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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Welsh Foulkes family come from? What is the Welsh Foulkes family crest and coat of arms? When did the Foulkes family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Foulkes family history?

The old Welsh surname Foulkes comes from the popular personal name Fulk. This forename of Norman origin originally came from one of a number of Germanic personal names with the first portion "folk-," which means "people."

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Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname Foulkes has occasionally been spelled Foulke, Foulks, Foulkes and others.

First found in Denbighshire (Welsh: Sir Ddinbych), a historic county, created in 1536 at the Act of Union with England, and located in Northeast Wales, where they held a family seat at "Yr Eifiad" from very ancient times, some say before the 9th century.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Foulkes research. Another 183 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1290, 1691, 1660 and 1661 are included under the topic Early Foulkes History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 57 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Foulkes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In the 1800s and 1900s, many Welsh families left for North America, in search of land, work, and freedom. Those who made the trip successfully helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Foulkes

Foulkes Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • George Foulkes settled in Virginia in 1739

Foulkes Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Foulkes, who landed in America in 1857
  • A. H. Foulkes settled in San Francisco, California in 1864
  • John Foulkes settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1868
  • Robert Foulkes, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872

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  • Nigel Gordon Foulkes, Chairman, British Airports Authority
  • Major General Thomas Herbert Fischer Foulkes,
  • General Charles Foulkes (1903-1969), Canadian soldier, Chief of the General Staff, first Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff, Companion of the Order of Canada
  • Sir George Foulkes (b. 1942), Baron Foulkes of Cumnock, member of the House of Lords and former MP
  • Raul Alfonsin Foulkes (b. 1927), Argentine politician
  • General Charles Foulkes (1903-1969), Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (1951-1960)
  • Reverend Henry Foulkes, Principal of Jesus College in Oxford in 1827
  • William Anthony "Bill" Foulkes (1932-2013), English footballer an team manager, active in the sport from 1950 through 1985


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Jure, non dono
Motto Translation: By right, not by gift.

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  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  5. Bradsley C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print.
  6. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  10. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Foulkes Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Foulkes Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 20 June 2014 at 16:44.

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