation: Always faithful.

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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  3. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  5. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  6. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  7. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  9. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  10. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  11. ...

The Frisby Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Frisby Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 8 February 2016 at 09:03.

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