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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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

Folger is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the Germanic personal name Fulcher. It is composed of the elements folk, which means people, and hari, which means army.


Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Folger include Fulcher, Fulger, Fulker, Fucher, Fullager, Folker, Foucar, Foulger, Futcher, Folger, Fugler, Fuche, Fuge, Fuidge, Fudge, Foutch and many more.

First found in Lincolnshire and Derbyshire where they were granted lands about the time of William the Conqueror. Historically, the Fulchers were known as the Champions of Burgundy and records were found of the name spelt Fulchere in Normandy (1180-1195). [1] The name could have also been derived from the Ango-Saxon word "folgere", in other words a follower, an attendant, a free-man who did not have a house of his own. [2]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Folger research. Another 335 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1170, 1273, 1284, 1272, 1307, 1379, 1737, 1803, 1795, 1855, 1830, 1893, 1617 and 1690 are included under the topic Early Folger History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Folger Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Folger family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 55 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Folgers to arrive on North American shores:

Folger Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Folger, who settled in Massachusetts in 1630
  • John Folger, who landed in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1635
  • Peter Folger, who arrived in New England in 1635

Folger Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • B Folger, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1804
  • Fred Folger, who settled in New Orleans in 1820
  • Catherine Folger, who settled in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1820
  • Robert Folger, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Joseph Folger, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851


  • James Athearn "J.A." Folger (1835-1889), American founder of the Folgers Coffee Company
  • John Folger, American banker and diplomat
  • John Hamlin Folger (1880-1963), American Democratic U.S. Congressman from North Carolina between 1941 and 1949
  • J A Folger (1835-1889), founder of the Folgers Coffee Company
  • Henry Clay Folger (1857-1930), founder of the Folger Shakespeare Library
  • Emily Jordan Folger (1858-1936), Shakespeare scholar
  • Dan Folger (1943-2006), American singer and songwriter
  • Charles J. Folger (1818-1884), American politician
  • Alonzo Dillard Folger (1888-1941), Member of the United States House of Representatives from North Carolina
  • Abigail Folger (1943-1969), American civil rights activist


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  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Other References

  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  2. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  3. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  6. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  8. 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).
  9. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  10. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  11. ...

The Folger Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Folger 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 15 December 2014 at 12:57.

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