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Our 2,744 members have registered
2,396 study surnames with us
and a further 6,089 variant names.

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About the study

Fleming is my maiden name and I started researching my family in 1980. During the pre-internet years with a young family and living two hours from a genealogy library I quickly learned to 'dredge' for Fleming records, taking all so I could sift through them later at home.  As my search became harder, I thought eliminating other references would also be helpful and so I began reconstructing other trees, documenting their connections and building Excel files to track my progress. Sometime during 1998 I realized I'd actually begun a one-name study and took the huge step to register it with the Guild.  

Variant names

The registered variants of the name are Flemin, Fleming, Flemming, Flemyng but I consistently also collect Flemings and gather other variations as I see them eg Fleeming, Flaming Flemen, and Fleeman (often a mistranscription of Freeman), Flemington and the much rarer Flemingham.

Name origin

In the middle ages there was a considerable amount of commercial trading between England, Scotland and the Netherlands. This activity occurred particularly in the wool trade, Transcripts of Charters relating to Gilbertine Houses, published in 1922, makes reference to a Serlo Le Fleming as early as 1150. Mention is made of Adam Fleming in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296. Examples of the Fleming surname are sometimes to be found in Ireland under the Gaelicized form of Pleimeann.
In England the surname is disbursed throughout the country but its highest concentration is in the Cumberland and Westmorland area. Early records attest to Fleming being the name of a well-known Kendal family in the reign of Elizabeth I and James I. In Scotland it is mostly located in the south – especially in the the borders counties, and particularly Dumfriesshire. It was the 76th most common name in Scotland in 1958.
German variants of the surname include Flaming, Flahming and Flehmig, there are also Dutch examples such as (Van) Vlaaderen, and Vlaming.
Quoted with permission from [Your Family Tree magazine] (c) 2003 Future Publishing Ltd

Historical occurrences of the name

Sir John Ambrose (1849 - 1945), English physicist and electrical engineer
Sir Alexander Fleming (1881 - 1955) Scottish bacteriologist and the discoverer of penicillin.
Ian Lancaster Fleming (1908 -€“ 1964) novelist and creator of James Bond.
Sir Sandford Fleming (1827 -€“ 1915) surveyor, engineer, creator of telegraphic communication systems and Standard Time.
Margery Fleming (1803 -€“ 1811) Scottish child became well known as Pet Marjorie when her poetry and journal were published in 1858.
Sir Thomas Fleming (1544 -€“ 1567) Lord Chief Justice who sentenced Guy Fawkes.
See the Fleming One-Name Study website for Word War I casaulties

Name frequency

The ONS 2002 data shows that there were 16,550 living Fleming and ranked 415th most common name in England and Wales; 669 Flemming the 7948th most common and no Flemin. The site estimates there have been 59,196 Flem(m)ing births in England and Wales since parish registers began in 1500s.

Distribution of the name

Our best opportunity to create a 'slice in time' appreciation of Fleming distribution worldwide is through census records.
 Ancestry sites calculate:
1881 Canada: 5 Fleeming; 1992 Fleming; 706 Flemming; and 11 Flemin and 11 Flemington
1881 England & Wales: 46 Fleeming; 6,144 Fleming; 1,097 Flemming; 7 Flemin and 114 Flemington
1881 Scotland: 31 Fleeming; 6,573 Fleming; 65 Flemming; 7 Flemin and 41 Flemington
1880 US: 52 Fleeming; 20,343 Fleming; 6,266 Flemming and 32 Flemin and 9 Flemington
Mapping the distributions
1880 US census distribution map; 1891 UK census distribution map. 1871 overall distribution mirrors 1891.

Further distribution maps of Fleming, Flemming around the world are available via the Surname Distribution Maps page at FamilySearch


Available for searching in the Guild Data Archive:
 England and Wales
Births, 1837 - 1930 c. 16,000 entries and about half show mother's maiden name
Marriages 1837 -€“ 1930. Some 11,600 marriages: 9,800 with an identified spouse and for nearly half of these, the full transcription is available.
Deaths 1837 - 1930. c. 11,000
Marriages begun with 1855 - 1900 and includes spouse.
Births and deaths also 1855 - 1900.
Marriages 1845 - 1863 
Searches in the England and Wales births, deaths and marriages archive return similar information to FreeBMD but with additional information mentioned above. The results also display differently and it's possible to find events you've missed in other layouts. Extremely useful is the ability to enter the first three letters of first name eg Mar and get all the possible spellings in the results: Marianne, Mary, Maryann, Mary Ann, Maria etc
Probate Index for England and Wales 1858 - 1930.
Index to the full calendar entry to 1930. Search results include dates, addresses, values, executors etc. Wills can now be ordered online at


The General Search Results appearing at the base of this page show references to the name in other member archives within the Guild ie in addition to those listed above. The results are specific to the spelling used in your search so tweaking the spelling eg adding or dropping an  will give different results.



There are two Y-DNA projects associated with the Fleming surname, both at FamilyTreeDNA:
letthedeedshawFLEMING Y-DNA project studies the Fleming surname and its variants seeking participants from around the world. Further information and results so far are available on the project website

ftdnaScotland and the Flemish People Y-DNA Project is focusing on Scottish families who believe they may have Flemish origins. Further information and results so far are available on their project website



Fleming One-Name Study website: