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-Josh Follansbee

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Henry Follansbie and Folansbye Villiage, The first link connecting the Place-Name Follansbee.

From: An hisorical, topographical, and descriptive view of the county Palatine of Durham…Vol. 1pg 17.   By Eneas Mackenzie, Marvin Ross

“Follonsry is bounded by Wreken Dyke on the north on the south and east by the parish of Washington and on the east by Boldon Thorald of London the grantee of Bishop William gave his vill of Folettibi to his younger son Nicholas who released his right in it to Robert Fitz Roger for twenty marks a gown and a palfrey The estate was held by John de Farneacres in the fourteenth century and afterwards by the Gategangs of Gateshead In 1429 Roger Thornton the wealthy merchant of Newcastle died seized of it but Lord Lumley who married the heiress of Thornton probably alienated the manor for it was soon after the property of the Hiltons in which family it continued until 1750 In consists of three farms North Follonsby South Follonsby and the Learn comprizing altogether 702 acres The first portion is the property of Thomas Wade Esq the second of Matthew Russell Esq and the Learn of the Barras family which family it continued until 1750 In consists of three farms North Follonsby South Follonsby and the Learn comprizing altogether 702 acres The first portion is the property of Thomas Wade Esq the second of Matthew Russell Esq and the Learn of the Barras family”

Reviewing some old material for my memory sake.

It is established that the area where the old vill. of Follonsby sat was an area of waste land granted to Thorald de London by Bishop William around 1154 to 1160 (12th C). Thorald then granted the Vill. to his son Nicolas who in turn released it to Robert Fitz Roger. There seems to be a gap, and then we know that in the 14th C. it was owned by John de Farnacres, etc etc until we see all the land sold off. No where from the beginning with Thorald to the eventual dissipation of the Follonsby area do we find in any record of an actual Follonsby owning, living, or working there. The earliest traceable Follansbie is perhaps Henry b. 1597 about 400 years after Thorald was granted the area. It just seems most likely that Henry or perhaps an earlier ancestor was from the area and his last name is a place name, it came from the area he lived, making the village or later Follonsby farms predating the surname of Follonsby (Follansbie, Follansbee, Follansby, Folletebi).

It is established that the original name was Folletebi. In The Place Names of Northumberland and Durham we read:

FOLLINGSBY 

Follingsby (Jarrow). c. 1140 F.P.D. Folete{s)hi, c, 
1180 Foleteby, Folescehy, c. 1220 Folasceby ; 1335 Ch. 
Folethehi ; 1343 J. and W. Folescehy ; 1400.45 Folancehy ; 
1446D.S.T. Folauncehey ; 1539 F.P.D. Folansbye, Folaunceby ; 
1580 Halm. Follenshye. 

Cf. FuUetby, Lines., D.B. Folesbi, Fullohi, Lines. Surv. 
Fuledebi, Fuletebi. The first element is a name of the same 
type as O.N. Haf-, Sumar-, Vetr-li^i=sea.-, summer- and 
winter-traveller. No name FuU-li6i is recorded, but there 
may have been such a name from the adj. full li'Sa, " well- 
provided with troops," " fuUy able " (Vigfusson and 
Fritzner). Cf. Selaby infra. Foletes and Folesce are 
anglicised genitives of this name. For n, v. Phonology, 
§ 55. Later a pseudo-patronymic form was developed.

It is interesting to read that the spelling Folansbye is found around 1539, and our earliest recorded ancestor Henry Follansbie was born in 1597. Noted is the spelling Follenshye in 1580, so I am forced to conclude without other evidence that Henry was possible born with the surname Follansbie and possibly his father or grandfather was the first to use the place-name as their last name, or being only 41 years between the two spellings, Henry could be the first to use the place-name assuming that both names were used as is common all over the world.

The answers lie with tracing Henry, which has been fruitless using just the internet.

-Josh Follansbee

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