Foliot History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The proud Norman name of Foliot was developed in England soon after Norman Conquest of England in 1066. It was name for 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 Foliot family

The surname Foliot 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 Foliot family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Foliot 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 Foliot History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Foliot Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Foliot were recorded, including Folliot, Foliot, Folliott, Ffolliott and others.

Early Notables of the Foliot family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Foliot family to Ireland

Some of the Foliot 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.


United States Foliot migration to the United States +

The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Foliot arrived in North America very early:

Foliot Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Eugene Foliot, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1847


  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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