Category Archives: Origin

Follongsby a place of baptism? 

The Vasculum: The North County Journal of Science and History. Vol. 10 No. 1. Pg. 29. Published 1923. 

Toponymic place-names are so frequent locally that it is not surprising to find a great many imitations, accidental and simulatory. Wherever there is an unaccented medial syllable the process of assimilation is likely to, came into play, almost inevitably where the syllable in question contains an “n”* An excellent example is HalIington, formerly Halidene. A remarkable instance is Follingsby which in 1140 was written Foletesbi-representing most probably Fulwihtes-bige, a place of baptism. 

     I am unsure of the validity of assuming Follingsby as representing Fulwihts-bige. Having seen the supposingly original charter from the Bishop of Duham to Thorald which was hundreds of acres of marsh land, Follongsby mentioned as a villiage and later 3 farms that were eventually sold off, to my mind it is unlikley it was named as a place of baptism. 

    This is just my personal opinion. There is no actual reason Thorald could not have named it as such. This would be easy to accept and call off the search for the origins of the name Follongsby. But, the location of Follongsby, the type of land, and its habitation status just build a different reasoning. It seems more likley that Thorald was building a source for finances and goods as a land owner or lord. 

    It is interesting that there a various reasonings for the name among as many histories. This tells me there (so far) is not a recorded meaning and reasoning behind the name. Rather, we are left to figure is out based on other evidences.  
-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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Follonsby Villiage, The Beginning?

Let’s see if I can untangle some of the history of Follingsby, or at least present it clearly enough for the reader to untangle.

Follingsby and Follonsby are two spellings of the same area. Follonsby predates Follinsby which is still used in England today.

Our text is Feodarium Prioratus Dunelmensis; A survey of the Estates of The Prior and Convent of Durham compiles in the Fifteenth Century. Published for the Surtees Society by Andres and Co. Durham, 1872. This is a published collection of a survey of estates during 1233-1244 A.D. The portions from the book are capitalized and my comments are in lower case.

FOLAUNCEBY.

FOLLONSBY, CLOSE TO HEWORTH, AND ALSO IN THE PARISH OF JARROW, IS NOT MENTIONED BY SYMEON. IT LIES TO THE SOUTH OF THE WREKENDYKE, WHICH ANCIENT ROAD PROBABLY BOUNDED THE ENCLOSED AND CULTIVATED LANDS AT THE TIME OF BISHOP WALCHER’S GIFT.

Symeon (Simeon) was a Monk and Historian of Durham Priory, his birth was around 1060 and he died after 1129. He was a contemporary of Bishop William Walcher (Bishop from 1071 to 1080) the first pre-reformation/post-conquest Bishop and of William de St-Calais (Bishop from 1081 to 1096) the second Bishop of that era. Wekendyke road was an ancient road with Pre-Roman and Roman history that ran through the south east part of an area called The Felling (which encompasses Follingsby.) Here, I have borrowed a map from http://www.gateshead-history.com/early-history-of-the-felling.html

_wsb_700x607_P1110988

AT SOME LATER TIME, AND NOT UNLIKELY WHEN THOROLD OBTAINED HIS GRANT, FOLLONSBY APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN CARVED OUT OF THE MOOR, THE MARSH LAND BETWEEN THE PRIOR AND CONVENT’S POSSESSIONS ON THE NORTH OF THE WREKENDYKE, AND THE LAND OF THE BISHOP FURTHER TO THE SOUTH.

So, our author commenting on the recorded estates here thinks that since Symeon did not mention Follonsby, it was created after Symeon and probably when Thorad de London received his grant from Bishop William of St. Barbara who was the sixth Bishop serving from 1143 to 1153. This is a nice observation that ties into a previous post https://follansbeehistory.wordpress.com/2015/05/14/where-is-follingsby/ where I wondered if the wording “perambulated and drawn up” meant created or verified. If we were to agree with the author here it would mean created and we would have the beginning of the Follonsby Village. However, we still do not have a tie from the Village to the name Follansbee outside of our ancestors being in the Durham area during the time the village was there.

Below I left the Latin intact for the purists who want to play with it on Google translate. You can skip down the page to 2. IT WILL BE REMEMBERED to pick up our story.

THE DIFFICULTY CREATED BY THE GRANTS OF BISHOPS GALFRID AND HUGH OF AN ESTATE, WHICH BELONGED TO THE PRIOR AND CONVENT, IS THUS REMOVED, FOR, IF THE SUPPOSITION STATED ABOVE IS CORRECT, THESE GRANTS REFER TO THE BOUNDARIES OF A NEW PIECE OF ENCLOSED LAND, WHICH BORDERED UPON THE MANORS OF THE BISHOP. THE FACT THAT THE CHARTERS, OF BOTH THE BISHOPS, PARTICULARIZE THE BOUNDARIES BETWEEN FOLLONSBY AND THE ADJACENT VILLS, IS IN FAVOUR OF THIS VIEW. THE TIME WHEN THE NEW VILL OF FOLLONSBY WAS CREATED MUST HAVE BEEN BETWEEN THE DATE OF THE FORGED CHARTER OF BISHOP WILLIAM THE FIRST, AND THE 5 JOHN, IN WHOSE CONFIRMATORY CHARTER OF THAT DATE THE PLACE OCCURS. AN INQUISITION WAS HELD 6 HENR. V., 13 BP. THOMAS, OF THE MANOR OF FOLLONSBY, ALIENATED BY SIR WILLIAM HYLTON, KNT. TO SIR PETER TYLIOL, KNT., WITHOUT THE BISHOP’S LICENSE, WHEN JOHN DE NEWTON, ROGER DE THORNTON AND THOMAS PITTINGTON, CHAPLAIN, THE TENANTS OF THE MANOR, SAID THAT IT WAS HELD OF THE PRIOR AND CONVENT IN SOCAGE.

THE COURT DECREED “QUOD PRŒDICTUM MANERIUM DE FOLANCEBY CUM PERTINENCIIS TENE- TUR DE PRIORE DUNELM. IMMEDIATE, ET NON DE DICTO DOMINO EPISCOPO IN CAPITE.” CART, QUART., FO. 57, A. THE FOLLOWING ENTRY OCCURS IN THE REPERTORIUM MAGNUM FO. 62, A, MEM. QUOD ROGERUS THORNTON HABET DUAS DIMISSIONES DE FOLAUNCEBY, TEM PORE WILLELMI PRIORIS PRIMI, QUARUM SIGILLATUR CERA VIRIDI HABET ISTA VERBA PRO HOMAGIO ET SERVICIO «»О CIRCA PRIN- CIPIUM, ET ALTERA IN CERA ALBA SINE PRŒDICTIS, ET ISTAS DUAS CARTAS DICTUS ROGERUS OSTENDIT DOMINO JOHAMII WESSYNTOU PRIORI, ANNO DNI. M.CCCC. XVJ ET XVIJ. GALFRIDUS DEI GRATIA DUNELMENSIS EPISCOPUS OMNIBUS BARONIBUS ET HO- MINIBUS EPISCOPATUS SUI, FRANCIS ET A NGLICIS, SAL U T EM. SCIATIS ME DEDISSE, ET CONCESSISSE ET BAC PRŒSENTI CARTA CONFIRMASSE THORALDO DE LUNDONIIS ET HEREDIBUS SUIS TOTAM TERRAM DE FOLETESBI, CUM OMNIBUS PERTINENCIIS, SECUNDUM DIVISAS SUAS, SICUT OSBER- TUS VICECOMES ET GALFRIDUS DE ESCOL- LAND ET WILLELMUS DE FREIBOIS ET ODO DE BRENBA ET ROGERUS DE PUTOT ET YECHARDUS ET DOLFINUS FRATER S «US EIS PERAMBULAVERUNT ET PRODUXERUNT, SCILICET, DE CAPITE FONTIS DE BOLEBURN USQUE SUBURNE, ET DE SUBURNE USQUE NORTBURNE, ET DE NORTBURNE USQUE HAROPE VERSUS ORIENTEM SECUNDUM CURSUSAQUŒ.ETDE HAROPE USQUE HARE- CARRE VERSUS AQUILONEM USQUE DIVISAS DE HETTHEWRDE, ET DE HETTHEWRDE AD BLACHELAWE, ET DE BLACHELAWE AD VRAKENDIC .ET AD FONTEM DE BOLE- BURNE. TENENDAM DE NOBIS ET SUCCES- SORIBUS NOSTRIS LIBERE, QUIETE, SOLUTE ET INTEGRE AB OMNI SERVICIO ET CONSUETU- DINE ET EXACTIONE. REDDENDO PER ANNUM 10S. PRO OMNIBUS REBUS. HIIS TESTIBUS, OSBERTO VICECOMITE, ODO DE BRENBA, ROBERTO DE MUNDE- UILLA, G. DE BONEUILLA, RADULFO FILIO WILLELMI, ROBERTO DEL TORP, ROBERTO DE COI’NERS, HUGONE BOREL, ROBERTO DE PUTOT, ROGERO DEL UEL, ROGERO DE SANCTA BARBA, DOLFINO, ROBERTO FREIBOIS, ENGELARIO ET MULTIS ALIIS. 4′” L™” PO»T ( IG. THOROLD GRANTED THE VILL TO HIS SON NICHOLAS, AS APPEARS BY A CHARTER WHICH IS GIVEN HERE. SCIANT OMNES, TAM LONGINQUI QUAM PROPINQUI, TAM FUTURI QUAM PRSE SENTES, QUOD EGO THORALDUS DE LUN- DON’, ASSENSU ET CONSENSU DOMINI HUGONIS DUNELM. EPISCOPI.ET ASSENSU DOMINI BERTRAMI PRIORIS ET CONVEN- TUS DUNELM. , CONCESSI ET DEDI ET HAC MEA PRŒSENTI CARTA MEA CONFIRMAVI NICHOLAO FILIO MEO ET HEREDIBUS SUIS VILLAM DE FOLETTEBI, CUM OMNIBUS PERTINENCIIS SUIS INFRA VILLAM ET EXTRA, ET CUM EISDEM DIVISIS ET EISDEM LIBERTATIBUS EAM ADQUISIVI TEMPORE WILLELMI DUNELM. EPISCOPI, ET CUM CATALLIS, ET CUM ADJUTORIO LAY SING DE CLIFDONA ET JOHANNIS FILII SUI, SCILICET, IN BOSCHO ET MORA, ET IN PRATIS ET PASTURIS, ET IN MOLENDINIS ET AQUIS, ET IN OMNIBUS ALIIS EXITIBUS. ET IDEM NICHOLAUS ADQUIETABIT DEBITA MEA VERSUS PRIOREM ET CONVENTUM, ET VERSUS DOMINUM HUGONEM EPISCO- PUM X MARCAS, ET APUD NOVUM CAS- TELLUM ET GATESHEUED XXV MARCAS, NIGELLO DE NEUTON IJ MARCAS ; ET MICHI QUAMDIU VIXERO MEA NECES- SARIA MINISTRABIT, UTRUM VOLUERO APUD FOLLETTEBI AN APUD VILLAM DE GATES HEUED, ET OMNIA DEBITA MEA ADQUIE TABIT. HII SUNT TESTES, BERTRAMUS PRIOR DUNELM., PHILIPPUS VICECOMES, SIMON CAMERARIUS, JORDANUS ESCOU- LANT, ALEXANDER DE HILTON, ROGE RUS DE AUDRI, SIMON DE HAUTHORN, GAL FRID US FILIUS RICARDI, THOMAS DE MUNDAUILL, WALTERUS DE WEISSIGTON, WILLELMUS DE HOSWRTH, PATRICIUS DE OSWRTH ET MULTI ALII. 2″‘” 4P SPEC.,

  1. IT WILL BE REMEMBERED THAT THOROLD OF LONDON BOUGHT PIPEWELLGATE FROM THE BISHOP, AND IT IS PROBABLE THAT HE ALSO BOUGHT FOLLONSBY OF THE PRIOR AND CONVENT. FROM THE PRECEDING CHARTER IT SEEMS THAT HE HAD NOT PAID FOR EITHER ESTATE, AT ALL EVENTS IN FULL, AND, WHEN THEY PASSED INTO THE HANDS OF HIS SON NICHOLAUS, HE TOOK UPON HIMSELF HIS FATHER’S DEBTS TO BOTH THE BISHOP AND CONVENT.

Of interest here, is that Nicolas is the first to be called de Folletebi or Nicholaus of Follonsby. You can catch it if you keep reading.

NO GRANT OF PIPEWELL GATE TO NICHOLAS EXISTS, BUT FROM THE WORDING OF THE CHARTER UNDER CONSIDERATION, THAT THOROLD WAS TO LIVE EITHER AT GATESHEAD OR FOLLONSBY, AS HE INCLINED, IT APPEARS LIKELY THAT HIS GATESHEAD PROPERTY HAD EQUALLY WITH THAT AT FOLLONSBY BEEN ACQUIRED BY NICHOLAS. THE VILL WAS ALSO GRANTED TO THE SAME NICHOLAS BY HIS BROTHER “HELIAS FILIUS TORALDI DE NOVO CASTELLO SUPER TYNAM, CONCESSU BERTRAND PRIONS ET CONVENTUS ECCLESIŒ,” WHO ON HIS SEAL CALLS HIMSELF HELIAS CLERICUS. HE DESCRIBES IT AS HITHERTO HELD BY NICHOLAS “DE DEO ET SANCTO CUTH- BERTO, FACIENDO ILLUD SERVICIUM PRIORI ET CONVENTUI DUNELMENSI QUOD TORAL- DUS PATER SUI ET MEI FECIT IN DIEBUS SUIS.” THE CHURCH OF DURHAM WAS, THEREFORE, IN SPITE OF THE GRANT BY BISHOP GALFRID, IN THE POSITION OF SUPERIOR LORD, AND THOROLD AND HIS FAMILY HELD UNDER THEM. THE FOLLOWING CHARTER FITLY FINDS A PLACE HERE. NICHOLAUS DE FOLETTEBI … DE CON- CESSIONE ET VOLUNTATE CRISTIANŒ UXORIS MEŒ ET HEREDUM MEORUM, . . . DEO ET DOMUI ELEMOSINARIŒ SANCTI CUTHBERTI IN DUNELM. . . . XL ACRAS TERRŒ WAIG- NABILCS, IN CAMPO DE FOLETTEBI . . . ET TOTAM MEDIETATEM MARISCI QUSE EST INTER PRSEDICTAM TERRAM VERSUS SUST- RUM, SCILICET, QUANTUM LATITUDE J ACГŒ ET DIMIDIŒ EXTENDITUR, ET ILLUD TOF- TUM ET CROFTUM QUI FUERUNT MELDR’ IN VILLA DE FOLETTEBI . . . HIIS TESTI- BUS, ROGERO DE KIBLESWRTH, WILLELMO DE OSUURTHA, WILLELMO DE KETTUN, WALTERO DE FERIE, ROGERO DE FERIA, WALTERO DE WESSINGTONE, WILLELMO DE MUNKETONE, WALTERO DE HEWRDA, WILLELMO DE FULLWELLE, SIGAR’ DE HETHEUURD’, JOHANNE DE GARUE, ODARD LNN ET ALIIS. LIBER ELEMOS., FO. 27.

Below we read of how the village changed hands from Ol’ Nick to Robert Fitz Roger and from Robert to the Durham Convent.

NICHOLAS DE FOLETTEBI AND HELIAS HIS BROTHER AFTERWARDS QUITCLAIMED THE VILL TO ROBERT FITZ ROGER, WHO GAVE IT TO THE CONVENT OF DURHAM BY THE FOLLOWING CHARTER, WHICH SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN UNKNOWN TO SURTEES. ROBERTUS FILIUS ROGERI . . . DEO ET SANCTO CUDBERTO DE DUNOLMIA ET PRIORI ET MONACHIS IBIDEM DEO SERVIENTIBUS, IN PURAM ET PERPETUAM ELEMOSINAM, TOTAM TERRAM DE FOLE- TEBY, QUAM EMI PRO PECUNIA MEA DE HELIA FILIO TOROLDI DE LONDON’ ET NICHOLAO F RATRE SUO, ET QUIETAM CLAMA- VERUNT IN CURIA DUNOLMIŒ DE SE ET HEREDIBUS SUIS. TENENDAM . . . CUM MOLENDINO ET CUM OMNIBUS PERTINEN- CIIS SUIS . . . HIIS TESTIBUS, WILLEL MO FILIO ROCELINI, COLINO DE DAM-NENILL, HENRICO DE NEUILL, ROBERTO FILIO MALDREDI, GILEBERTO HANSARD FRATRE SUO, WILLELMO DE LUNGUILERS, WILLELMO DE G’OISNERES, EOBERTO DE MUNDEUILL, HUGONE DE MOREWIK, WIL LELMO DE BLUNUILL, HENRICO DE FER- LINGTON, ROGERO GULAFRE, WALTERO DE WESSINTON, JOHANNE DE ARGENTEM, JOBANNE DE WENLAUETON CLERICO ET MULTIS ALIIS. V” 4″* SPEC., 8.

BISHOP HUGO DE PUSAT, BY A GRANT MADE EARLY IN HIS EPISCOPATE, PRINTED P. 10, »., GIVES THE VILL TO THE CONVENT. FROM THE TERMS OF THIS CHARTER, WHICH CONTAINS THE BOUNDARIES BE TWEEN FOLLONSBY AND THE BISHOP’S MANOR OF BOLDON, THERE CAN BE LITTLE DOUBT THAT NO PRIMARY GRANT WAS MADE BY THIS INSTRUMENT, BUT THAT IT WAS GIVEN, IN CONSEQUENCE OF THE ERECTION OF THE NEW VILL OUT OF THE MARCH BETWEEN THE BISHOP AND THE PRIOR AND CONVENT, TO THE LATTER AS THE SUPREME LORDS OF THE VILL, FOR THE BENEFIT OF THEIR SUB-FEUDATORY. ABOUT THE END OF THE 12TH CENTURY THE PRIOR AND CONVENT GRANTED TWO PARCELS OF LAND OUT OF THEIR WASTE AT THE LEAM. THE CHARTERS IN CONNEC TION WITH THIS ARE GIVEN BELOW. THE DISTRICT CALLED THE LEAM IS PARTLY IN UPPER HEWORTH AND PARTLY IN FOLLONSBY. BARTRAMUS PRIOR ET CONVENTUS DUNELM. ECCLESIŒ . . . JOHANNI DE CUPUM, PRO HOMAGIO ET SERVITIO SUO, XXX ACRAS TERRŒ IN VASTO NOSTRO DE LEM, TENENDAS ET HABENDAS SIBI ET HEREDIBUS SUIS DE NOBIS IN FEOUDO ET HEREDITATE . . . REDDENDO INDE NOBIS ANNUATIM 10S. … ET FACIENT NOBIS COMMUNE AUXILIUM QUANDOCUMQUE IPSUM AUXILIUM PER TOTAM TERRAM NOSTRAM PONEMUS, ET SEQUENTUR MOLENDINUM NOSTRUM. HIIS TESTI- BUS, MAGISTRO WALTERO DE HADINTONE, MAGISTRO ALANO DE RICHEMUNDE, WILLELMO DE MONEKETONE, NICOLAO DE FOLETEBY, WALTERO DE HEWUR’, HELYA, SIMONE ET SIG’ DE HETHEWURD, ADAM DE AWIC, JOHANNE DE KETTONE, RICARDO BRUN, ET THOMA DE CAMERA ET MULTIS ALIIS. CART. QUART., IO. 288, A. BERTRAMUS PRIOR ET CONVENTUS DUNELMENSIS ECCLESIŒ . . . JOHANNI DE HEBERME, PRO HOMAGIO ET SERVITIO SUO, XXX ACRAS TERRŒ IN VASTO NOSTRO DE LEM, TENENDAS ET HABENDAS SIBI ET HEREDIBUS SUIS DE NOBIS IN FEOUDO ET HEREDITATE . . . LIBERE . . . EXCEPTO QUOD NOBIS INDE REDDENT ANNUATIM 7S. 6D. … ET FACIENT NOBIS COM MUNE AUXILIUM QUANDOCUMQUE IPSUM AUXILIUM PER TOTAM TERRAM NOSTRAM PONEMUS, ET SEQUENTUR MOLENDINUM NOSTRUM. [THE SAME WITNESSES AS IN THE PRECEDING CHARTER, BUT HAVING IN ADDITION GIBBE.] IT IS INDORSED: HOC SCRIPTUM REDDIDIT NOBIS ROBERTUS GRAY DE HEBERN ANNO DNI. 1 504, PRO MUNERE DATO SIBI. I”” 4′” SPEC., 105.

There we have it. The scant evidence and educated opinion that Follonsby was a newly created villiage when it was purchased by Thorad de London. Why did he name it Folettebi? Previously I dug into the name Folet and the mix of Scandinavian, French and German parts of Follingsby giving us the meaning Village of Folet. There is another possible that I will dig into next time. There is no recorded name Folet, but the word has a meaning of full, could Fulletebi be a villiage full of trees in an area that has been felled of them? Till next time..

-Josh Follansbee

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Etymology of a Name Pt. 1

In various records of the contemporary name Follansbee are various spellings. Follonsby, Folanceby, Folansbye, Folaunceby, Folesceby, Foletesbi, Foleteby, Folettebi are a few. We have various reasons for this. Phonetics and close dialects are surely large influences. So is the combination of languages and spelling. Latin, Norse, Old English, French and variations of these all play a part in the different spellings of Follingsby.

So far, it appears our name change went something close to this (original to current) in a general overview we see Foletebi, then Follonsby, then Follingsby. Follinsby and Follansbee today are both in use. Follingsby is retained in England and Follansbee appears to be a completely American spelling. Lets take our traveling ancestor Thomas Follansbee as an example:

1. Thomas Follansbee b. 30 Sept 1637. His first marriage on October 25, 1669 is recorded at St Andrew Holborn and has his name spelled what looks like ffollensby.*

tom

2. His travel record at Barbados in 1679 has his name spelled as Ffollinsby, according to Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s. Farmington Hills, MI, USA: Gale Research, 2012 page 177.

3. His record of the previous marriage in New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2004.  list his name as Folinsbee and his son Thomas Jr. b. 1674 as Follingsby.

So in less than 50 years and with the same person (and son) we have 4 different recorded spellings (Hollensby, Ffollinsby, Folinsbee, Follingsby).

5. Then finally, in his last marriage recorded in Town and City Clerks of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Vital and Town Records. Provo, UT: Holbrook Research Institute (Jay and Delene Holbrook).  We have the current spelling of Follansbee, the 5th variation in the same generation.

tomtom

Well, I guess I tackled various spellings and not the origin of the name. I will have to tackle that one next time and hopefully my ADHD doesn’t kick in again.

-Josh Follansbee

*ffollanby two lower case f’s used for a capital F.

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Where is Follingsby?

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.

800px-Tyne_and_Wear_CountyA development brief titled “Land to the South of Follingsby Lane,
Gateshead” by Indigo Planning & Storeys Edward Symmons
in 2013 recognizes the history of a Medieval Follingsby village

“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?

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