According to the family’s letter patent of nobility, the spelling of the name is Frivaldszky, but in some lineages of the family different ways of spelling also came to stay.

The ancient nestle of the Frivaldszkys can be found in the former Trencsén county on the area of the historic Hungary. It is a village called Frivald (nowadays its name is Rajecká Lesná), where the family used to be the hereditary village mayor family from 1413 to 1805.

The founder of the family in Frivald was Mihály, a nobleman of Romanian origin coming from Szilvás of Hunyad county, who served on the side of Stibor, a baron of Sigismund of Luxemburg, king of Hungary and Holy Roman emperor. He received the village in 1413 as an estate for his loyal services to the baron.

One member of the family, János Frivaldszky, who was the provisor (economic manager) of the Lietava castle that belonged to palatine György Thurzó, through the instrumentality of his lord was raised to nobility and received a letter patent granting armorial bearings next to his estate in 1583 by King Rudolph II.

However, the family estate was broken up into small pieces through the centuries, the family sank into poverty and its members scattered. Some members of the family got married into other noble families becoming landed gentry this way, others made their way as stewards for landowners, office holders on town or county level or became priests. Many learned trade and settled in towns, especially on the Great Plain. Throughout the six hundred years of the family history its social and geographical changes can be examined well. The members of the family are found in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Romania, Austria, Germany and also in Russia, Belgium, the USA and Brazil.

The family is not famous for its political or military activity but for its scientific members. The six best-known Frivaldszkys are all scientists. Among them János Fridvaldszky (1730-1781) Jesuit historian, mineralogist, inventor; Imre Frivaldszky (1799-1870) botanist, zoologist, Balkan-researcher; and János Frivaldszky (1822-1895) entomologist have international reputation.

Altogether 38 Frivaldszkys can be called “writers” according to József Szinnyei’s concept.

It is the Frivaldszky family – as far as we know – that has the most explored history among the families of the historic Hungary. Presently 3126 people have the name Frivaldszky, each having a cleared genealogical relation. The above mentioned number does not include spouses.