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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The old Welsh surname Fowlkes 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."


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

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 Fowlkes name over the years has been spelled Foulke, Foulks, Foulkes and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fowlkes research. Another 183 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1290, 1691, 1660 and 1661 are included under the topic Early Fowlkes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fowlkes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


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 Fowlkes:

Fowlkes Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Mary E. D. Fowlkes, aged 50, who emigrated to the United States, in 1910
  • Jane Massey Fowlkes, aged 23, who emigrated to Madison, Wis c., in 1922
  • Robert W. Fowlkes, aged 30, who landed in America, in 1924

  • Will Fowlkes, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Georgia, 2008
  • M. L. Fowlkes, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Alabama, 1896
  • Tremaine Fowlkes (b. 1976), American NBA basketball player
  • Lauren Fowlkes (b. 1988), American soccer player
  • Herman Fowlkes Jr. (1919-1993), American jazz musician
  • Curtis Fowlkes, American jazz trombonist
  • Charles Fowlkes (1916-1980), American baritone saxophonist, best known for his work with Count Basie
  • Alan Fowlkes (b. 1958), retired American Major League Baseball player

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.


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    Other References

    1. Morgan, T. J. Morgan and Prys Morgan. Welsh Surnames. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1985. Print.
    2. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
    3. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    4. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    6. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
    7. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
    8. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    9. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
    10. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    11. ...

    The Fowlkes Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Fowlkes 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 9 February 2016 at 14:53.

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