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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, German, Italian


The name Folk reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is based on the Norman personal name Fulco. The line of this name descends from the noble house of Fulco Nerra, who held the title of Count of Anjou, Normandy.

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Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Folk have been found, including Folke, Folk, Folkes, Fulke, Fooke, Fooks, Foolk, Fowke and many more.

First found in Norfolk where they were granted lands by William de Warrene and were conjecturally descended from Fulco Nerra, the Count of Anjou.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Folk research. Another 187 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1653, 1685, 1596, 1662, 1644, 1652, 1638, 1710, 1690 and 1765 are included under the topic Early Folk History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 99 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Folk Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Folk family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Folk were among those contributors:

Folk Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Peter Folk, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1746
  • Baltas Folk, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1751
  • Christoph Folk, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1751
  • Joh Jurg Folk, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1753
  • Jerig Folk, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1754

Folk Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Johanna Folk, aged 29, arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1807
  • John Folk, aged 48, landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1807
  • Hannah Folk, aged 24, arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1807
  • Michael Folk, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1845
  • Jens Folk, aged 40, landed in New York, NY in 1869


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  • Edward Folk (d. 1943), American politician, Mayor of Canton, Ohio, 1939-43
  • Nicholas "Nick" Folk (b. 1984), American NFL football player
  • Reau E. Folk, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Tennessee, 1912
  • Michael Folk, American Republican politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates 63rd District; Elected 2012
  • Joseph Wingate Folk (1869-1923), American Democrat politician, Governor of Missouri, 1905-09; Speaker, Democratic National Convention, 1912 ; Candidate for U.S. Senator from Missouri, 1918
  • Mrs. Joseph W. Folk, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Tennessee, 1936
  • Henry Calhoun Folk, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from South Carolina, 1912; Member of South Carolina State Senate from Bamberg County, 1933-36
  • Frank Folk, American Democrat politician, Presidential Elector for New York, 1992
  • Richard Dale Folk (b. 1950), Canadian curler, two-time world curling champion


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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: Qui sera sera
Motto Translation: Whatever will be.

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  1. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  2. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  5. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. 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. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  11. ...

The Folk Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Folk 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 2 November 2015 at 11:04.

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