November, 1992

Foulke Family Herald Banner


Foulke Coat of Arms

Description - "Vert Chevron inter three wolves’ heads, erased argent".

Interpretation - Wolf heads and chevron are antique silver, the background and shield are medium green.

Motto: "BLAIDD RHUDD AR Y BLAEN" (Welsh "Red Wolf to the Front").

There has been much speculation within the family about the Coat of Arms. William G. Foulke of Philadelphia has been kind enough to share his research and knowledge.

Edward Foulke, in his "Narrative of his Removal", listed his male ancestors back to Rhirid Flaidd, a Welsh knight, through 15 generations. He also listed his mother's ancestors to 4 generations and his wife's ancestors for 3 and his mother-in-law's for 13 generations! As an emigrant who was moving with his wife and nine children to a new country, he, in typical Welsh fashion, preserved a genealogical record, and has been very valuable in establishing his pedigree.

Rhirid Flaidd was a Welsh knight who lived during the reigns of King Henry II of England (1154-89) and King Richard I (1189-99). His coat of arms is extant in the College of Arms in London (founded in 1483 by King Richard III) which is still the final authority on heraldic matters. The College covers everything concerning heraldry, genealogy, precedence and ceremony in England and Wales. It is the source of new coats of arms for those receiving honors and titles.

The 200th Anniversary celebration of 1898 produced a number of books about our ancestry. These reflected the scholarship of the time and what records were available to the authors of these works. Since his first exposure to those records, William became increasingly interested in the Coat of Arms. About ten years ago, he traveled to the College of Arms only to find that, while Rhirid Flaidd's Coat of Arms was on record, there was insufficient proof of Edward Foulke's pedigree.

William attempted his own research in Wales and Pennsylvania. Even after several years employing a well known ancestral research firm in England, the missing links remained. By chance, William found Dr. Louis S. Marks, an esteemed genealogist in Philadelphia, Professor Emeritus of Genetics at St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania. Only through Dr. Marks‘ persistent and accurate research were the College of Arms Examiners satisfied as to William's right to arms by descent.

William Foulke has given permission to use the Coat-of-Arms as a family Coat-of-Arms. The Committee is in the process of having the Coat-of-Arms and crest available to purchase in the near future as a fund raiser.


Date: June 19, 1993

Time: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Location: Foulkeways Retirement Community
Route 202 & Sumneytown Pike
Gwynedd, PA

All family members are urged to attend

Call Bruce Foulke for more information (xxx) xxx-xxxx


The Reunion Committee had another successful meeting in June. We even had a pleasant surprise visit from 2 cousins from North Carolina, Len and Betty Hayne, who just happened to be visiting Foulkeways looking for their roots and the grave sites of Edward and Eleanor Foulke. They knew nothing about the Reunion Committee nor did they know about the meeting. God works in many ways and Edward and Eleanor Foulke must be looking over our family. The Haynes joined us for the meeting and they are super excited about the Reunion Committee and what we have done so far.

Now, about the Reunion Committee. We have determined that the 300th year reunion will be set up as an educational and festive type of event. During the actual reunion we will have family speakers talk about the family background and our history. We will have the Thomas family (who presently live at Coed-E-Foel Isaf in Bala, Wales) tell us about how it feels to live on Edward and Eleanor's old farmstead. We will have people talk about our Welsh heritage and culture. We will have Welsh food, entertainment, plays and a tour of our family landmarks in the area and a good old-fashioned family reunion picnic with games and a photo session.

Just a few cousins of the Reunion Committee that met on June 20, 1992

The Committee is working on a facility to house and accommodate the 1,000 plus attendees that we expect for the momentous event for our family. As you know, or if you don't know, we will need about 150 volunteers to help out at this event. We will need help from people of all walks of life, whether you are a writer, carpenter, actor, Doctor, Librarian, receptionist, housewife or are retired, etc. — we have a job for you. Everyone can be a part of this and we would like everyone to try to be a part of the Reunion Committee. We are encouraging everyone to try to attend one of the Reunion Committee meetings that are held the third Saturday of every June at Foulkeways until we get to the "big event" in 1998.

In this Newsletter we have an article on a contest to design a logo for our 300th year reunion. We thought that this logo would help to make this event more memorable as attendees to the 300th year reunion. I encourage all of you to submit an entry to this contest. It should be fun to see all of the ideas that will come in.

We are still working on a set of By-Laws to be accepted by the June 1993 meeting.

The contributions that we are receiving have improved but we still have a long way to go to help pay for the reunion and the commemorative and genealogy books. We have enclosed a contribution card for those who have not contributed in 1992. Our annual solicitation letter will be mailed in May of each year.

We are also looking at other fund raising possibilities, such as selling books and pictures as you have seen in other Newsletters.

We are also putting together regionalized Family Reunions in each part of the country. If you would like to be a sponsor of a regional reunion, please contact me and I will help you get the names of local family members.

Again, I would encourage everyone to try to attend one of the Committee Meetings. The next one will be June 19, 1993 at Foulkeways, Gwynedd, PA. We look forward to seeing and hearing from all of you.

Have a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.

Your cousin,
Bruce K Foulke


A gathering of Foulkes will be held on February 2, 1993, at Sid and Nancy Foulke's house. Planned specifically for those from the Southeastern United States, this reunion is open to ANY descendent of Edward and Eleanor Foulke who can be in Central Florida on that date.

Write or call Sid or Nancy Foulke at xxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxx, Kissimmee, FL 34744 (Home Phone: xxx-xxx-xxxx, Office Phone: xxx-xxx-xxxx) if you are interested in attending.


Sally Wister

Old Foulke Mansion at Penllyn, PA

Most people are familiar with the Journal of Sally Wister, but not everyone knows that she wrote that diary during her family's 20 month stay with fellow Quaker Hannah Foulke. John Wister, Sally's grandfather, married Lowry Jones whose aunt, Hannah Foulke, lived on a 700 acre farm in Penllyn. Hannah's husband William, grandson of immigrants Edward and Eleanor Foulke, died in 1775 leaving his family a 2 story stone farm house built on the site of his grandfather's original log cabin. The house, dated circa 1718 had 4 rooms on each floor with a center hall and an exterior door at either end. Daniel Wister and his family moved into half of the house.

In September 1777, after the Battle of Brandywine, and General "Mad Anthony" Wayne's embarrassing attack by the British at Paoli on September 20, the capture of the rebel capital City of Philadelphia was imminent. Daniel Wister, son of John Wister, and his family stayed in Germantown in the Wister summer house until fighting could be heard across the Schuylkill River. Wister felt it wise to flee the Quaker City and found refuge with the widow Hannah Foulke and her two or three unnamed children in the Foulke mansion. Sally makes reference to 33 year old Priscilla and 21 year old Lydia with whom she became close friends.

Sally Wister kept her Journal as a day-to-day letter to her friend Debra Norris, whose family stayed in the City and with whom communication became impossible. Her diary not only chronicles Revolutionary War events in the Philadelphia area, but gives intimate details of the Foulke/Wister life which included the provision of lodging for a number of distinguished Continental Army officers whose troops were encamped nearby. All of these events are described through the eyes of a 16 year old Quaker maiden. The Journal extends from September 1777 to June 1778 when the British left Philadelphia and the Continental Army disbanded their Valley Forge encampment.


"Yesterday, which was the 24th of September, two Virginia officers called at our house (the 'Foulke Mansion’) and informed us that the British Army had crossed the Schuylkill. Presently after, another person stopped, and confirmed what they had said, and that General Washington and Army were near Pottsgrove. Well, thee may be sure we were sufficiently scared; however, the road was very still till evening. About seven o'clock, we heard a great noise. To the door we all went. A large number of wagons, with about three hundred of the Philadelphia Militia. They begged for drink and several pushed into the house. One of those that entered was a little tipsy and had a mind to be saucy. I then thought it time for me to retreat; so figure me (mightily scared, as not having presence of mind enough to face so many of the military) running in at one door and out of another, all in ashake with fear; but after a little, seeing the officers appeared gentlemanly, and the soldiers civil, I called reason to my aid, my fears were in some measure dispelled, though my teeth rattled and my hands shook like an aspen leaf. They did not offer to take their quarters with us; so with many blessings and as many adieus, they marched off....

(September 24) This day, till twelve o'clock, the road was mighty quiet, when Hobson Jones came riding along. About that time he made a stop at our door, and said the British were at Skippack road; that we should soon see their light horse, and (that) a party of Hessians had actually turned into our lane. My dadda and mamma gave it the credit it deserved, for he does not keep strictly to the truth in all respects; but the delicate, chicken-hearted Liddy (Lydia Foulke, age 21) and I were wretchedly scared. We could say nothing but ‘Oh! what shall we do? What will become of us?‘ These questions only augmented the terror we were in. Well, the fright went off. We saw no light horse or Hessians. (Cousin Owen) Foulke came here in the evening, and told us that General Washington had come down as far as the Trappe, and that General McDougle's brigade was stationed at Montgomery, consisting of about sixteen hundred men. This he had from Dr. Edwards, Lord Stirling's aid-decamp; so we expected to be in the midst of one army or t'other.

(October 19) ... As I was lying in bed, and ruminating on past and present events, Liddy came running into the room, and said there was the greatest drumming, fifing, and rattling of wagons that ever she had heard. What to make of this we were at a loss. We dress'd and (went) down stairs in a hurry. Our wonder ceased. The British had left Germantown (moving back into Philadelphia proper), and our army was taking possession.

... (We) went about a half mile from home, where we cou’d see the army pass (down the Skippack and adjacent roads). Thee will stare at my going, but no impropriety in my opine, or should not have gone. We made no great stay, but return'd with excellent appetites for our breakfast. Several officers call'd to get some refreshments, but none of consequence till the afternoon. Cousin P (riscilla Foulke) and myself were sitting at the door; I in a green skirt, dark short gown, etc. Two genteel men of the military order rode up to the door: 'Your servant, ladies,‘: etc.; ask'd if they could have quarters for General Smallwood. Aunt (Hannah) F (oulke) thought she could accommodate them as well as most of her neighbors, said they could. One of the officers dismounted, and wrote 'Smallwood's Quarters‘ over the door, which secured us from straggling soldiers. After this he mounted his steed and rode away. When we were alone, our dress and lips were put in order for conquest, and the hopes of adventures gave brightness to each before passive countenance....


By Phil Ruth

Continued from May 1992 Issue

We also know that the eleven-week voyage to America was attended by tragedy. A brief account of the journey inscribed by Edward Foulke in the family Bible a few years after the voyage reports that forty-five of the passengers — a large portion of the group — died of dysentery en route, so that "two or three corpses were cast overboard daily while it lasted" (three sailors also died, a fact Foulke fails to mention). Despite such ghastly odds, all members of the Foulke family survived to smell the verdure of the New World and see its coastline stretching across the horizon. July 17 found the beleaguered travelers drifting into the port of Philadelphia, though with what mixed emotions we can only imagine! They were quickly taken underwing by established friends and relatives of the original Welsh company, who temporarily moved the women and children into their comfortable homes. The men of the party, after getting their land legs, struck out for their new township, to clear land, build shelter, and gather as much food as possible before their wives and children would join them as November's sharp frosts set in.

Occupied with the task of carving a township out of virgin forest, the men of this second Welsh company understandably took no time to record their feelings or experiences. We can only imagine them spending long days in backbreaking labor, chopping and sawing, hammering and digging. If any neighbors or friends pitched in to speed the work, they would have had to come all the way up from Merion, as there were few settlers living nearby to lend a hand. To the south, the Horsham, Upper Dublin and Whitpain areas were still only sparsely populated, and no settlements yet existed to the north. Gwynedd marked civilization's northwestern frontier.

Land allocations

By November, log shelters had been built and provisions laid by for the dozen-or-so families who would comprise the Township's first citizenry. Also by this time, the parallelogram-shaped territory had been subdivided into seventeen tracts of varying size, and then apportioned out among fourteen buyers (see map at left). When a deed recording these purchases was finally drawn up in June 1699, it showed that each new landowner paid six pounds and ten shillings per hundred acres of Gwynedd real estate. Of the seventeen tracts (which, it may be noted, increased in size the farther back they lay from "civilization"), the largest by far belonged to William John or Jones, the settlement's wealthiest resident.

There is no record of when Gwynedd was officially recognized as a Township. As a settlement, it began to appear on maps almost immediately, commanding more attention than other settlements in the area because it was parceled out and occupied virtually overnight. On some maps it was designated "Guinet" or "Gwineth," rather than "Gwynedd." On others, no variation of "Gwynedd" appeared; instead the locale was labeled "North Wales". To make sense of this confusion of names, we need to look back at the Old World region from whence the first settlers came.

For over a thousand years before any Foulke or Evans families left for America, the Welsh name "Gwynedd" had been applied by its inhabitants to the northern part of Wales, a region described as "full of high mountains, craggy rocks, great woods, deep valleys, strait and dangerous places, and deep and swift rivers." The name is a combination of two Welsh terms: gwyn, meaning white, pure, virgin or fain, and edd (pronounced "eth"), a suffix denoting a land, region, or country. Gwynedd, then, can be translated as "white land" or "fair land." While the Welsh had their own name for their homeland, English speakers simply called the region "North Wales." Though the names shared no similarity in meaning, over time they came to be used interchangeably.

With Jason Sexton's word picture in mind, we might imagine a patriarch such as Edward Foulke bent over the family Bible in the flickering light of a homesteader's cabin. Bibles were among the precious few objects most immigrants were able to carry with them across the ocean. Gwynedd's settlers would have plenty of time to meditate on the lessons of the Scriptures during their first winter in America. Crowding close around the hearth-fire in cabins buffeted by brutish winds and swirling snow, they could find comfort in hearing the old stories read in the language of their ancestors — though those words may have rung with fresh meaning in their new home. No doubt these snowbound pioneers also contemplated the coming spring, when they would get to see their new colony in all its budding glory for the first time. If they had read or heard a popular paean to American bounty written by Richard Frame, they had every reason to expect to find "A plentiful Land, O plentiful indeed."


The Thomas family who presently reside at Coed-y-Foel Isaf in Bala, Wales, Edward and Eleanor's homestead. Pictured: Front row (left to right) Morfydd and Eirian, back row (left to right) Tom, Bryn and Arwyn.

Following is a bit of information about the Thomas family received from Morfydd. Tom Thomas and his parents and sisters went to live at Coed-y-Foel when Tom was 14 years old. In 1963, Tom married Morfydd and they continued to raise sheep.

Their first child was born January 17, 1965 and was named Arwyn Lloyd. On February 2, 1966, their daughter Eirian was born followed by Richard Bryn on April 16, 1967. The Thomas‘ had a fourth child, Ruth, born on April 20, 1968, who lived only ten days.

Arwyn, who is Deputy Head Teacher of the Welsh Primary school, married Bethan Owen Jones, a Bank Accountant, in March 1988, and they were expecting their first child in July 1992. Eirian is a nursery school teacher in Llandudno and Bryn works on the family farm raising sheep.


The following article appeared in a Bala, Wales newspaper thirty years ago, in 1962:

Mountain farmer Tommy Thomas was delighted when the American tourist asked to look around his premises.

"It's the ancestral home of my family, the Foulkes," the tourist explained.

Tommy, 24, didn't mind the next year when TWO more Americans made their way to his lonely farmhouse, Coed-y-Foel Isaf, near Bala, North Wales. Or the year after, when the number rose to FOUR.

When EIGHT arrived a year after that, Tommy began to get a little worried about the farm work.

And this year Tommy is really worried.

He is afraid his tiny farmhouse may become an Old Foulkes Home.

For one of the tourists proudly wrote to tell him that FIVE HUNDRED descendants of the Foulkes recently held a meeting in America.

"Think of it," said Tommy. "If five hundred of them come marching up the valley, cameras popping, we'll never get the harvest in."

The American branch of the family arrived in Pennsylvania in 1698.

Their line can be traced in direct descent from the ancient Welsh King Cunnedda.

"Funny thing is," said Tommy, "we've nothing to do with the family at all. Never even heard of them until the Americans started arriving.


The Reunion Committee is looking for a design, symbol or logo to denote the 300th Year Family Reunion of the Descendants of Edward and Eleanor Foulke. The symbol would be used on memorabilia, announcements and displays signifying the 300th Reunion.

To submit your entry, sketch your design on an 8½" x 11" sheet of paper and send it to:

Larry Foulke
xxx xxxxxxx xxx
Pittsburgh PA 15236

All entries must be received by April 15, 1993. Final selection of the winning design will be made by the attendees at the Reunion Committee meeting in June 1993.

The winner will be announced in the November 1993 Newsletter with a biography of the winner.


Beginning balance as of 3/2/92$2,256.29
Credits since 3/2/92
Donations: Individual $170.00  
  Family $400.00  
  Patron $150.00  
  Tri-Centennial $500.00  
Lunch Collection for 6/20/92 Reunion Meeting $195.00  
Interest Income since 3/2/92 $93.03  
Book Sale Profits $30.00  
Picture sales through 10/31/92 $344.00  
TOTAL CREDITS - 3/2/92 to 10/31/92 $1,882.03
Debits since 3/2/92
Lunch for 6/20/92 Reunion Meeting $138.20  
Postage for May 1992 Newsletter & Misc. Postage $287.56  
Expenses for Picture Sales through 3/2/92 $152.67  
TOTAL EXPENSES - 11/24/90 to 10/4/91 $678.23  
Ending Balance as of 10/31/92 $3,460.09

Respectfully Submitted,
Larry R. Foulke, Treasurer
Foulke Reunion Committee


The Communication Committee is attempting to compile a directory of family members who would be willing to host cousins visiting their area. If you would be interested in participating, please send the following information to:

Bruce K. Foulke
P.O. Box 768
2047 Valley Forge Road
Worcester, PA 19490-0768


Closest Major City:


City, State, Zip:

Phone Number:

Can you hose overnight guests?

If so, how many?

Are you willing to show visitors sights?

The 300th Year Foulke Family Reunion Committee would like to acknowledge the commitment and generosity of the following family members who belong to the Tri-Centennial Club. Membership in the Tri-Centennial Club is granted to those family members who donate $100.00 to the Reunion Fund.

Bruce and Melissa Foulke
Chester and Martha Foulke
E. Sidney and Nancy Foulke
Larry and Janice Foulke
William G. and Louisa Foulke
Walter Foulke Judd and Jean C. Judd
Edwin G. Foulke, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Lowell (Skip) and Carol Foulke
David and Carol Foulke
Garrett Foulke

Patrons of the Foulke Family Reunion Committee are those who donate $50.00 to the Reunion Fund. The Committee would also like to thank the following patrons for their generous support:

William D. Foulke
Windell and Madonna Foulke
Eric and Margaret Hellmann
Winifred H. Hopper
Deanne R. Thorpe


Executive Committee

Chairperson - Bruce Keller Foulke
Vice Chairperson - Edward Sidney Foulke
Treasurer - Lawrence Ray Foulke
Secretary - Melissa Taggart Foulke
Genealogist - Margaret Ann Foulke Hellmann
Members-At-Large - Carol Foulke Laycock
David Jenkins Morrison

Standing Committee
Genealogy - Margaret Ann Hellmann, Chairperson
Historian - Brent Edward Foulke, Chairperson
Communications - Linda Foulke White, Chairperson
Finance - Lawrence Ray Foulke, Chairperson
Exhibition - Edwin Gerhart Foulke, Jr., Chairperson
Program - Carol Foulke Laycock, Chairperson
Transportation - Terry Foulke, Chairperson
By-Laws - Edward Sidney Foulke, Chairperson

All correspondence may be directed to:

300th Year Family Reunion Committee
Bruce K. Foulke
2047 Valley Forge Road
Box 768 Worcester, PA 19490
(xxx) xxx-xxxx