- This unusual name is a derivative either from the Olde English "Fugol" a nickname for "A keeper of Fowl, or domestic birds," and derives from William Le Foul of 1271 in Cambridge, or from the Medieval French "Folet", again a nickname given to a Joker or Comedian or possibly a Jester. In both cases the modern name spellings have developed as patronymics (i.e. son of Fol), an example being Roger Folet of Kent in 1158. The name recordings include Robert Follis, christened on 2nd May 1699 at St. Andrews by the Wardrobe, London, whilst on January 6th 1730, John Folliss was christened at Coleshill Church, Warwickshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margaret Follas, which was dated 1604, married Thomas Sawcer at St. Johns' Church, Hackney, London, during the reign of King James I of England and VI of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.