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Origins Available: English, Irish
Where did the Irish Foyle family come from? What is the Irish Foyle family crest and coat of arms? When did the Foyle family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Foyle family history?The Anglo- Norman Conquest of Ireland lead by Strongbow introduced the first non-Gaelic elements into Irish nomenclature. These Anglo- Normans brought some traditions to Ireland that were not readily found within Gaelic system of hereditary surnames. One of the best examples of this is the local surname. Local surnames, such as Foyle, were taken from the name of a place or a geographical feature where the person lived, held land, or was born. These surnames were very common in England, but were almost non-existent within Ireland previous to the conquest. The earliest surnames of this type came from Normandy, but as the Normans moved, they often created names in reference to where they actually resided. Therefore, some settlers eventually took names from Irish places. Originally, these place names were prefixed by de, which means from in French. This type of prefix was eventually either made a part of the surname, if the place name began with a vowel, or was eliminated entirely. The Foyle family originally lived near a pit, an excavation, or a manmade hollow. The surname Foyle is derived from the Old French word "fouille," which means "pit." This is a derivative of the verb "fouillir," which means "to dig up" or "to excavate." This pit may have been a lime-pit or clay-pit or a hole in to which refuse was thrown. The surname Foyle belongs to the large category of Anglo-Norman habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
Church officials and medieval scribes spelled names as they sounded; therefore, single person, could have his name spelt many different ways during their lifetime. While investigating the origins of the name Foyle, many spelling variations were encountered, including: Foyle, Foile, Foille, Foylle and others.
First found in Hampshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times, some say they were granted lands by William the Conqueror after his conquest of England in 1066, and the name is believed to be derived from the French Fouille, "an excavation."
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Foyle research. Another 364 words(26 lines of text) covering the years 1172 and 1664 are included under the topic Early Foyle History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Foyle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Ireland's Great Potato Famine left the country's inhabitants in extreme poverty and starvation. Many families left their homeland for North America for the promise of work, freedom and land ownership. Although the Irish were not free of economic and racial discrimination in North America, they did contribute greatly to the rapid development of bridges, canals, roads, and railways. Eventually, they would be accepted in other areas such as commerce, education, and the arts. An examination of immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Foyle:
Foyle Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century
The Foyle Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Foyle 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 27 October 2010 at 13:35.
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