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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Fowkes is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Fowkes 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 Fowkes 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.

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Folke, Folk, Folkes, Fulke, Fooke, Fooks, Foolk, Fowke and many more.


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


Some of the Fowkes 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 political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Fowkes or a variant listed above were:

Fowkes Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Richard Fowkes settled in Jamaica in 1685

Fowkes Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John H Fowkes, who landed in Mississippi in 1851

  • Conard Fowkes (1933-2009), American actor, known for his roles in the soap operas The Secret Storm, Search For Tomorrow, Dark Shadows, The Edge of Night
  • Robert Allen Fowkes (1913-1998), noted American linguist
  • Charles Christopher Fowkes CBE, DSO (1894-1966), nicknamed "Fluffy," an English officer in the British Army during World War II
  • Frederick Luther Fowkes (1857-1939), Canadian merchant and political figure in Ontario
  • Francis Fowkes (1823-1865), British engineer and architect, and a Captain in the Corps of Royal Engineers

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. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
    2. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
    3. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
    4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
    5. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
    6. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
    7. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
    8. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
    10. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
    11. ...

    The Fowkes Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Fowkes 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 December 2015 at 18:48.

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