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Origin of Fryer/Fryar/Friar surname 17th cent. London
Posted by: I Stamford (ID *****5778) Date: June 05, 2009 at 13:08:39
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This information is offered as a help to Fryer/Fryar/Friar researchers. Some Fryer/etc. families may find that their earliest known ancestor turns out to be a foundling child of the parish of St Anne Blackfriars in London. While researching other surnames in the parish registers for the mid to late 1600s, I noticed that there were an unusual number of foundling babies in this parish, and that they were always given the same surname, Fryer/Fryar, and baptized in that name in the church of St Anne Blackfriars. The parish of St Anne Blackfriars lies on the north bank of the river Thames near the end of Blackfriars Bridge. During the 17th century this area was teeming with people from all walks of life. It was also a point of debarkation for ships sailing to America or (later) Australia. A typical entry is "23 July 1699 William Fryar, a Foundling." Foundling girls were usually named Anne, but also Mary, Sarah, Esther, Elizabeth, and Jane Fryar or Fryer. Boys names included William, John, and Ralph.


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