Fryer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Fryer 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 Fryer is an occupational name for a friar. The surname Fryer is derived from the Old French word frere, which means friar. [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Fryer family

The surname Fryer was first found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 which listed: Benedictus le Frere, Cambridgeshire; and John le Frere, Norfolk. [3] Over in Somerset, Cecylia le Frere, was listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [4]

Another source notes that Robert (le) Frere was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire, 1196-1195 and Roger le Frier was listed in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1243. [5]

Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Margota Frere; and Isabella Frere as holding lands there at that time. [3]

"There were gentle families of the name in Great Wigston and Blaby, Leicestershire, during last century. John Freer was rector of Knossington in the reign of Anne. One of the name was mayor of Leicester about a century ago. The name also occurs in Yorkshire. Since Leicestershire, Rutlandshire, and Yorkshire are all of them homes of both the Freers and the Fryers, the two names are probably different forms of the same name." [6]

Early History of the Fryer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fryer research. Another 117 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1296, 1563, 1517, 1521, 1525, 1525, 1571, 1563, 1544, 1548, 1555, 1672, 1563, 1623, 1733, 1671, 1605 and 1598 are included under the topic Early Fryer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fryer 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 Fryer family (pre 1700)

Prominent in the family at this time was John Fryer (d. 1563), English physician, born at Balsham, Cambridgeshire, educated at Eton and elected thence to King's College, Cambridge, in 1517. "He graduated B.A. in 1521 and M.A. in 1525. On 5 Nov. 1525 he was incorporated at Oxford, being one of three masters of arts who had been preferred to Cardinal Wolsey's college in that university." [7] John Fryer ( fl. 1571), the English physician, who has been erroneously described as the son of John Fryer, M.D. (d. 1563) [q. v.], was born at Godmanchester, Huntingdonshire, and educated at Cambridge...
Another 98 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fryer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Fryer migration to the United States +

Early immigration records have shown some of the first Fryers to arrive on North American shores:

Fryer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Fryer, who settled in Virginia with his wife in 1623
  • Thomas Fryer, who landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1639 [8]
  • John Fryer, who arrived in Virginia in 1648 [8]
  • Edward Fryer, who arrived in Virginia in 1650 [8]
  • Edward Fryer, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Fryer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Anne Fryer, who landed in Virginia in 1702 [8]
  • Mary Fryer, who arrived in Virginia in 1702 [8]
  • Anne Fryer, who settled in Virginia in 1702
  • Humphry Fryer, who arrived in Virginia in 1703 [8]
  • John Caspar Fryer, who landed in New York in 1765 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Fryer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • E. Fryer, who arrived in Baltimore in 1820
  • A. Fryer, who settled in Baltimore in 1820
  • Augustin Fryer, who settled in Louisiana in 1836-1841
  • James Fryer, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1842 [8]
  • George Fryer, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1843 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Fryer migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Fryer Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Fryer, aged 22, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the barque "New Brunswick" from Liverpool, England

Australia Fryer migration to Australia +

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

Fryer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Frederick Fryer, aged 27, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Fitzjames"
  • Jemima Fryer, aged 21, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Amazon"

New Zealand Fryer 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:

Fryer Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Sarah Fryer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Surge" in 1855
  • Anthony Fryer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Annie Wilson" in 1863
  • James A. Fryer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Annie Wilson" in 1863
  • Benjamin Fryer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cairngorm" in 1863
  • Thomas Fryer, aged 42, a farm labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rooparell" in 1874
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Fryer (post 1700) +

  • Eric Joseph Fryer (b. 1985), American professional baseball catcher
  • Lester K. Fryer (1919-1990), American Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
  • John E. Fryer (1938-2003), American psychiatrist and gay rights activist
  • Donald Sidney Fryer (b. 1934), American poet and entertainer
  • William J. “Tucker” Fryer (1895-1960), English-American soccer half back
  • Roland Gerhard Fryer Jr. (b. 1977), American Professor of Economics at Harvard University
  • Edward Fryer (1761-1826), English physician, born in 1761 at Frome, Somersetshire [9]
  • John Leavy "Jack" Fryer (b. 1911), English footballer
  • John Spencer "Jack" Fryer (1877-1933), English footballer
  • John Fryer (d. 1563), English physician, humanist and early reformer
  • ... (Another 12 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMAS Sydney II
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Albert Ernest Fryer, aged 29, English Trimmer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 13 [11]


  1. ^ Sims, Clifford Stanley The Origin and Signification of Scottish Surnames. 1862. Print.
  2. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020
  10. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  11. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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