Recorded in early surviving church registers as Fobegg, Fobidge, Fobigg, Folbig, Folbidge, Folbige, Folbigg, Folbigge, Follbigg, and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is clearly locational from some place, except no such place in any of the known surname spellings is recorded except possibly Folly Bridge, a stopping point on the river Thames near the city of Oxford. Fol, Folli or Folly when encountered is from the pre 8th century Danish-Viking word 'fola', meaning a foal or young horse, whilst big(g) is probably a transposition of brygge, whose original meaning was a causeway or possibly in this case a dock or quay where horses were loaded. Lost medieval villages are a feature of the British Isles, where it is estimated that at least five thousand have been lost since the middle ages from varied causes such as plague, war, coastal erosion, land drainage, and usually changes in farming practices. The surname is particularly well recorded in the county of Bedfordshire, but only in London area from about the 18th century. Early examples of recordings of the surname from the Bedfordshire area include Thomas Folbige of Keysoe on April 7th 1611, and Henrie Folbigg also of Keysoe, on October 3rd 1624.
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