Folly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancient Norman culture that was established in England after the Conquest of 1066 produced the name of Folly. It was given to 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. 
Early Origins of the Folly family
The surname Folly 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. 
"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. " 
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." 
Robert Foliot (d. 1186), was Bishop of Hereford, a near kinsman of Gilbert Foliot, Bishop of London, and was a man of considerable learning. 
"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. " 
Early History of the Folly family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Folly 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 Folly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Folly Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Folliot, Foliot, Folliott, Ffolliott and others.
Early Notables of the Folly family (pre 1700)
Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Folly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Folly family to Ireland
Some of the Folly family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Folly or a variant listed above:
Folly Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Folly Settlers in United States in the 19th Century