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Surname Folsom - Meaning and Origin

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The iGENEA DNA test shook up my understanding of my surname, Folsom. It unfurled a vivid narrative of my ancestry, tracing its roots back to Western Europe, revealing surprising genetic diversity, migration patterns, and health predispositions. The results successfully navigated through distant past eras, interpreting complex scientific data to weave a story as unique as my DNA.

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Folsom: What does the surname Folsom mean?

The surname Folsom is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is a locational name deriving from an Old English pre 7th Century personal name "Fugol", meaning bird, and "ham", which means homestead or village. Hence, "Folsom" would imply "Fugol's homestead." It could have been used to denote someone who lived in such a place. This surname first appeared on record in England around the late 12th century. Notably, there's a town named Folsom in California, USA. The prison located in this town was the inspiration for Johnny Cash's famous "Folsom Prison Blues". Given the nature of surname origins, varied spellings are found in early records, including variations like Foulsham, Folsham, Foulshom, etc.

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Folsom: Where does the name Folsom come from?

The surname Folsom is of Anglo-Saxon origin and it is a locational surname derived from a place in Lincolnshire named "Fulstow". The place name is a combination of the Old Norse personal name "Ful" and "stow" which means 'a place' in Old English. The surname is believed to have originally been used to identify someone who hailed from that village.

Today, Folsom is not a commonly widespread surname. However, it can still be found in the United States, specifically in the states of California, Texas, and Oklahoma. This distribution is likely a result of emigration, as individuals or families moved and established new homes in various locations. While it is more populous in these states, it should be noted that the interest and research into genealogy and family history have dispersed knowledge of the surname worldwide. The name is also recognized in the context of Folsom Prison in California, made particularly famous by singer Johnny Cash's song "Folsom Prison Blues."

Variations of the surname Folsom

The surname Folsom originates from the English or Old Norse language. It's primarily associated with the United States and English-speaking countries. It may have a distinct spelling or variations, depending on the cultural and linguistic alterations. This surname's possible variations and similar surnames could be Foulsham, Falsham, Foulshom, Fulsom, and Fulsome.

The surname Folsom might also be derived from placenames. For instance, Folsom could be a variant of Foulsham, a village in England's Norfolk county. These names' origins are generally traced back to geographical features or professions, and they often modify to match the language morphologies over time and locations.

Additionally, sometimes similar sounding names can be considered as a variant, however, they might not share the same origin. For example, Folsome, Falsham, Falshem may be considered variants but their origins could be different.

Lastly, surname origins can often be challenging to pin down because of the many cultural, historical, and linguistic factors at play. Consequently, different individuals or families with the same or similar surnames may not share a common ancestor. In other words, correlation does not always imply causation.

Famous people with the name Folsom

  • Frances Folsom Cleveland: She was the wife of President Grover Cleveland and served as the First Lady of the United States.
  • Marion Folsom: A U.S. government official, Folsom was the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Eisenhower.
  • James Folsom: Known as "Big Jim", Folsom was the 42nd and 45th Governor of Alabama.
  • James Folsom Jr.: Son of "Big Jim", James Jr. also served as the Alabama's 50th Governor.
  • Charles Folsom: An American author and education reformer prominent in the 19th century.
  • John Folsom: A commanding general for the Nebraska Territory during the American Civil War.
  • Robert Folsom: A prominent businessman and former Mayor of Dallas, Texas.
  • Michael Folsom: Founding member of Philadelphia based band The Dead Milkmen.
  • Joseph Libbey Folsom: An American army officer and real estate investor in California known for purchasing the land where Folsom, California is now located.
  • George Folsom: A U.S. diplomat, historian and translator, he was president of New York's Historical Society.
  • John Folsom: An American folk artist known for his vivid depiction of life in rural New England.
  • Jenny Folsom: She is a prominent leader in the state of Alabama, serving as the mayor of the city of Jacksonville.

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