THE IMMIGRANT THOMAS FOLEY
Written By: Barry P. Foley
Copyright @ 23 Mar 2023
Thomas Foley, our namesake ancestor. He is my 8th Great Grandfather. That part we know. We know when he came to America, we know when he married the Indian Princess Martha Bryant, we know the names of his children and we know when he died. We also know about his Last Will and Testament.
We don’t know why the use of the name Folio appears so often in regard to Thomas. But in those days names seemed to have some degree of flexibility!! What we DON’T know for sure, and never will, who really is Thomas Foley. Extensive research was between 1992-1995 and the Foley Findings were published. With the same basic conclusion.
There was a good line in his will that read “To my Son Brian Folio, one gun sent to his father out of England, that was important to me. I researched the name Folio and found nothing. I also researched every Thomas Foley I could find in England in that time frame and traced their movement. The only one without accountability in England was dear old Thomas.
So the rest is what I BELIEVE to be true.He was the six of seven children born to Richard and Margaret Brindley Foley, christened the 18 Jun 1639 at St James Church in Dudley. He was the 3rd son.
Richard III was born 1608 in Dudley and Margaret was born 1604. His father was Richard “Ironmaster” Foley II and his mother was Margery Willietts. Richard II made his fortune making Nails.
Shortly after Richard III was born, Margery died in 1609 and his father got remarried to Alice Brindley. It seems his fortune was positioned toward his new family, and he fathered another 10 children with Alice, to include Sir Thomas Foley, born 1617 who prospered with the help of his father fortune.
Sir Thomas served in the House of Commons and his purchased Whitley Court and had extensive additions made. He traveled in the right circles in so much as he is the 8th Great Grandfather to the late Queen Elizabeth on her mother’s side. All well documented!
The Foley line goes as far back as 1441 with John Foley. Every Foley I found lived in the general vicinity of Dudley, Rowley Regis, and Stourbridge, southwest of Birmingham in what that call the Black Country.
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