Frys History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Frys is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. Frys was a name used for a person who was referred to as the fry, which literally means free. It has also been suggested that Frys comes from the Middle English word fry, meaning "small person," or "child." In either instance, the origins of the name are as a nickname which referred to characteristics of the first person who used the name.  
Early Origins of the Frys family
The surname Frys was first found in Wiltshire where the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 has two listings: Thomas le Frye; and Geoffrey le Frye as both holding lands there at that time.
Another source notes that William Frie was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Sussex in 1195 and Robert le Frye was listed in Warwickshire c. 1248. 
In Cornwall, the Cornish version of the name denotes "a hill, a town or house on the most prominent part of a hill or eminence." 
"Of the old Wiltshire families of yeomen, few can boast a greater antiquity, and few have shown more love of their county by remaining in it, than those bearing the name of Fry. Numerous as they now are, especially around Chippenham, we find that as far back as in the reigns of Henry III. and Edward I., the Fryes or Fries found in Wiltshire their main abode. The Frys of Ashgrove, in the parish of Donhead St. Mary, appear to be one of the parent stocks; they gave the burial ground for Quakers in that parish, which has been used for this purpose ever since the Society of Friends was first established in England." 
The famed English prison reformer Elizabeth Fry, (1780-1845) born Elizabeth Gurney, hailed from Norfolk into a prominent Quaker family. After her first visit to Newgate Prison in 1813, she was horrified and vowed to make changes. One of her admirers, Queen Victoria granted her an audience that led to the Gaols Act of 1823. England still regards her with so much importance that her likeness appeared on the £5 note from 2001 to 2016.
Early History of the Frys family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Frys research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1307, 1312, 1461, 1426, 1448, 1474, 1609, 1657, 1666, 1748, 1777, 1861, 1780 and 1845 are included under the topic Early Frys History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Frys Spelling Variations
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Frys include Fry, Frye, Free and others.
Early Notables of the Frys family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Sir John Fray (died 1461), an English lawyer who served as Baron of the Exchequer from 1426 and Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer in 1448; Walter Frye (c. died 1474), an English composer of the early Renaissance; John Fry (1609-1657), Member of the English Parliament and sat as...
Migration of the Frys family to Ireland
Some of the Frys family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Frys family
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Frys were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: John Frie, who settled in New England in 1638; George Frie, who settled in St. Christopher in 1635; Jacob Frie, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1739.