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Home: Surnames: Foye Family Genealogy Forum

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Fe˙ in France & Germany, Foy in UK & US
Posted by: Markgraf von Leutershausen Date: July 13, 2000 at 12:09:56
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The region which encompasses all of the Fe˙ locations in France, in the time of 1097 AD was known as Burgundy in the Holy Roman Empire. It extended from Nice in the south along the neighboring Italian foothills on the east northward toward Grenoble and then northward along the Jura Vosges mountain range until the pass north of Besancon. The Western boundary of the then Burgundy extended from around Montpellier nortward in betwetwwn the CEVENNES mountain range on the west into the Loire River Valley. Lotharingia, the other Carolingian Kingdom, extended northward from there encompassing Alsace, Lorraine, Champagne and Belgium and Luxembourg and the Western section of the Rhein. Pretty much, this puts the Fey Citations primarily up and down the Swiss Italian and Swiss Alps and into Alsace-Lorraine. I would deduce that one would need to be well grounded in the history of Burgundy (Holy Roman Empire Boundaries) and Champagne Lorraine and Alsace to get a good fix on the Fe˙ name and movements of the Fe˙ familie in France and into Lotharia or the regions generally to the West of the Rhein nortward up to Aachen.

As to the citations of the DeFoy's from Picardy:

Picardy (La Picardie) was under constant attack by the surrounding sovereigns of Burgundy (le Duc Bourgogne), Belgium (le comte de Flandre, the king of England and the King of France. It basically had the changing of rule back and forth over history somewhat similar to its eastern neighbors of Lorraine, Alsace, and parts of Champagne.

David Foy stated that the De Foys out of Picardy were only recorded for about three generations. I would suspect that it is due to this nature of Picardie of being a constant battle ground that the reason for the short-lived influence of the DeFoy's of Picardie rests. Perhaps these DeFoy's had indeed come from the East under the influence of the Duke of Burgundy.

David Foy has well explained the Netherlands spelling of Feij/Fuij. It seems quite possible then that the citations of Fe˙ in France and Germany transliterated into Feij/and Fuij on the westward movement from Burgundy to Picardie (including Brittany) and then northward into Flanders (Belgium) and Antwerp. Perhaps it was in the migration to England that the Foy spelling first originated by the descendants of the Feij families in Picardie when they migrated to England. On the other hand, if Picardie had been under the influence of the King of England at the time, then the records would have reflected the Anglosized spelling.

Just within a few hundred miles, primarily due to the stark regional language differences, we can see, perhaps, how

1- Fe˙ may be close to the root or original name.
2- Then, as it moved westward under the Duc of Bourgogne and his influence it remained Fe˙ until the Flemish language (the Count of Flanders influence perhaps changed the records to Feij or until the English language influence when the King of England controled Picardie changed the name to Foy.
3- It is easy to understand how the Fe˙ name retained its basic FEY spelling even into Germany, because the Alsace-Lorraine region was always Frankish-Germanic language influenced since the 700's.
4- It is also easy to understand the shift from Feij to Fuij as the name moved into the Netherlands, just simply due to the nature of the Dutch-Flanders language base.

(When I lived in Germany and traveled to the Flemmish and Hollandisch speaking areas, they could always understand German (perhaps, they didn't want to, but they could). But going the other way, trying to hear the German in the Flemmish or Hollandisch was nearly impossible. The pronunciation is so starkly different even though a similar Germanic core language underlies both.

Perhaps the most difficult aspect to understand in this theoretical scenario I have posed is how the German Fe˙ families jumped to Foy in the US.

Perhaps the key lies in obtaining the exact pronunciation of

Fe˙ in French by a native speaker of Burgundy
Fey in German in Alsace-Lorraine

and listening carefully. Then have a Yankee try to emulate the sound.......perhaps that will show how Fe˙ became Foy and (Foye).

Has anyone checked out the House of Foy in England? Do you know its history? Who was the original owner? I would like to know.

My thanks to David Foy for all of his patience with me and for the insights he has given me to start on this journey (FOYAGE) into the Chateau du Fe˙.

I still believe the original Fey name to be German (Franks) who settled in France after cleaning house of the Spanish Moors. This is my thesis. I hope someone can clearly "Ye" or "Ney" me with some documentation.

Most of the historical background for my scenario came from a book entitled "Initiation a la Culture Francaise, Second Edition, Parker and Grigaut, published by Harper & Row, New York, 1963.

My understanding of the region of Burgundy comes from MAPQUEST online for today's boundaries, maps in the book cited above, and the AREA HANDBOOK for GERMANY, Department of Army Pamphlet 550-29, June 1960

(Okay, now you can guess my age, since I have used these since I was in college and in the army.)


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