Fowlds History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The present generation of the Fowlds family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived in the region beside an enclosed pen for animals. The surname Foulds or Faulds is derived from the hamlet of Folds in the parish of Bolton in the northern county of Lancashire. That town's name, in turn, is derived from the ancient term "fold" meaning a sheep enclosure. [1]

Alternatively, the name could have been denoted for a ‘Worker at the fold(s) or cattle-pen(s)’, from the Old English ƒalod, later f?ld, Middle English fold. [2]

"Foulds is a Lancashire surname, so that we need not be surprised by the pronunciation. " [1]

Early Origins of the Fowlds family

The surname Fowlds was first found in Yorkshire where Hugh del Foldis was listed at Wakefield in 1275. Later, Adam in le Fold was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Derbyshire in 1327 and John atte Fold was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Somerset in 1327. The Subsidy Rolls for Staffordshire include a listing for Adam de Falde in 1332 and in the same year, John del ffald was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Cumberland (Cumbria). [2]

Early History of the Fowlds family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fowlds research. Another 74 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1530 and 1597 are included under the topic Early Fowlds History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fowlds Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Fowlds include Foulds, Faulds, Fowlds, Foulls, Faulls, Fowldes and many more.

Early Notables of the Fowlds family (pre 1700)

Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fowlds Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Fowlds family

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Fowlds were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Joseph Foulds purchased land in Georgia in 1735; Albion, Alexander, Henry, James, and William Foulds settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1834 and 1866..


Contemporary Notables of the name Fowlds (post 1700) +

  • Derek Fowlds (1937-2020), English actor, best known for playing Bernard Woolley in the British television comedies Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister
  • Sir George Matthew Fowlds CBE (1860-1934), Scottish-born, New Zealand politician of the Liberal Party, 13th Minister of Education (1906-1911), 2nd Minister of Health (1906-1909)


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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