Foale History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient history of the name Foale began soon after 1066 when the Norman Conquest of England occurred. It was a name given to a free-spirited or eccentric person. Further research showed the name was derived from the Latin word follis which formerly referred to anything filled with air, but which later took on metaphorical connotations of empty-headedness and vanity. [1]

Early Origins of the Foale family

The surname Foale was first found in Northamptonshire where they held a family seat from early times, and granted the lands by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. The family originated in Cotentin in western Normandy, and Sampson Foliot was the Seigneur, or Lord, of Montfarville, near Cherbourg. [2]

"In the 12th year of Henry II., on the assessment of the aid for marrying the King's daughter, Robert Foliot certified that he had fifteen knights' fees which his ancestors had held from the Conquest, when his progenitor came from Normandy. His granddaughter and heiress, Margery Foliot, married Whyschard Ledet, son of Christian Ledet, Lady of Laugtone, county Leicester, but her inheritance was litigated by the grandchildren of the male heir Robert Foliot. Of the offshoots of the parent stem was Jordan Foliot, summoned to parliament as a Baron, in 1295, and Gilbert Foliot, consecrated Bishop of Hereford, in 1149, and translated to the see of London in 1161. " [3]

Gilbert Foliot (d. 1188), was Bishop of Hereford and London. "He was of a Norman family which had been settled in England from the Conquest, and was related to the Earls of Hereford. It appears that some of his connections were among the Normans who had acquired estates in Scotland. The earliest fact known about him is his profession as a monk in the famous monastery of Clugny, where he must have been under Peter the Venerable, the great antagonist of St. Bernard. Foliot rose to the rank of prior of this house of three hundred monks, from which post he was promoted to the headship of the affiliated house of Abbeville." [4]

Robert Foliot (d. 1186), was Bishop of Hereford, a near kinsman of Gilbert Foliot, Bishop of London, and was a man of considerable learning. [4]

"Tamerton Foliott, [Devon] once a market-town and occasionally called a borough, takes name from the Foliotts, who had their residence at Warleigh. The heiress of the Foliotts brought it to the Gorges, and from them it passed, by female heirs, to Bonvile, Coplestone, and Bampfylde. Gilbert Foliott, successively Abbot of Gloucester, Bishop of Hereford (1149), and Bishop of London (1161), was a native of Tamerton. One of the most learned men of his day, he was also a steady opponent of A Becket, and was excommunicated by that primate and the Pope accordingly, but relieved by a synod which he called. He held the See of London twenty years. " [5]

Early History of the Foale family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Foale research. Another 123 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1100, 1599, 1147, 1691, 1762, 1568, 1622, 1603, 1613, 1613, 1697, 1716, 1695, 1697, 1660, 1697, 1692, 1693, 1667, 1701, 1692, 1693, 1655, 1699, 1696, 1765, 1730, 1760 and 1761 are included under the topic Early Foale History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Foale Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Foale are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Foale include Folliot, Foliot, Folliott, Ffolliott and others.

Early Notables of the Foale family (pre 1700)

Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Foale Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Foale family to Ireland

Some of the Foale family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 185 words (13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Foale family

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Foale, or a variant listed above: Eugene Foliot settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1847; William Folliot landed in America in 1763; Elinor Ffolliott settled in Barbados in 1670.


Contemporary Notables of the name Foale (post 1700) +

  • C. Michael Foale PH.D. (b. 1957), NASA Astronaut with over 374 days in space


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital


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