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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Today's generation of the Folks family bears a name that was brought to England by the wave of emigration that was started by the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from 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.


The surname Folks was first found in Norfolk where they were granted lands by William de Warrene and were conjecturally descended from Fulco Nerra, the Count of Anjou.

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Folks have been found, including Folke, Folk, Folkes, Fulke, Fooke, Fooks, Foolk, Fowke and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Folks research. Another 187 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1653, 1685, 1596, 1662, 1644, 1652, 1638, 1710, 1690 and 1765 are included under the topic Early Folks History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Robert Ffolkes; John Fowke ( c. 1596-1662), an English merchant and politician, Sheriff of London in 1644 and Lord Mayor of...

Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Folks Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Some of the Folks family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Folks were among those contributors:

Folks Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • William Folks, who landed in Virginia in 1663

Folks Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • John Henry Folks, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1753
  • Philip Folks, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1753

Folks Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John Folks, who landed in Mobile County, Ala in 1842
  • Magdalena Folks, aged 2, arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1847
  • F Folks, who arrived in Texas in 1850

  • Robert C. Folks, American politician, Member of Georgia State House of Representatives from Ware County, 1926
  • James N. Folks (1897-2001), American Republican politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives, 1955-72; Defeated in primary, 1940
  • Homer Folks (b. 1867), American Republican politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from New York County 29th District, 1899
  • Charles Folks (b. 1858), American politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Jackson County 2nd District, 1907-10

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.


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    Other References

    1. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
    2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
    3. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
    4. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    5. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
    6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    7. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
    8. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
    9. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
    10. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
    11. ...

    The Folks Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Folks 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 4 March 2016 at 14:09.

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