Fryar History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The distinguished surname Fryar 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. Occupational surnames were derived from the common trades of the medieval era. The surname Fryar is an occupational name for a friar. The surname Fryar is derived from the Old French word frere, which means friar.

Early Origins of the Fryar family

The surname Fryar 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.

Important Dates for the Fryar family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fryar research. Another 117 words (8 lines of text) covering the year 1296 is included under the topic Early Fryar History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fryar Spelling Variations

Flemish 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 Fryar family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Fryar Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fryar migration to the United States

Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Fryar were among those contributors:

Fryar Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Edward Fryar, who landed in Virginia in 1654 [1]
  • Rich Fryar, who arrived in Virginia in 1666 [1]
Fryar Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Fryar, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [1]
Fryar Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alexander Fryar, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1869 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Fryar (post 1700)

  • Hal Fryar (1927-2017), American actor and television personality, best known as Harlow Hickenlooper, the host of The Three Stooges Show in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Elmer E. Fryar (1914-1944), United States Army soldier, recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions in World War II
  • Chris Fryar (b. 1970), American drummer, member of the Grammy Award winning group, Zac Brown Band
  • Pearl Fryar, African-American topiary artist, subject of the 2006 documentary film, A Man Named Pearl
  • Freddy "The Beaumont Flyer" Fryar (b. 1936), American retired NASCAR American stock car racing driver, Snowball Derby Winner in 1981 and 1979
  • Irving Dale Fryar Sr. (b. 1962), former American college and professional football player, Bart Starr Man of the Year Award (1998)
  • William Fryar (1828-1912), English-born, Australian surveyor, politician, businessman and mining inspector
  • Godfrey Charles Fryar (b. 1950), Australian clergyman, 11th Bishop of Rockhampton (2003-2013)
  • Samuel Fryar (1863-1938), Irish solicitor, councillor and politician, Member of Parliament for West Down (1933-1938)

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  1. ^ 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)
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