Welcome to the little site dedicated to the Foweraker surname.
Find out the different pronunciations used around the world, just in case you ever meet a Foweraker in the flesh.
Possibly the most misspelt surname ever. I guess you must be able to spell it already, or else you wouldn't be here
Find out the origin and the meaning of the Foweraker surname. There are several theories...
See the Foweraker Coat of Arms and family motto. Find some references to help your research into our ancestry.
We can from the south of England and spread around the World. Find out where we ended up in this section.
We introduce a couple of noted Fowerakers and a growing collection of paintings by A.M.Foweraker.
We now know of at least two different pronunciation.
In the UK it is most often pronouced as four syllables: Fower as in Flow-er and aker is pronounced as in ba-ker.
/'faʊ ər ei kər/ | fou-er-ey-ker
In Australia and the US it is usually pronounced as three syllables: Fower as in Four, a-ker is pronounced as in baker.
/'fɔr ei kər/ | fohr-ey-ker
Native english speakers usually pronounce Foweraker correctly, even if they have never heard the name before, but have more difficulty spelling it.
It seems that the form 'Fouracre' is more popular than the form 'Foweraker' nowadays by about 4 to 1. In the UK, the only forms that can be found are Foweraker and Fouracre. The Foweraker form seems to be relatively more common in Devon and the Fouracre form more common in Somerset. The two forms probably split for good around 1700 to 1800, however we know of at least one occaision where somebody changed there name from Foweraker to Fouracre around 1900 because they were fed up with people spelling it incorrectly. In America the forms Foraker and very rarely Foweracre also exist. It is thought that the original emigrants to the states changed the spelling from Foweracre to Foraker. There are some Fowerakers in the states today but they have all arrived within the last 50 years.
Over the years we have seen many different ways of spelling Foweraker. The following list was collected while doing research into our family history.
FFOWERACRE FORACRE FORACRS FORAKER FOREACRE FOREACRES FOREAKER FOREAKRES FOREKER FOUARAKERS FOUERACERS FOUERACKER FOUERACRE FOUERACRES FOUERAKER FOUR ACRES FOURACARE FOURACER FOURACERS FOURACHER FOURACKERS FOURACOR FOURACORES FOURACORS FOURACR FOURACRE FOURACRES FOURACRS FOURAIKERS FOURAKER FOURAKERES FOURAKERS FOURCACKERS FOUREACRE FOUREACREES FOUREACRES FOUREAKERS FOWACRES FOWARACERS FOWARACKAR FOWARAKERS FOWARAKRS FOWEACRES FOWEAKERS FOWEARKER FOWER ACRES FOWERACAR FOWERACARE FOWERACARS FOWERACCARES FOWERACCERS FOWERACCOR FOWERACERS FOWERACKER FOWERACKERS FOWERACKRES FOWERACOS FOWERACRE FOWERACRES FOWERACRS FOWERAKERS FOWERAKES FOWERECKERS FOWERECRES FOWRACERS FOWRACKER FOWRACRE FOWRAKER FOWREACRE FOWREAIKERS FURACCRES FURACRE FUWERAKER
The earliest reference to the surname 'Foweraker', or the related form 'Fouracre', dates from around 1000 A.D. The Foweraker surname originated in England, most probably in the counties of Devon, Somerset and Dorset. Before 1600, nearly all the references in family history records to Fowerakers are from this area. After 1600, the Fowerakers began to spread out, first around Britain and then around the world.
This map shows the counties of Devon, Somerset and Dorset in the Southwest of England. The map dates from around 1900.
We have heard several different explanations for the etymology of the surname Foweraker:
1. Looking at the form 'Fouracre', the origin is readily apparent. Perhaps it comes from a family who owned/farmed 'four acres' of land. The form 'Foweraker' probably arose because 'fower' was how 'four' was pronounced in the west of England. It should be remembered that the standard of literacy was not particularly high between 1000 and 500 years ago and that changes in spelling often depended on the people who wrote the records. Some records dating from about 1800, show a certain 'Edmund Foweraker' who managed to spell his surname differently in about 5 separate cases. The Foweraker name can be traced back to the 1100s in the Reign of Richard The Lionheart when the family of Fowerakers were given a Coat Of Arms by it is believed by Richard, for bravery on the field of battle.
2. The other explanation is that the 'four' in fact originated from 'fore', and therefore refered to a family who owned/farmed some land which was at the front of a larger area.
3. Ximena Foweraker from Chile has sent the following explanation of the origin of the Fowerakers: "They come from Ireland, because many years ago a viking called 'Feuerhake' arrived to the island and the name was translate to gaelic. 'Feuerhake' means Raker of fire in German"
Researching your family history with a surname like Foweraker can be quite easy because there were never very many of them. Eventually, all the references to Fowerakers which we have found over the years (we have over 1000) will be put on this site to help anybody else researching their family history. This will be hopefully be done sometime in October 2000.
We will also give a short list of useful family history resources which can be found easily on the internet.
If you have any records on Foweraker ancestry that you would like to share with us then we'd love to here from you.
The Mormons have a nice site where you can browse their records. Take the link below, type 'Foweraker' into the surname field, press the button and voila, hundreds of ancestors will magically appear...
You can refine the search to target the International Genealogical Index for Great Britain and find several hundred records.
You could also try the ancestor search provided by Ancestry.com
although there aren't many records available without paying to search their databases.
Many Fowerakers can be found in the FreeBMD Database
The following incorrect transcriptions have been found in the FreeBMD and Census records, so it is worth searching for records with these spellings too.
Floweraker, Fowera___, Fowera__r, Fowera_er, Foweracre, Fowerake, Foweraken, Foweraker, Fowerakers, Foweram, Fowerarer, Freraker, Toweraker, Towerakerr>
The formal description of the coat of arms is: "Argent on a Saltier, Sable, five escallop Shells Of the field. Crest; a demi griffin, Or, in his paw An Escallop shell, Gules."
The latin motto 'Virtus Mille Scuta' means Valour Is Equal To A Thousand Shields.
These Arms are a reward for Valour in mounting An Enemy's wall for which the Saltier was used as A ladder, and the Escallop Shells show the founderOf this family to have been five times on PilgrimageTo the Holy Lands
Explanation of Heraldic Terms:
'Argent': silver, 'Sable': black, 'Gules': red, 'Or': gold, 'Demi': one half.
'Saltire' (sal'-teer): One of the honorable ordinaries. It is made in the form of a St. Andrew's cross, or the letter X. Its breadth should be one-third of the field. The saltire is popular in Scottish heraldry.
'Escallop' (es-kol'-up): The figure of a scallop shell. This was originally worn to signify that the wearer had made a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James, Compostella, Spain. Later on it was placed on the shield to show that the bearer or an ancestor had been a Crusader or had made a long pilgrimage.
'Griffon': A fabulous beast, generally drawn with the body, legs and tail of a lion, the head of a cock or an eagle, a pair of wings and long, sharp claws. When represented on his hind legs he is segreant. To express swiftness and strength.
A quick search in 2004 of the various White Pages around the World has turned up Fowerakers in the following countries:
(*) If we estimate that these numbers give at most only 20% of the actual number of Fowerakers in each country. [ Out of 10 Fowerakers in my immediate family, only 2 are listed in the UK White Pages ]
This leads to the conclusion that there are currently about 600 Fowerakers in the world. That means that about 1 in 10 million of the people you meet will be a Foweraker!
While researching our family history we have only come across two Fowerakers who could really be called noted, a football club manager and an artist.
Charles Foweraker, Manager of Bolton Wanderers FC, who led Bolton to three FA cup victories and is regarded as the greatest manager they ever had. Find out more on wikipedia
Albert Moulton Foweraker, A fairly famous impressionist artist.