fleming, alexander


A Fleming is an inhabitant (or descendant thereof) of Flanders, a region overlapping parts of modern Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. See Flemish people.


"Fleming" is a surname in English-speaking countries. It may point to an ancestral origin in, and emigration from, Flanders - though it might have happened long enough in the past that no memory of it, except for the name, is retained in the family concerned. (There were extensive ties between England and Flanders already in the Middle Ages, with numerous Flemings arriving in England as merchants or mercenaries or as weavers and some staying on - see William of Ypres.) The name "Fleming" is also common in Scotland and occurs in Scandinavian countries (specifically, it is the name of Fleming of Louhisaari, a Swedish noble family whose ancestors immigrated from Denmark to Swedish-ruled Finland) - all testifying to widespread Flemish diasporas from the Middle Ages on. So is the name of Fläming region, spanning parts of the German states of Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg, a name preserving the memory of 12th century Flemish colonists. Among the persons so named may be mentioned:

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Fleming is also the name of several Swedish noble families, some of which have been historically significant.

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