Select Faulkner Surname Genealogy

Here are some Faulkner stories and accounts over the years:

Falconer's Hurst

Balderic the falconer was said to have been granted the mansion of Hurst in Kent by Henry II.  The house became known as Falconer’s Hurst and Balderic’s descendants adopted the Fauconer surname.  The first of this line was Godfrey de Fauconer who died in 1279.  The line descended to John Mitchelgrove alias Fauconer of Mitchelgrove in Clapham, Sussex in the 15th century and Elizabeth Mitchelgrove who married Sir John Shelley in 1474.

The Falconer Clan in Scotland

The Falconer clan was said to have descended from Ranulf le Falconer who obtained a charter from William the Lion, King of Scotland, in 1211.  The earliest ancestor from whom descendants can be proved was Alexander Falconer of Halkerton and Lethen who died in 1499.  Sir Alexander Falconer, born a century or so later, was the first to hold the title of Lord of Halkerton. 

The Falconers and the Keiths intermarried for centuries. The hyphenated Keith-Falconer name first appeared with Anthony Adrian Keith-Falconer, born in 1742, who was the seventh Lord Falconer of Halkerton. 

The Falconers are somewhat unusual in that no male lines of descent traceable to the original line have survived in Scotland.  By 1900 there were only three Falconer lines left in Britain; the Keith-Falconers, the Falconer-Stewarts of Feddal in Perthshire, and the Falconers of Gloucestershire.

Sir Everard Faulkner and His Line

His family, originally Falkner and Fawkener, had come from the small county of Rutland where they held the manor at Uppingham.  At the visitation of Rutland in 1638 William Fawkener of Uppingham claimed but failed to prove his descent from Sir Thomas Falconer, mercer and mayor of London in 1414. 

A later William was a mercer in London.  His sons William and Everard became engaged in commerce and in overseas trade with the Levant Company.  Everard was a merchant in silk there and the British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire between 1737 and 1744.  At his home at Wandsworth his leisure hours were spent in reading the classics or in collecting ancient coins and medals.  He married late in 1747, aged 53, and died in 1768. 

Sir Everard’s other passion was cards.  He played cards for high stakes but with very little judgment.  It was said after his death that he had “left a great many debts, a very deserving wife, and several fine children in very bad circumstances.” 

His two sons William and Everard became civil servants.  His two daughters married well and there is a well-known picture of them by Sir Joshua Reynolds.  William, the son of his brother William, was Governor of the Bank of England from 1743 to 1745.

Faulkners in Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire

Various family records show Faulkners at the village of Titchmarsh in Northamptonshire.  Jonathan and Mary Faulkner had four children – William, Jonathan, Susannah, and Rebecca – born there in the early 1800’s. Another Faulkner family dates from the 1820’s. 

"The Faulkner family lived in Titchmarsh since at least the 1820's.  My great grandfather was both a tailor and a landlord - first at The Vine and then The Wheatsheaf.  My grandfather Walter was a grocer's assistant in Titchmarsh before moving to Peterborough in the early 1900's to set up his own business."

George Faulkner the Dublin Publisher

George Faulkner had, like Jonathan Swift, a ready wit and satire.  Richard Cumberland described him as follows in his 1807 Memoirs. 

“Faulkner had a solemn intrepidity of egotism and a daring contempt of absurdity that fairly outfaced imitation.  He never deigned to join in the laugh he had raised, nor seemed to have a feeling of the ridicule he had provoked.  At the same time he was pre-eminently and by preference the butt and buffoon of the company.  He could find openings and opportunities for hints of retaliation, which were such left-handed thrusts as few could parry.  Nobody could foresee where they would fall. 

Nobody was of course forearmed and, as there was in his calculation but one super-eminent character in the kingdom of Ireland and he the printer of the Dublin Journal, rank was no shield against George’s arrows which flew where he listed and fixed or missed as chance directed.  He cared not about the consequences.” 

Cumberland described the company at one meeting in Faulkner’s house which included both a man who has been reprieved from the gallows and the judge who sentenced

William Clark Falkner

William Faulkner added the "u" to his name when he first began to publish fiction.  It was a way of setting himself apart from his father.  His great grandfather, William Clark Falkner whom Faulkner would always refer to as “the Old Colonel,” had been a legendary figure in Mississippi history. 

The details of William Clark Falkner’s life are obscured by legend, beginning with his date of birth in 1826 in Knox County, Tennessee.  Family lore asserts that the name was originally spelled Faulkner but that the Colonel dropped the “u.” 

Falkner grew up in Ripley, Mississippi.  He first distinguished himself in 1845 when he helped capture an ax murderer and then prevented a mob from lynching him.   After serving in the Mexican War, he returned to Ripley where he became involved in a feud that would leave two men, Robert Hindman and Erasmus Morris, dead and a third, Thomas Hindman, spoiling for a duel. 

When the Civil War began, Falkner helped organize a company named the “Magnolia Rifles,” which joined with other companies to form the Second Mississippi Infantry of which he was elected Colonel.  He led this regiment with distinction at First Manassas but was subsequently demoted and for various reasons never attained a prominent position in the Confederate army. 

After the war, he played an active role in Reconstruction, helping to rebuild the northern part of the state and to start the Ship Island, Ripley, and Kentucky Railroad Company.  He also wrote fiction, his most popular work being The White Rose of Memphis which was serialized in the Ripley Advertiser.  In 1889, he was shot and killed on the square in Ripley by his former business partner R. J. Thurmond.

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