Folan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Folan is Anglo-Saxon in origin. It was a name given to a person who worked as the fowler or the bird-catcher having derived from the Old English word "fugelere" which literally means "hunter of wild birds, fowler" [1]

Early Origins of the Folan family

The surname Folan was first found in Wiltshire where one of the first records of the name was John the Foeglere who was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. A few years later William le Foggheler and Henry le Fogheler were both listed in Somerset during the reign of King Edward III.

By the time of the Yorkshire Poll Tax in 1379, Ricardus Foghler and Rogerus Foghler were both listed in Yorkshire. [2] Fawler is a hamlet and civil parish in the valley of the River Evenlode in Oxfordshire. It dates back to 1205 when it was first listed as Fauflor and probably meant "variegated floor" as in "tessellated pavement" from the Old English words fag + flor. [3]

Early History of the Folan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Folan research. Another 118 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1218, 1270, 1358, 1451, 1685, 1537, 1579, 1537, 1577, 1610, 1678, 1662, 1590, 1560, 1612, 1632, 1714, 1691, 1714, 1693, 1756, 1555 and 1585 are included under the topic Early Folan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Folan Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Folan include Fowler, Fouler, Fowlers, Fouler, Fowlar, Folar, Fouller, Fowlare, Foweller, Fowaller, Foulier, Foullar, Foular and many more.

Early Notables of the Folan family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include John Fowler (1537-1579), English Catholic printer and scholar, born at Bristol in 1537; Abraham Fowler (fl. 1577), an English poet, a Queen's scholar at Westminster; Christopher Fowler (1610?-1678), an English ejected minister by the Uniformity Act of 1662; Thomas Fowler, (died 1590), English lawyer, diplomat, courtier, spy...
Another 52 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Folan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Folan family to Ireland

Some of the Folan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 80 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Canada Folan migration to Canada +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Folan were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Folan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Folan, aged 40, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Galway, Ireland
  • Mary Folan, aged 30, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Galway, Ireland
  • Mary Folan, aged 6, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Galway, Ireland
  • Biddy Folan, aged 4, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Galway, Ireland
  • Michael Folan, aged 2, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Galway, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Folan migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Folan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mary Folan, aged 22, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Emerald Isle" [4]
  • Michael Folan, aged 42, a farm labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Joseph Rowan" [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Folan (post 1700) +

  • James M. Folan, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1912 [6]
  • James Folan, American politician, Candidate for New York State Senate 32nd District, 1924; Candidate for New York State Assembly from Schenectady County 1st District, 1928, 1932, 1933, 1934 [6]
  • Caleb Colman Folan (b. 1982), English professional footballer
  • Christopher Folan (d. 1921), Irish War of Independence victim
  • John Folan DCM (b. 1895), Irish soldier and recipient of the Distinguished Conduct Medal
  • Very Rev. Fr. Thomas D Folan (1810-1874), Irish Dominican priest, King of the Claddagh
  • Anthony "Tony" Folan (b. 1978), Irish footballer during the 1990s and 2000s, Mamber of the Ireland National Teams (1996-1997) and (1997-1999)


The Folan Motto +

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: Sapiens qui vigilat
Motto Translation: He is wise who watches


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 17th January 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Emerald Isle 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/emeraldisle1854.shtml
  5. ^ South Australian Register Saturday 17th June 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Joseph Rowan 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/josephrowan1854.shtml
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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