Foolkes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The old Welsh surname Foolkes comes from the popular personal name Fulk. This forename of Norman origin originally came from one of a number of Germanic personal names with the first portion "folk-," which means "people."

Early Origins of the Foolkes family

The surname Foolkes was first found in Denbighshire (Welsh: Sir Ddinbych), a historic county in Northeast Wales, created by the Laws in Wales Act 1536, where they held a family seat at "Yr Eifiad" from very ancient times, some say before the 9th century.

Another source notes "the pedigree is deduced from Marchudd ap Cynan, lord of Brynffenigi, who flourished in the ninth century. The name appears to have been borrowed from Ffoulk ap Thomas, who lived early in the sixteenth century, and whose descendants have ever since borne it." [1] And that "an early form of a capital F was ff." [2]

Sir Martin Browne ffolkes, 1st Baronet, FRS (1749-1821) was an English Baronet and Member of Parliament. Son of William Folkes, he chose to revert his name back to the ffolkes spelling to better note his heritage. The Baronetcy continues to today using the same spelling with Sir Robert Francis Alexander ffolkes, 7th Baronet (born 1943.)

Early History of the Foolkes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Foolkes research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1290, 1691, 1660, 1661, 1676, 1747, 1679, 1678 and 1678 are included under the topic Early Foolkes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Foolkes Spelling Variations

Compared to other ancient cultures found in the British Isles, the number of Welsh surnames are relatively few, but there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations. These spelling variations began almost as soon as surname usage became common. People could not specify how to spell their own names leaving the specific recording up to the individual scribe or priest. Those recorders would then spell the names as they heard them, causing many different variations. Later, many Welsh names were recorded in English. This transliteration process was extremely imprecise since the Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh used many sounds the English language was not accustomed to. Finally, some variations occurred by the individual's design: a branch loyalty within a family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The Foolkes name over the years has been spelled Foulke, Foulks, Foulkes and others.

Early Notables of the Foolkes family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was William Foulkes (died 1691), a Welsh cleric and writer, Rector of Cwm in Denbighshire in 1660, of Llanfyllin and of Llanbrynmair in 1661, positions he held until his death. Peter Foulkes (1676-1747), was a scholar and divine, was the third son of Robert Foulkes of Llechryd, Denbighshire, deputy Baron of the court of exchequer of Chester. [3] On the infamous side...
Another 68 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Foolkes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Foolkes family

Many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in the 19th and 20th centuries, searching for land, work, and freedom. Like the many other immigrants from the British Isles, they made a significant contribution to the development of Canada and the United States. The Welsh and their descendents added a rich cultural tradition to the newly developed towns, cities, and villages. An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Foolkes: V. Foulk who settled in Baltimore Maryland in 1823; Thomas Foulke settled in Virginia in 1623; followed by William in 1624; Thomas Foulke settled in New Castle Del. in 1677.



The Foolkes 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: Jure, non dono
Motto Translation: By right, not by gift.


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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