This surname of VOLL was a German, Polish and Jewish medieval given name, a short form of the various Germanic personal names with the first element FOLK or VOLK meaning 'people'. The name has numerous variant spellings which include FOCKEN, FOCKES, FOWKE, FOLKES, FOLK, VOLKE, VOLLE, VOLKMAN, VOLZLE, VOZKE, FOLSKE and FOCKEN, to name but a few. Hereditary surnames were originally imported from France into England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the two centuries or so after the Conquest surnames were acquired by most families of major landholders, and many landed families of lesser importance. There appears to have been a constant trickle of migration into Britain between about the years 1200 and 150O, mostly from France and the Low Countries, with a small number of migrants from Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and the Iberian peninsular, and occasional individuals from further afield. During this period groups of aliens settled in this country as for example, the Germans who from the late 15th century onwards settled in Cumbria to work the metal mines. Immigration during this time had only a small effect on the body of surnames used in Britain. In many cases, the surnames of immigrants were thoroughly Anglicised. The late sixteenth century saw the arrival, mostly in London and the south-coast ports of large numbers of people fleeing from the war regions of France. A notable member of the name was Martin FOLKES (1690-1754) The English numismatist, born in London. He published 'A Table of English Gold Coins' (1736) and 'A Table of English Silver Coins' (1745). Another noteworthy person was Captain Francis FOWKE (1823-65), an Anglo-Irish engineer and architect, designer of the original plans for several major museums in Britain. He was born in Belfast and planned such places as the Albert Hall, London. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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