The English surname Frye, found chiefly in south and southwestern England, has two distinct origins. The name may be a nickname for a small person, from the Middle English term fry meaning “ a small person, child, or offspring.” The name may also be a variant of Free, from the Old English byform frig. In some cases Frye is an anglicized version of the German surname Frei or Frey. The first recorded spelling of the family name is William Frie, which was dated 1195 in the Sussex Pipe Rolls. On November 26th 1589, David Fry married Judith Berry at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, and the marriage of John Fry and Eme Draper took place at St. Pancras, Soper Lane, London, on November 30th 1589. Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845), was a well known bearer of the name, she became a Quaker minister at the age of 29 yrs. Today there are approximately 37,000 bearers of the name Frye living in the US.
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