Tracing my lineage shows my family’s Immigration from England to Massachusetts and our migration west to Wisconsin, then to California and finally to Washington State. Thomas Sr., Edward T, Edward P, and Howard were the movers who brought my line of Follansbees to the West Coast.
Thomas Follansbee b. 30APR1637 Stephney, England (Immigration) (9th G.Grandfather)
Thomas Follansbee b. 1674 Newbury Mass. (8th G.Grandfather)
Francis Follansbee b. 13JUN1699 Newbury Mass. (7th G.Grandfather)
Francis Follansbee b. 10NOV1724 Newbury, Mass. (6th G.Grandfather)
Edward Follansbee b. 12JUN1768 Leominster, Mass. (5th G.Grandfather)
Leonard Follansbee b.20JUL1796 Leominster, Mass. (4th G.Grandfather)
Edward T. Follansbee b.3MAR1834 Camden, Maine. (Migration West) (3rd G.Grandfather)
Edward P. Follansbee b. 1865 Hudson, WI. (2nd G.Grandfather)
Howard B. Follansbee b. 21AUG1902 Marysville, Ca. (G.Grandfather)
Bruce Edward Follansbee b. 13MAY1931 Yakima, Wa
Steven Follansbee Living
Joshua Edward Follansbee Living
So, being an average guy who has no experience with historical or genealogical research, I am going to lay out the assumptions that I am working with while I trace what I can of the Follansbee Clan.
Location, Location, Location:
The early Follansbees are located in/around Durham County in close proximity to the old village of Follonsby. We can be sure of an early 1600 date, if you want to accept the unproven claim of Thomas parents then go ahead and tie us into the late 1500’s.
The earliest (so far) spelling of Follansbee is Follansby, Follansbye, and a few varients but usually ending in By or Bye, matching the Scandinavian flavor of the area as well as the village. My working theory is that Follansbee is a place-name from Follonsby Village.
While it no longer exists, it is well documented in early transcripts and today there are roads still named after this village in the same general area. The name and town are to similar to be coincidental, which of course is still an assumption.
Pedigrees a plenty:
There are plenty of historical families in the Durham area, one being Hilton/Hylton as well as others. There is a clear lack of anything resembling Follansbee (Folletebi) before the 1600’s. This leads me to think that maybe our name came from someone who lived and worked in the town, a commoner, whose last name came from the village he lived in. I have compiled a list of Barons and Lords who owned the land that encompassed Follonsby, I have yet to find who the actual renters/mortgagers were. The land owners do not seem to be a direct tie.
Original Owner not an Ancestor:
Thorald de London in the late 1200’s willed the village to his son Nicholas, who is the only person that I have found to be called anything close to Follansbee. Nicolas de Folletebi. There does not seem to be a direct family name tie in here (at least yet) seeing that Nicolas sold off the Village which retained its name until it was sold off in three parcels in the 1800’s
There is absolutely nothing that I can find that dates a Follansbee before 1637. I am sure maybe out there somewhere someone has something, but until it comes to light we are quite stuck.
Ok, so what are the holes in my assumptions?
1.) We do not have a tie in for Follonsby that directly shows that we are actually named for the location.
2.) Thomas Sr’s birth is recorded in London. This is probably not a real issue. I used to have a Christening record for him that was recorded at the Durham Cathedral.
3.) That our stock was a Commoner. I did read on a forum somewhere from a Gal in England that she looked up Follansbee and there is some record in London and this Follansbee was recorded as an Esquire (Below Knight, above Gentleman). Maybe it was just this Chap, maybe the family line was a little higher up the scale, who knows?
Strengths of my theory:
I do A LOT of reading, I mean a lot. I am not saying there is nothing out there, but so far nothing has come up to lead me down a different rabbit trail. So far, the village completely predates the last name. There is a good 300 year gap between the first mention of Follonsby/Folletebi and Thomas Follansbee. So far this is good, it still leads me to think Follansbee is a place-name or became a last name because an ancestor lived in Follonsby. The name is uncommon. It is not like tying Smith to Smithville or Brown to Brownstown. Those could be a dime a dozen. There is only one Follonsby and it is to close to Follansbee to not investigate it in the minutest detail.
Well that’s it, pretty boring I know. These assumptions are what keep me awake at night, pondering the family origins.
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.
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
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.,
- 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..
There is conflicting information in various sources on the life of Thomas Follansbee. My plan for this post is to build a short biography from the various sources with a view to eliminate errors and generate additional information from readers who may be able to fill in some blanks.
GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL MEMOIRS
Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts. Vol IV published 1908
“(I) Thomas Follansbee, immigrant ancestor, born in Hamsterly, Durham England, about 1640, came to America when a young man and settled at Newbury, Massachusetts, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He married first, before 1672, Mary , and second, Sarah , who died probably November 4, 1683, at Newbury, and he married third, April 4, 1713, at Newbury, Jane Mossman, of Boston. He was of Portsmouth in 1665 and 1671 ; of Newbury in 1677 and later. He was the ancestor of all of this name in America, so far as discovered. He was living as late as 1713 and probably in 1721. Children: 1. Rebecca, born about
1660; married November 22, 1677, Thomas Chase (2). 2. Anne, married, November 10, 1684, Moses Chase; she died before 1713. 3. Mary, born about 1667; married December 1, 1686, Robert Pike; second, about 1691, William Hooke. 4. Thomas, born about 1671 ;mentioned below. 5. Francis, born October 22, 1677. 6. Hannah, born April 10, 1680.
Birth and Parentage A.D. 1637
Thomas Follansbee was born on 20 April 1637 in Durham, England. Many family trees at www.ancestry.com list his parents as Henry Follansbie and Jane Gibbon. I have yet to find any real confirmation, their names on any documents, or listed by himself. I leave Henry and Jane as possible but unconfirmed for now. They were not listed anywhere until a few years ago when they started popping up on a family tree or two, it appears the family tree sharing on ancestry.com has propagated to many family histories on the internet and not one of them with any documented proof.
First Marriage- A.D. 1659 (22 yrs old)
There is clear proof for Thomas’ first marriage to Mary Bradford on 25OCT1659 in London. London Metropolitan Archives has a photocopy of the marriage entry at St. Andrew, Holbron. Sounce is London Metropolitan Archives, St Andrew Holborn, Register of marriages, 1559 – 1698, P69/AND2/A/002/MS06668, Item 001. It should be commented that some lists have Thomas marrying three times. Mary, Sarah and Jane. I think there are only two marriages. I think Mary is Sarah. There are only two records to be found, one in England in 1659 and one in America in 1713. On his first wife Mary Sarah or Sarah Mary..whichever.. I believe that his two daughters Mary and Sarah are names after their Mother.
Rebecca, b. 1661. Jane b. 1665, Mary, b.1667 during the trip these girls were quite young 6 years old, 2 years old and an infant. I am still investigating at the time, since I do not have an exact date for the birth of Mary, I suppose she could have been born in the U.S. However I am not inclined to think Sarah travelled from England to Newbury Mass. on a 2 – 4 month sea voyage, but who know.
Travel to America A.D. 1667 (30 yrs old)
Recorded in U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s, we have Thomas landing in Newbury Massachusetts in 1667.
Children born in America 1668-1677
I think the new home agreed with Thomas. He was quite busy populating the Follansbee name having four more children possibly five if Mary was born in the U.S. These five minions were Anne, B. 1668, Hanna, b. 1680, Thomas b. 1674, Francis b. 1677
Barbados A.D. 1679 (42 yrs old)
We do have a record for Thomas Ffollinsby at Barbados recorded in the U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration lists index , 1500’s to 1900’s. There is another record for a Folinsby in Barbados. It is a record of burial for an Alice Folinsby wife of Thomas Folinsby at St. Michaels in Barbados. Both the arrival date and burial dates are 1679. I wonder if this is a family vacation. There are multiple Folinsbys in Barbados at this time. While Alice is recorded as the wife of Thomas, I think it is his sister. Below is a cut and paste from the online publication of The Original Lists of Persons of Quality; Emigrants, Religious Exiles, Political Rebels, Serving Men sold for a term of years, ; Apprentices, Children Stolen, Maidens Pressed, and others who went fro Great Britain to the American Plantations. 1600-1700.
2nd Marriage A.D. 1713 (76 yrs old)
We have paper showing the intended marriage of Thomas to Jane Mosemore (Moseman).
One Last Voyage A.D. 1726 (89 yrs old)
We reach the end for our Immigrant Fore-Father, Thomas Follansbee. I have not found any records that would indicate why he left England. I take the position that it was for Religious Freedom. It would be a safe assumption that Thomas was a Puritan. The American Colonies during this time (and the two that he lived in) were Puritan through and through. The Puritans were champions for their religious freedom but persecuted those who did not agree with them. Quakers, Jews, Catholics and others were run out, hanged, and not tolerated. For Thomas to live, work, and raise a family in Massachusetts and New Hampshire it would be safe to lean heavily towards viewing him as a (non-separatist) Puritan.
He was a joiner (carpenter) <cite reference> and is recorded as working on a local school and church. Little else is known of him. Photography was experimental for another 100 years and would not be “invented” officially until 1839. I have not found any paintings or carving or any other likeness. As far as we know, Thomas Follansbee is the Patriarch of all American Follansbees. If you have any resources to share, please comment below.
-Joshua E. Follansbee
*This will be updated as I progress in researching and verifying dates, names and locations.
Summary with comments on agreement or disagreement based on other sources:
Quote: “For the past century has been spelled Foliambe and Fojambe the “s” sound seems to have been added in America” It is doubtless a Norman Family dating back to England to the conquest in 1066.”
Conflict: What keeps me from jumping on the Fuljambe = Follansbee bandwagon is that both names appear simultaneously in England. I am also hesitant because of I am really stuck on attaching the village of Follingsby to Follansbee because of the location in Durham County of our ancestors and the village. Also, other studies indicate that Follingsby as a name-place was most likely post-conquest while retaining the local Scandinavian flavor “by”. Studies indicate Folet as the first source for Follingsby which fits a boader time period for a French-Norman name than the precise period of 1066.
Another issue with the quote is the author’s phrase “doubtless a Norman..England..1066.” Personally I find it hard to take the absolute assurance without a quote or reference to a source. Here I think we find a historians interpretation from similar sounding names.
I have replicated the information on the link below on this blog post. If you want to poke around other records just follow the source link: http://reed.dur.ac.uk/xtf/view?docId=ead/dcd/dcdlpk.xml;query=charter#2.
Since my main interest is the information from the archives, I left off the cataloging system here. So for example the original post at the link provided shows:
DCD/K/LP1/42/1 – 12 3.12.1736 and others undated
Documents relating to a dispute between Dean and Chapter and Baron Hilton re property at Follingsby.
Where I just show:
3.12.1736 and others undated
Documents relating to a dispute between Dean and Chapter and Baron Hilton re property at Follingsby.
Italicized comments are my personal notes.
3.12.1736 and others undated
Documents relating to a dispute between Dean and Chapter and Baron Hilton re property at Follingsby.
(Dean and Chapter was the Governing Authority after King Henry VIII abolished Roman Catholicism and appointed a Dean and Chapter in A.D. 1541)
Note re Baron Hylton’s claim to property (The first Baron Hylton was Robert Hylton, 1st Baron Hylton (d. 1322) and there remains a Baron Hylton today. The date here being 1736 leads me to view the 18th Baron, John Hylton (1699–1746) as the person mentioned.
Note of the grants of Follingsby over a period of 600 years, observations and answers to allegations in support of Baron Hylton’s claim to the lands in dispute
Observations on the boundaries of Follingsby and plan of the property in dispute
Another plan of the property in dispute
Case of the Dean and Chapter and their title to the property in dispute. (Dean and Chapter as a post 1541 authority, so while undated we can assume this was after 1541 and King Henry VIII dissolution of Roman Catholicism)
Copy of charter of Geoffrey Rufus, bishop of Durham, giving Follingsby to Thorald of London, as in Cart.II (We know the village was given to Thoral by Rufus around A.D. 1144 from Durham Episcopal Charters 1071-1152.)
Copies of :
Charter of Thorald of London confirming gift of the vill to his son Nicholas.
Charter of Bishop Hugh of le Puiset confirming possession of the vill by the monks of Durham.
A division made between Heworth & the vill and Boldon & the vill.
Charter of William, prior, confirming possession of the vill by Bartholomew Marsh
Grant by William, prior, & the convent to Wm son of Wm of Wessington of 80 acres of land in the vill, 6.1.1311/12.
Lease by Richard, prior, & the convent to Wm, baron of Hylton for 79 years of a mill-pond in Great Usworth,
Division between Heworth & the vill and Boldon & the vill. Note of grant of the vill by Bishop Hugh of le Puiset to Prior& Convent. Undated
Lease of a mill-pond in Great Usworth for 79 yrs. 1470.
Division between Boldon and the vill.
Division between Heworth & the vill and Boldon & the vill
Note of grant of the vill by Bishop Hugh of le Puiset to the Prior
Note of lease of a mill-dam for 79 yrs on 9.6.1470
Notes of two grants by the Prior and Convent 1311 (see notes)
Division between Heworth & the vill and Boldon & the vill.
Note of grant of the vill by Bishop Hugh of le Puiset to the Prior.
Note re a mill-dam (grant)
Notes of two grants by the Prior and Convent 1311. (see notes)
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.*
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.
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.
*ffollanby two lower case f’s used for a capital F.
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?
This is just a personal blog for me to write, record, take notes, etc. as I investigate the Follansbee beginnings in Durham England. I am not a professional Genealogist or Historian. I don’t even spells good!
Feel free to add links to sources or use what I have here to launch or add to your own investigations. My main focus is really just how did the villiage of Follonsby start and who started it?
Based on “The Report of the Follansbee Association” Follansbee was originally a 300 tract of land granted to a Sir Follansbee by William the Conqueror. This is unfounded so far, and from some reading it seems that in early America there was a craze to find family lands in England, and this report is most likely false. I will dig in to the Report in some posts to come.
So far I have traced Follansbee to the early 1200’s. So, lets see if we can crack the founding of Follonsby Village, and if not at least it will be fun trying.