I haven’t really figured out yet how England designates counties, cities, parishes and what not. So, bear with me if I get something wrong. At the very least you will be able to see where Follingsby is in the big picture of things.
Modern Day Follingsby:
Today, Follingsby is memorialized in the names of an industrial park and a few roads in the town Washington in the City of Sunderland in the county of Tyne and Wear, England. Historically part of County Durham, according to Wikipedia.
“The site is positioned on the possible site of the medieval village of Follingsby, based upon Tyne and Wear Historic Environment Records. A programme of archaeological work will be required, starting with a Desk Based Assessment and where necessary further archaeological fieldwork.” pg 43.
Medieval Follingsby: The Medieval period is generally considered from the 5th to the 15th century. The earliest period that I can currently establish for Follingsby is the 12th century. Recorded in Durham Episcopal Charters 1071-1152, (Surtees Society 179, 1968 pp. 167-170) is the grant from Bishop Rufus to Thorald de London (Thorald de Londoniis).
“Charter of G[eoffrey Rufus] [William of Ste. Barbe, acc. to Offler] Bishop of Durham granting and confirming to Thorald of London and his heirs the whole of the land of Follingsby, with its boundaries as perambulated and drawn up by Osbert the sheriff, Geoffrey Escolland, Wm. de Friebois, Odo de Brenba, Roger de Putot and Archardus and his brother Dolfin; these boundaries are specified. Thorald is to hold free of all service, custom or exaction, and is to pay 10/- annually.
Witnesses: Osbert, sheriff Odo de Brenba Robert de Amundavilla G. de Bonevilla Ralph, son of Wm. Robert de Thorp Robert Conyers Hugh Borel Robert de Putot Roger del Vel Roger de Sancta Barba Dolfin Robert Friebois Engelarius and many others.”
A few notes on this quote. How should we take the phrase “with its boundaries as perambulated and drawn up by Osbert the sheriff…” ? I am equally torn between the drawing of borders for a new village or establishing the current or expanded borders of a current village. On one hand, the lack of anything prior to this in deeds or traceable information and the verbiage ” perambulated and drawn up” push me to view this as the beginning of Follingsby. Perambulated means walked or strolled,so they walked (or maybe rode) the boarders. However, the etymology of the name as well as how even today we commonly verify borders of purchased property lend me to view it as either a statement of border verification or expansion.
In another post I will dig into where the name came from and offer evidences. For now let me just close this section by stating that Follingsby is likely Scandinavian, Germanic, and French. The original name is Foletebi (Folet Farm/Village). Folet is a french name and validates some Normand influence, “By/Bi” is Scandinavian for town/farm and the “Ing” is Germanic for From or Of. In time it seems the Germanic “ing” replaced the Latin “de” Originally someone would have been William de Foletebi (Bill from Folet Village/Farm/Town) which became in time William Follingsby (Village of Folet). Interesting, No?