Fowks History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought the Fowks family name to the British Isles. Fowks 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. [1] Guido Fitz-Fulco of Normandy was listed in the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae (1180-1195.)

Early Origins of the Fowks family

The surname Fowks 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 Fowks family

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

Fowks Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Folke, Folk, Folkes, Fulke, Fooke, Fooks, Foolk, Fowke and many more.

Early Notables of the Fowks 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 Fowks Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Fowks family to Ireland

Some of the Fowks 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.

Migration of the Fowks family

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Fowks or a variant listed above: Frederick, George, Hannah, Henry, and John Folk, who all settled in Philadelphia, Pa,. between 1753 and 1877; Jacob and John Folke settled there in 1737 and 1753 respectively. John Folkes settled in America in 1770.



The Fowks 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)


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