Show ContentsFolkes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Folkes reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Folkes family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Folkes 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. [1] Guido Fitz-Fulco of Normandy was listed in the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae (1180-1195.)

Early Origins of the Folkes family

The surname Folkes was first found in Norfolk where they were granted lands by William de Warrene. The first confirmed record of the family was Folco or Fulco who was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. [2]

"Thomas Fouque occurs on the Exchequer Rolls of the Duchy about 1198. Robert Fulco was one of the Justiciaries in 1267." [3]

Rotuli Curiae Regis rolls list Robert, Geoffry, Theobald, William F. Fulco in England, 1199.

The mix of forename and surname entries continued for some time as the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 lists Folkes (without surname) in Cambridgeshire; John Folke in Cambridgeshire; and Matilda Folkis in Buckinghamshire. [4]

The ffolkes variant was first coined by Sir Martin Browne ffolkes, 1st Baronet, FRS (1749-1821.) He was born Martin Folkes but chose to use the "ffolkes" spelling later in life. His descendants continued the tradition.

Early History of the Folkes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Folkes research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1653, 1685, 1596, 1662, 1644, 1652, 1638, 1710, 1690, 1765, 1690, 1754 and 1690 are included under the topic Early Folkes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Folkes Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Folkes has been recorded under many different variations, including Folke, Folk, Folkes, Fulke, Fooke, Fooks, Foolk, Fowke and many more.

Early Notables of the Folkes family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Fowke (c. 1596-1662), an English merchant and politician, Sheriff of London in 1644 and Lord Mayor of London in 1652; Phineas Fowke, M.D. (1638-1710), an English physician from Bishop Burton, Yorkshire; and Lieutenant General Thomas Fowke (ca. 1690-1765)...
Another 46 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Folkes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Folkes Ranking

In the United States, the name Folkes is the 17,352nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Folkes family to Ireland

Some of the Folkes family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Folkes migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Folkess were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Folkes Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Folkes, who settled in America in 1770

Australia Folkes migration to Australia +

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

Folkes Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Folkes, English convict who was convicted in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "China" on 71st January 1846, arriving in Norfolk Island, Australia [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Folkes (post 1700) +

  • Warren Davis Folkes (1898-1997), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Louisiana State House of Representatives (1944-1950)
  • E. C. Folkes, American politician, Member of Virginia State Senate 38th District, 1908-12 [7]
  • Cheston Folkes (1863-1941), American farmer and politician, Member of the Louisiana State Representative for West Feliciana Parish (1908-1920)
  • Peter Leonard Folkes (b. 1923), English painter from Beaminster, Dorset, elected an Associate of the Royal West of England Academy in 1952
  • Carl Folkes (b. 1968), Canadian sprinter in the men's 4 × 400 metres relay at the 1988 Summer Olympics
  • John Folkes, Jamaican musician and co-founder of The Folkes Brothers, a Jamaican ska group
  • Steve Folkes (1959-2018), Australian rugby league test footballer and coach of the Bulldogs (1998-2008), head coach for the Australia women's national rugby league team in 2014

The Folkes 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: Qui sera sera
Motto Translation: Whatever will be.

  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. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^
  6. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 5th February 2021, retrieved from
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 2) . Retrieved from on Facebook