FOLLIS Trivia - or where I put this stuff?

A follis coin

England and the British Isles were a part of the Roman Empire shown on this 116 AD map. It makes the following information that much more relavent. A.H.M. Jones in his 1959 five page article The Origin And Early History Of The Follis states that in 308-9 the follis was a bag of 1,000 coins worth roughly 1/10 to 1/24th of a pound of gold. In 392 Epiphanius refers to a follis as worth 125 silver coins. The follis coin declined in value and by the last quarter of the fifth century was applied to large copper coins issued under the later Vandal kings in Africa and by Anastasius and his successors in the east. Folles is used as the plural name. The follis probably existed for a long time before this time period. My follis coin is dated 610-613. It is easily found on internet searches such as a Google search or found in any local coin shop. My coin was purchased around 1995 for $9.00 from a Fort Wayne, Indiana coin shop. The Arabic 'Fils' or 'Fals' is derived from the Latin word 'Follis' meaning "piece of money". Follis is found in a Latin word list as: a leather bag, purse, bellows, puffed-out cheeks.

Unrelated FALLIS immigrants include Nancy FALLIS a 22 year old spinster an August 5, 1803 immigrant from Dublin, Ireland to New York on the brig "Sally". 1 In 1847 Jane FALLIS from Enniskillen, Ireland with 13 year old Thomas and 11 year old Edward to Quebec. In 1850 Elizabeth FALLIS from Strabane, Ireland on ship "Mary Campbell" to Quebec 2.

The actor Richard THOMAS, 'John Boy' of The Waltons television fame appears to be a seventh cousin. His mother Barbara FALLIS of New York, born in Kentucky appears to be a descendant of Isaac FALLIS and Susannah MARTIN, brother to my Jacob, sons of Thomas FALLIS..

I have seen FOLLIS and FALLIS' in Canada from Ireland, but have not pursued these lines. One of their descendants claims a similar lineage of France to 1066 England, to Scotland-Ireland then to Canada.

Isaac FALLIS the Revolutionary War Soldier buried in Mercer County, Kentucky said to be a 14 year old drummer boy is listed as FOLLIS in Oldhams Company to August 1778 afterwards in Captain Job Vernon's 3.

Follis is the name of leather bags designed in New York since 2009 by fellow midwesterner Catherine Meyer. Follis is also defined as Latin from the Roman Empire as a fixed weight of bronze or copper coins.

The Free Dictionary has this informaiton on the Follis coin includes a link to the French Follis bicycle and is almost identical to Wikipedia has information on Follis coins. They also have a link to Doug Smith who replied to my email several years ago that "Follis means bag or purse. The term was applied to a new coin issued in 498 AD worth 40 of the tiny coins used in the last century of the Roman Empire which had been traded in bags for convenience. The new coin was a bagful of coins. I have a page that shows several folles (the plural) and a pile of the coins they replaced."

Roman Ball Games page has quite a bit of information on follis balls. Wikipedia lists a ball game that uses a ball called a follis as well as a French bicycle manufacturer. On the Wayback Machine archived web page Private Life of the Romans, follis is defined as a playing ball inflated with air. There is a longer article on Roman ball games on page 31 of the October 15, 1893 Boston Sunday Herald newspaper. Rome ruled Europe and the British Isles for 1,000 years. The follis has been around since the Roman Empire which implies our name may have a Roman origin.

Genealogy the documentation of a family history invariably leads you to want to know the origin of the FOLLIS family name. Once you stop documenting the family history and start looking at the origin of a surname whether they are your ancestors or not you are really doing a One Name Study which is looking at the origin and known distribution of a surname. One critical point to understand with surnames is that until the 1600's most families did not use a surname. Most people would have been known as John son of Thomas, or John the blacksmith, John the tanner, John of castle Foulis, John of Falaise or whatever. It took many generations before it was a common practice to take the name of your father. If you think about it it makes perfect sense. If you were the only John for hundreds of miles among a handful of people why would you need a surname? However, once you have two John's you need to distingish one from the other. When you have dozens of John's you really have a problem, easily solved by using the name of your father, hence the surname from your father combined with your given name. Not understanding the origin of names can cause someone to become distracted searching for ancestors who may not be yours.

The word "history" implies the origin is oral not written family stories as "his story". Until Johannes Gutenberg (1394?-1468?) perfected the printing press in 1452-55 most documents were handwritten. The most widely printed English language book then and now is the Bible. Prior to then only the clergy was widely literate. Even nobility had few reasons to read or write as there was little written other than handwritten scriptures and manuscripts to read. Therefore for all practical purposes there will be no written documents other than religious documents such as baptisms and perhaps deaths for whatever church documents still exist. In most cases the common person left no records. Even the wealthy left few records as land was often taken by force and held until someone stronger took it from you. For the common person you were at the mercy of your landlord, baron, king or whoever.

For these reasons I have made little attempt to pursue ancestor families beyond the 1700's. Unless someone has published something already I have plenty more documentation yet to find here in America. Nonetheless I have found lots of interesting FALLIS-FOLLIS items.

Follis Ancestors "The Follis name has some confusing origins. Through DNA testing it would seem that there are two separate branches of Follis in Ireland. One group possibly came to Ireland from England shortly after the Norman conquest, but their name may not have been Follis originally. There is a Follistown in Co Meath which derives from an Anglo-Norman family who's surname was Folleville. The second branch of Follis came to Ireland from Scotland around 1600. In Scotland Follis is spelt Foulis and is derived from the Norman word for Leaves "feuilles" and in old Latin the word for leaves is "foliis", spelt with two i's instead of two L's. The Italian branch of Follis may indeed derive from the Follis coins of the Roman Empire."

Daniel Boone's great-grandfather:

First Generation:
George Boone lived near Exeter, England. He married Ann Fallace, daughter of Walter Fallace.

More Fallis Follis pages:

My FOLLIS Families Thomas & Catharine EIKENBERRY Jacob & Hannah KINGERY Isaac & Mercy VAUGHAN Jacob & Sarah SPRINGER
Thomas & Elizabeth Fallis Pioneer Cemetery Fallis Cemetery Wildflowers Immigrant FOLLIS Daniel James FALLIS
FOLLIS Information Fallis As First Name Follis Links FALLIS vs FOLLIS FOLLIS Places
FOLLIS Trivia FALLIS - FOLLIS in Civil War African-American Follis E. O. Fallis Fallis Oklahoma
George Washington A Family Friend?        

If you find research that adds to, or contradicts mine, please leave a Comment on my Follis Families in the United States Facebook page, or send me an Email.

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