Saga of the Foulks Family

Marching to a Steady Beat

The Incomplete Saga of the Foulks Family

by Thom Foulks
The Foulks spelling of the family surname did not become commonly accepted among this branch of the family until the 1900s, and some historical documents list it with several variations.

Thus, the search for a link from William Foulks to his probable English (Wales, Ireland) origin remains elusive. In the opinion of this researcher, we came from Wales. In 1998, there is a sizable group of Foulke-surname Americans, with links to 1700s Pennsylvania, some of whom also use the Foulkes spelling. But no link from that group to William Foulks has yet been proven.

The search continues.

The year was 1764. Carpenter William Foulks didn't know it at the time, but he was on his way to going broke. American history can be thankful that he did.

William had just moved from Philadelphia to Leesburg, VA. A "joiner" (as quality carpenters were then called), he purchased a lot next to the Loudon County Courthouse in Leesburg, apparently trying to become that era's version of a developer -- buying a property, building a house or commercial building on it, selling it, and moving on with a profit to another property. These were called "Pritchard" buildings in that day, because a carpenter by that name had repeated that formula so many times, one out of ten buildings in Leesburg had been built by Pritchard by the time of the American Revolution.

1764. We know from birth records that William was already the father of two (another soon to arrive), and we know from his property acquisition that this young man (late 20s, early 30s) had acquired sufficient money to purchase a lot that possibly was worth several hundred dollars. How? An inheritance by him, or his wife Ann (sometimes called Nanny)? Hard work in Philadelphia? We don't know. Where did William come from, before Philadelphia? He could have been related to a William Foulks who was naturalized from Europe and settled in Maryland in 1736. Or maybe the son of a George Foulks who settled in Virginia in 1739, also arriving from Europe. Their names state their English background; their surname suggests they came from Wales. The names George and William recur frequently among known Foulks family branches. And the name Foulks or Foulkes appears on tombstones in Welsh churchyard cemeteries of centuries past.

William might also have been the son of John Foulks, a tanner who died in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in early 1747. John left a house and tannery to his wife, Margaret, which was advertised for sale in the Pennsylvania Gazette of May 28, 1747. That William's first-born son is named John, may be a clue to his father's name. We don't know.

William's prime property adjacent to the courthouse in Leesburg did not help him. The "Historian's Guide to Loudon County, Virginia, Vol. I" says of William, "His expenses apparently surpassed his progress and Foulks was forced to sell out, at a loss, four years later."

William, and his wife Ann, in 1768, were raising a family of four children -- John (1761), Catherine (1762), Elizabeth (1765) and Henry (1767). John and Catherine could call Philadelphia their hometown; for Elizabeth and Henry, hometown was Leesburg.

The next several years in the life of William and Ann are not known. They do not re-appear in archives until 1774.


Geo. W. Hill, M.D., writing in Ohio's Ashland Express newspaper in June, 1875, says: "About 1774, they located in the midst of the dense forest of in the northwest county of what is now Washington County, PA, near the Ohio river. The family of Mr. Foulks consisted of three boys and two or three girls. He was quite poor, and had ventured to improve his fortunes amid the dangers surrounding the border settlers."

Their family had become larger, with William II (1768), George (1769) and Jacob (1771). Whether all seven children had survived to this age is not known; the infant and young child mortality rate among settlers' familes was high. It is known that John, Elizabeth, George, William II and Jacob were alive in 1780.

By then, events leading to the Revolutionary War also were under way, and presumably, William may have had a role in it. Researcher Mina Foulks (DAR Magazine, March, 1967) says: "William Foulks was a Revolutionary soldier, serving, it is thought, in Capt. Richard Manning's Company, Col. James Burd's Battalion, Pennsylvania Militia during the early years of the war." But there is little corroboration of such service.

It's also not known how long William, the father, survived the rigors of pioneer life in the wilderness. Researcher Mina Foulks (DAR Magazine, February, 1970) says: "The family lived on their clearing only a few years as the father died suddenly while plowing, possibly from a heart seizure." Nancy (Ann), says this report, went on to marry a widower named Tucker. This account is offset by a 1781 Pennsylvania Orphan's Court general docket report granting custody of Mary (Catherine?), Elizabeth, George, William and Jacob Foulks to widow Ann Foulks.


The events that would propel William's children into a permanent place in American history occurred on March 12, 1780. As researcher Mina Foulks describes it, "...members of the Foulks, Dillon, Tucker, Turner and Whitacre families were 'sugaring off' in a grove of sugar maple trees at the junction of what is now Reardon Run and Raccoon Creek in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. Raccoon is a rust-colored stream, but the Run is pure spring water. The Ohio River is several miles distant."

They were attacked by a group of Wyandot Indian hunters; how many, it's not known. But the unwary settlers' party was obviously overwhelmed. John Foulks was killed, and scalped. Several male adults were also killed, including the older William Foulks (if he was among the group). George was hit in the head by tomahawk or spear, causing a bleeding wound; and he, Elizabeth, and a Samuel Whitaker (Whitacre) were taken captive. Wives, daughters and younger children were in the campsite's shelter -- presumably, a rapidly-built cabin -- which was not searched by the Indians. They were unharmed.

Why was 21-year old John scalped? British commanders of the era paid bounty for settler's scalps, a practice that was to continue for several more years. Although the colonialists had won the War of 1776, the British continued to maintain a hold on areas west of the Ohio -- the Northwest Territory, as it was called. It would be more than 30 years later, before "Americans" could expect to move freely in that area.

Besides present-day Ohio, the Northwest Territory included what are now Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and northeastern Minnesota. In 1800, with the creation of Indiana Territory, the Northwest Territory was reduced essentially to present-day Ohio. Ohio was to become a separate territory in 1802 and was admitted as a state on March 1, 1803.

The Wyandots rapidly left the area of their attack, returning across the Ohio River. It had been an exceptionally cold winter, so -- even in March -- they may have been able to depart by trudging across river ice. Elizabeth was given a horse to ride; George and Samuel, as captive warriors-to-be, walked. Because of his bleeding scalp, Elizabeth tried to have George ride with her. The Wyandots would not allow it.

Their eventual destination were Wyandot settlements along the Sandusky River -- a trek of nearly 200 miles, in spring, following one of the area's most severe winters in decades. The Foulks children traversed areas that would later become their lifelong homes, and the settings for their roles in American history.

Years afterward, a longtime friend of George's recalled for a historian one of the tales of the captive's journey. Crossing a creek by walking a log one day, one of the Wyandots tripped George, dumping him into the water. He emerged, drenched, but otherwise calmly accepted the prank. Later, under similar circumstances at another creek, George maneuvered himself to be following the prankster. And, tripped him. The Indian was furious, but his fellow hunters were laughing loudly. There was no retribution, and from then on, George was treated more as a member of the tribe instead of their captive.

Wyandot Mothers

Both George and Elizabeth were given to Wyandot squaws to be raised as their own children -- in George's case, to a squaw who had already raised several children, and welcomed him. Elizabeth was given, also, to a kindly Indian mother. Both were raised as Indians, learning the culture, the language, the habits, and the territory surrounding the Wyandots' Ohio tribal grounds.

But they didn't become Indians...both, eventually, showing strong allegiance to their own American heritage.

Two years after their capture, the 1782 Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War. Much of the land which Great Britain had won in the French and Indian War was ceded to the United States in this treaty. But the British, eager for the furs and other trade that came from the area, were slow in relinquishing their hold. Congress in 1787 passed the Northwest Ordinance, opening up the western territory to settlement, claiming possession of all lands south of Canada, north of the Ohio, west of the Alleghenies, and east of the Mississippi river...the Northwest Territory. Some American leaders warned this would lead to war with the British-influenced Indians.

Along the Sandusky River, George was growing to manhood. He is believed to have visited his mother and family, in Pennsylvania, during the fall of 1786 -- but returned to his Wyandot tribe, eventually marrying an Indian squaw, with whom he would sire two children.

Elizabeth became the wife of James Whitaker (thought to be the older brother of Samuel), who had purchased her from her Indian family for a keg of rum. A record of Wyandot Indian history says James was taken captive in 1774, near Fort Pitt, when he was 18. The Wyandot history says they were married in 1781, at Detroit -- James, then 24, Elizabeth, 16.

Life on The Sandusky

James and Elizabeth Foulks Whitaker were sufficiently free among their Indian captors to establish a trading post at Lower Sandusky, near the eventual Fremont, Ohio. The allegiance of Whitaker (who had been born in London) remained with the Indians and their British suppliers. The trading post flourished, eventually having two "branch outlets" along the river, with James and Elizabeth living in a two-story house built from Canadian-imported lumber.

At one point, Elizabeth was permitted to visit her western Pennsylvania forebears, with an infant riding in front of her on the saddle, accompanied by two Indian squaws. It was the first of several such journies she was to make. Each time, however, she returned to the Whitaker trading post.

The skirmishes among the Indians and settlers continued. Two major American attacks (by Harmar, later, St. Clair) on Indian strongholds in the Northwest Territory had been lost; one of them, a classic defeat rivaling Custer's Last Stand. Congress and President George Washington began making stronger plans for assuring peaceful settlement of the area. A war was not sought, but it was to come.

Return Home

In 1791, George -- apparently fearful of being caught on the wrong side of split allegiances -- chose to escape his Indian captivity, and return to Pennsylvania. He was 22, and he had spent half his life as an Indian. Abandoning his Indian family, he traveled alone to the banks of Pennsylvania's Allegheny River, seeking to make friendly contact with American settlers. Dressed and appearing as an Indian, he was obviously fearful he might not be welcomed.

Across the river was the clearing and cabin of George Ullery, a wealthy landowner of the area. One of his daughters, Dolly (Dorothy), paddled a canoe across the river to help the former Indian captive return to his own kind. Later, George would marry Dolly's older sister, Catherine...and George's younger brother, Jacob, would marry Dolly.

Back on the Sandusky, in 1804, James Whitaker suddenly died, at 48. He had been on a business trip to Upper Sandusky, and there is some suspicion he may have been poisoned -- the poison coming in a glass of wine offered by an unscrupulous business partner. Elizabeth Foulks Whitaker became a widow with eight children -- the oldest, at 21, Nancy, the youngest, George Foulks Whitaker, still a babe in arms. Elizabeth would flourish in her new role, as "Widow Whitaker."

In the Beaver River valley of Pennsylvania, the members of the Foulks family who had escaped capture in the 1780 Indian raid were forging their own history. William had met and wed Elizabeth Morgan, whose father, Charles Morgan, was a surveyor and property manager for George Washington. Charles was a son of Simon Morgan. Continental Army records (Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army) show Simon serving for seven years as a cavalry officer in the Continental Army. He had been wounded at Eutaw Springs while fighting with then-Colonel Washington.

Back To The Frontier

Although George Foulks was now back among the Americans, he had returned to the frontier. He had -- in 1791 -- become a government spy, whose job was to scout Indian activities in the forests of the Northwest Territory. The Indian scouts of the era were highly regarded, generally considered heroes by the settlers whose holdings the scouts helped protect.

The U.S. government wanted an end to the skirmishing with Indians in the area, and Gen. Anthony Wayne was empowered to recruit an army of volunteers and militia whose job it would be to seize control of the Territory. Wayne would later pick up the nickname, "Mad" Anthony Wayne, because of his then-unorthodox battle tactics. Instead of marching ranks of firing lines of soldiers at Indians, Wayne's soldiers fought like Indians -- from behind trees, the cover of shrubs or gulleys, individually and not as clumped groups.

Wayne's forays into the unsettled areas were eminently successful, by comparison with previous efforts. He was a hero among the settlers, and would go on to defeat the Indians. Although George may have been an active scout for Wayne's army, there is only one recorded meeting between the two.

"Mad" Anthony Wayne

In 1793, the members of George's scouting party (headed by Capt. James Downing) encountered Wayne and his troops along the Ohio River. The general decided to stage a shooting contest between the scouts and his own sharpshooters. The scouts won, apparently easily. Wayne is quoted as saying, "My brave fellows, you are damned fine shots."

But it's not known if George Foulks was with Wayne in the 1794 Battle of Fallen Timbers, along the Maumee River between Toledo and Ft. Wayne. James Whitaker, however, is known to have been there -- giving rise to the ironic possibility that brothers-in-law may have been in unknowing conflict during that historic battle.

The Battle of Fallen Timbers was the turning point in freeing the Northwest Territory for active settlement; but it did not wrest the area from continuing British influence. That would come in the War of 1812.

Widow Whitaker's Lower Sandusky trading post had continued to flourish even as her influence among the Wyandots increased. She had become a translator and advisor to the Indians, and tried to retain friendships among British and Americans. Daughter Nancy married a British captain, William Wilson. American Gen. Benjamin Harrison was a frequent visitor to Elizabeth's home. Even the Shawnee chief, Tecumseh, was said to have been a visitor.

Elizabeth had urged the Wyandots to stay out of the war that most were expecting to come. That they did indeed do so, suggests the power of her influence over tribal decisions.

Across the Ohio

The areas of the Northwest Territory immediately adjacent to the Ohio River had become much safer in the years since William Foulks eluded Indian captivity in 1780. At least, safer from Indians. In Pennsylvania, William found a different threat -- bureaucracy and unscrupulous land dealers.

William had laid claim to 400 acres in Allegheny County (today, Beaver County, created from Allegheny and Washington Counties, in 1800); a claim that pre-dated founding of the Pennsylvania Population Company, whose job was to market land in the area to new settlers. The Population Company attempted to wrest ownership of the land away from William. He contested, and several lawsuits argued in Philadelphia's courts were won by him.

But a federal court reversed the decisions, and issued an ejection notice against William -- despite the fact he had occupied the land for seventeen years. A man was killed in the dispossession effort, and William was tried for murder. He was acquitted in a jury trial.

What eventually happened to William's Pennsylvania holdings is not known. That he chose to move, across the nearby state line, is known. In 1802, he built a log cabin in what is now New Lisbon, Ohio, county seat of Columbiana County. He also began creating his own community, founding the town of West Union, a few miles from Lisbon. It was on the stagecoach route between Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Among travelers, West Union had a nickname -- Nineva, the "sin city."


William Foulks and Michael Shurtz built a hotel, livery stable and a store. Joining in their enterprise, other entrepreneurs built the Ohio Paper Mill -- the first paper mill in the Northwest Territory. Beaver Creek was bridged, and West Union soon became a thriving community, deserving of its own post office.

But, Ohio already had a West Union post office.

The community became Foulkstown. Why not? From Pennsylvania, William and Elizabeth Morgan Foulks had brought nine children to the community -- Nancy Agnes (1791), John (1793), Sarah (1796), Charles Morgan (1798), William II (1800), Elizabeth (1802), Jesse (1804), Mary (1806), and Matilda (1808); with Jacob (1810) and Minerva (1813) to be among Foulkstown's first natives.

William built the first brick home in the community, and donated the land for today's Long's Run Presbyterian Church, named for the creek that runs nearby. In 1810, with his community and personal prestige both flourishing, William was a state representative to Ohio's fledgling state government. He would also serve 1811-12 and 1818-19.

He was not the only townbuilder of his family. Son John would go on to found the hamlet of Moultrie, in 1853. It was 24 lots, each 60 by 120 feet, on property adjacent to the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad.

George Foulks, with Catherine Ullery now his wife (they were wed in 1796), had also returned to Pennsylvania's Beaver River valley. After Wayne's Fallen Timbers defeat of the Indians, there was little need for Indian scouts. George started a trading post, and the area is said to have been cluttered with wigwams and rickety cabins built by Indians who trusted George. He spoke their language.

George also built a mill dam, to service his saw and flour mills. Prospering, he built a two-story house of native sandstone, near Darlington, PA, whose ruins may still be visible. George and Catherine had eleven children: Elizabeth (1797), William (1799), Charlotta (1802), Rebecca (1806), Alfred (1806), George R. (1810), Henry Ullery (1811), Nancy (1815), Sophrona (1818), Louisa (1820) and Dorcas.

War of 1812

In Ohio, the War of 1812 had erupted. Elizabeth's friends, the Wyandots, did not become directly involved. But, in 1813, she learned of an impending attack on Ft. Stephenson, a few miles away from her trading post on the Sandusky River. Elizabeth gathered up her children, and went to the fort, warning the commander. Because she knew she was caught in the middle of the impending battle, she then took her family to Gen. Harrison's stronghold at Upper Sandusky.

When the British gunboats passed by Widow Whitaker's trading post, there was no incident, although the British may have briefly visited...possibly wondering why their well-known hostess had disappeared.

The British arrival at Ft. Stephenson became one of the war's turning points. The forewarned American commandant was successful in repelling the attack, with the Indian allies of the British scared back into the forest by the cannonfire from the fort, and the gunboats left to retreat downriver.

As they passed by Widow Whitaker's riverside settlement, they unleashed a bombardment that was to level the trading post. Raiding parties carried away any valuables they could find. Elizabeth and family were safe; but their home and livelihood had been destroyed, as retaliation for her American loyalty. An American commission later awarded the Widow Whitaker $8,000 in damage claims for the loss of her property. There is no record it was ever paid.

Today (1998), the site is on private property, along Port Clinton Road, leading from Fremont, Ohio. As you drive the road, it becomes Whitaker Drive, and leads you to Peninsular Farms...which encompasses the "Whitaker Reserve." The limestone foundation of the storied Whitaker home lies beneath a soybean field. The area, planted with spruce, is being allowed by its owner to return to a natural state; with hopes that it may eventually be registered as a U.S. historical site.

The War of 1812 touched other Foulks, as well. William became a captain, with his own company among the roster of Ohio soldiers. His son, Charles Morgan Foulks, was a member of Capt. William Blackburn's company. There are no recorded details of their war activities; but the British were driven away from the Northwest Territory, and their Indian cohorts were subdued.

An era of relative peace and prosperity was upon the Foulks family, now mostly settled around the Columbiana County-Beaver County areas adjacent to each other in Ohio and Pennsylvania, across the Ohio River. Although Elizabeth worked to rebuild her trading post on the Sandusky, the children of George and William were scattered across the counties as their fathers watched the frontier areas become civilized towns and cities. The 1810 Census shows Columbiana County with a population of 10,878 settlers. Foulkstown became Calcutta, an inexplicable name change.

Westward, Ho!

Retired Indian scout and trader George was to set in motion the family's departure from the area. His mill dam produced the power for prospering lumber and flour mills, but the former Indian spy now spied opportunies in land holdings.

Geo. W. Hill, M.D., writing in 1875, says: "During his captivity, he [George] passed over the most valuable parts of what is now Richland County [Mansfield], and became acquainted with all the good agricultural locations. After the war of 1812, when the lands, in what is now BloomingGrove township, came into market, he entered some eight or ten quarter sections, and induced his father-in-law, Mr. Ullery, to invest largely in lands."

Ohio land records show George with two purchases, totaling 160 acres, on Sept. 27, 1821.

Dr. Hill continues, "About the year 1830, Henry and George, sons of George Foulks, located near Rome in Richland County. Jacob and William, brothers of George Foulks, also located in BloomingGrove. Jacob resided two or three miles north-west of Olivesburg."

Also migrating to Richland County was George's son, Alfred, who wed Richland County native Euphemia (Effie) Pugh on Jan. 1, 1833. Alfred was to die young, and Effie was to establish her own unique place in American history.

One of the Foulks to not migrate was Charles Morgan Foulks, son of William and Elizabeth, who was to eventually inherit William's Columbiana County properties. Charles became a schoolteacher, as described in a newspaper clipping: "Charles Morgan Foulks spent his entire lifetime in St. Clair Township. For many years he was the only school teacher in the township. He was a great student, and frequently at night was to be found head bended over books, while the dim light of the tallow candle flickered hard by."

He wed Sidney Herbert, producing a family that included Charles S. (1821), Margaret (1826), Daniel H. (1829), James Morgan (1835), and Albert Gallatin (1843).

Ohio Links

Charles was ambitious and very eclectic. He established a fee-paying private school, for those seeking higher instruction. He became a Justice of the Peace. He spread his interests to building a pottery, helping start an industry that is still a part of the county's economic base. His "Long's Run" pottery was eventually renamed the Sprucevale Pottery, and its site is one of the historic landmarks in the area, although the pottery was not a longterm success. It was eventually abandoned.

Charles' land holdings also increased in 1843, with the death of his mother, Elizabeth, in Richland County. She left him some of the scattered Foulks holdings in the Mansfield area, continuing the Foulks link between the two counties.

His sons Albert and James were members of the First Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, organized at Dayton, Ohio, in 1861 and serving until September 1864. The regiment's final action came near Atlanta, as Sherman's Army was closing on the city. The youngest son, Daniel, had continued medical training during the war; while oldest son Charles remained home to tend family holdings.

George Foulks' son, Alfred, was only 38 when he died in Richland County in 1845, leaving Effie (Euphemia) a widow with five children -- George Washington, Louisa, John Pugh, Statira Alexander, and Josephine Bonaparte. There's no written record of what economic difficulties the young widow faced, although it can be surmised Alfred had shared in the Foulks land holdings in the county. By 1853, Effie was receptive to the advice of her brother, Dr. Wood Pugh, to migrate to California. Pugh had returned a few months earlier from his visit to the "Golden State," and was recruiting members of a wagon train he intended to lead on the westward trek.

The families -- that there were more than one is evident from other writings -- embarked in early spring. Josephine, the diarist of the group, wrote of, "a couple of feet of snow on ground [as] we took the train in Mansfield, Ohio en route to Cincinnati, where we embarked on a steamer down the Ohio River, and up the Missouri to St. Louis." Years later, she recalled, "What a delightful trip that six months was to myself and the two little girl cousins, about my age. We literally laughed and played the days away."


Josephine, about 10 at the time, recalls enjoying the journey. Others might have had a different view of that "delightful trip." The journey of the Pugh wagon train was to take them by the grave evidence of the cholera epidemic of the preceding year, and over the infamous Donner Pass. They were to settle in the Elk Grove suburban area of south Sacramento, with George Washington Foulks establishing a family name presence in the area that continues today. Among other accomplishments, George planted one of the first Sacramento Valley vineyards.

Josephine's friendship with her diary ("dear bookie") was to continue through her lifetime. Much of her writings have been collected in the volume, "Faint Murmurs from the Pine Trees Reach My Ear," available at the Sacramento Public library.

The Foulks family had spread from Philadelphia to Sacramento, from pre-revolutionary America to a United States that stretched from coast-to-coast, many of them making significant patriotic and community contributions along the way.

In Ohio, it fell to the descendants of Charles Morgan Foulks to carry on that tradition...but one of his sons had not fared well. Upon his return from the Civil War, James Morgan had difficulties re-adjusting to civilian life. It was a matter of great concern to his father, who died April 27, 1872, in Columbia County. It's not known just when, but James was confined to the county home as insane. His father makes a number of special provisions in his will for James "if he be restored to reason," and assuring that he be provided clothing while confined.

James escaped from the "insane asylum," not once, but twice. It's a matter of county record that his brother, Daniel H., was paid a $50 bounty for retrieving James a few weeks after the first escape. But, following the second escape, James disappears from family historical accounts. Daniel was to become a well-known doctor (and a Justice of the Peace) in the community, and Charles S. migrated to Allen County, Indiana, just about a year after his father's death, settling on a farm in the Aboite community of Pleasant Township, Allen County, southwest of Ft. Wayne.

Community Leaders

Charles S. was also to become a Justice of the Peace, described in his 1895 obituary as, "esteemed by his neighbors and by all who knew him as a man of more than ordinary ability and of strict integrity, and sterling worth."

The children of Charles S. and Harriett Foulks were Elizabeth (1860), Albert G. (1862), J. Morgan (1863), George H. (1866), and Maggie. Two grandsons of Albert G., Thomas E. (1935) and Nolan W. Schmidt (1942) have collaborated on gathering information for this summary. (Thomas -- "Thom" -- was a County Commissioner in Colorado's El Paso County, 1975-79. Nolan was a USAF combat pilot in the Vietnam War.)

In Ohio, Albert Gallatin Foulks maintained the then-strong influence of Foulks in Columbiana County. He wed Amy Jane Pancake in 1866, starting a family who continued to be notable in historical accounts. Their children were Edwin Stanton (1868), George P. (1869), Margaret, and Mattie.

Edwin is singled out in the History of Columbiana County, as "among the prominent residents and highly esteemed citizens of East Liverpool." The history says, "he succeeded to his father's business at Calcutta and has always been interested in the general merchandise business. He served as postmaster of that place until the advent of the rural free delivery system, at which time the Calcutta post office was discontinued."

He and Grace Simms were the parents of William S. Foulks, whose descendants today continue to research the history of the Foulks family. In 1926, the Columbiana County History says, "William S. Foulks, who is successfully engaged in the practice of law at East Liverpool, was born near Calcutta. He was educated in the public schools, East Liverpool High School, was graduated from Bethany College, and in 1915 received his degree in law from Ohio State University. He has offices in the Little Building. Mr. Foulks was married to Miss Summe, of Columbus, Ohio.

"They have two sons, Edwin and William, Jr. Mr. Foulks is a veteran of the World War and was one of the organizers of the East Liverpool Post of the American Legion, of which he has served as commander several times. He has attended all of the national conventions of the Legion as a delegate. He is also a member of La Societe des 40 Hommes et 8 Chevaux. He is a member of the Columbiana Bar Association, Ohio State Bar Association, American Bar Association, and Southern Columbiana County Bar Association."


A son and daughter of William S. Foulks are among the current active researchers of Foulks genealogical information. William Stanton Foulks, Jr. -- a past-president of his local Ohio chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution -- plans to publish the results of his 30 years of research. His sister, Martha -- born in Columbiana County, now in California -- provided many of the raw facts for this generalized summary. Their mother, Minabelle, authored more than one DAR Magazine article based on her Foulks family research (as referenced above).

Another contributor to the information of this summary is Michael G. Linn, a Sacramento descendant of Euphemia Foulks, who has been instrumental in collecting the diaries of Josephine (Foulks) Freeman for publishing, a process that continues. Josephine's candor provides a fascinating and entertaining look at the early 1900s of central California.

The author lives in Colorado Springs, with children (and grandchildren) in California and Wyoming, continuing the dispersion of Foulks families across the nation. It is not a common surname, and not likely to become one. The U.S. Census Bureau says there were 88,799 unique surnames found in the 1990 Census. It's pretty easy to guess the top five -- Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, and Brown -- in order. The name Foulks ranks 14,330 on that same list. It is not a common name. (Source: Frequently Occurring Names)...just as many who have carried the name have been uncommon people.

This narrative lacks many facts which were unknown but might be ascertainable; or known, and omitted for editorial brevity. But its intent was not so much to be fact-filled, as it was to show the Foulks involvement in the flow of American history. I am satisfied it does that. The narrative is not intended for general circulation; my principal motivation in writing it, is for the benefit of my children. To the degree that others who may read it can benefit from that reading, I am happy to have provided you something enjoyable to read and hopefully, informative.

Research Credits

My initial research for this narrative was conducted through the Historical Genealogical Department of the Allen County Public Library in whose Ft. Wayne area some of my family history was made. Their search results are excellent for their depth and quality of documentation. Many other facts of this narrative, and the untangling of ancestral links, have come from a lot of hours of Web surfing, using the public resources of the USGenWeb Project, and more specifically, the online resources of the Richland County Ohio GenWeb page, the Columbiana County Home Page and the Beaver County USGenWeb Page. All have provided access to additional Foulks information.

Also helpful have been the online files of Ancestry HomeTown, the online site of Ancestry Magazine, with more than 200 indexed databases of public information online for researching. They are superb for looking up census, land, and military records dating to the American Revolution, and earlier.

Thom Foulks
(great-grandson, Charles S. Foulks, the eldest son of Charles Morgan Foulks)
Colorado Springs, November, 1997

(No bibliography has been compiled for this personal narrative, which is based on extensive reading of many information sources. For additional information on any particular item, please contact the author.)

(Updated: Monday, 21-Jun-1999 03:47:37 MDT)
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