Fleming is an ethnic name simply meaning an inhabitant of Flanders. It is a common surname in Britain, reflecting the importance of the wool trade between England and the Netherlands in the Middle Ages, when many Flemish weavers and dyers settled in England, Wales and southern Scotland. It arrived in Ireland in two ways, following the Norman invasion, when families of the name became prominent in the areas around Dublin, and through the Plantation of Ulster in the seventeenth century, when many Scottish bearers of the name arrived. In Scotland one Fleming family was part of the Clan Murray, while another family of the name were sheriffs of Lanarkshire and owned a great deal of land there. Today, although widespread elsewhere, the surname is most numerous in Ulster, particularly in counties Antrim and Derry. The most historically important Fleming family was one of the earlier southern arrivals, a family that held large tracts of land in counties Meath and Louth down to the seventeenth century, and acquired the title, Lords of Slane. Their espousal of the Jacobite cause led to the loss of all their estates
.Nicholas Fleming was Archbishop of Armagh between 1404 and 1416.
Rev. Richard Fleming (1542-1590), originally from Co. Meath was an eminent theologian and professor of philosophy at Paris University.
John Fleming (1815-1895) was a scholar prominent in the revival of the Irish language in the 19th century.
George Fleming (1773-1840) lead a notoriously dissolute life as a young man and was forced to flee to France to escape his debts. While there he wrote his memoirs, which caused a great deal of scandal and embarrassment to his former associates in Ireland.