Fforest History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Fforest surname was no doubt taken on by someone who either lived in or near a forest, or perhaps worked in the forest. The Middle English word "forest" referred specifically to an area of woodland reserved by law as hunting grounds for the king or his nobles. No doubt, as a surname, Fforest would have appeared independently in various parts of Britain.
One source claims the name as Norman, descended from Forez, Normandy. There Guerard and Nicholas de Foresta of Normandy were found in 1198 (Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae). The source continues to note that William Forist held lands in Hampshire in the Domesday Book of 1086.  
Early Origins of the Fforest family
The surname Fforest was first found in Northumberland, but early records include John Forester, listed in the Pipe Rolls of Surrey of 1183, and Richard le Forester listed in the Feet of Fines of Essex in 1240. 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 include: Petrus Forestarius, Jordan le Forester; and Nicholas le Forester.  There was also a Shropshire family of this name, who held custody of part of the Wrekin forest. An early record of this family lists a Hugh Forester as a witness 1187. 
As a trade name, the family were traditional "officers made by letters patent under the great seal, and sworn to preserve vert and venison in the forest; and to attend upon the wild beasts within his bailiwick; to attach offenders there either in Vert or Venison, and to preserve the same at the courts of the Forest." 
Early History of the Fforest family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fforest research. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1471, 1538, 1623, 1652, 1655, 1718, 1679, 1690, 1758, 1767, 1828 and 1698 are included under the topic Early Fforest History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Fforest Spelling Variations
Although the name, Fforest, appeared in many references, from time to time, the surname was shown with the spellings Forrester, Forester, Forrest, Forster, Foster, Forrestor and many more.
Early Notables of the Fforest family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family name during their early history was John Forrest (1471-1538), English friar and martyr; Francis Forester (b. 1623) was High Sheriff of Shropshire in 1652; Sir William Forester (1655-1718), of Dothill in Wellington, Shropshire, Member of Parliament for the borough constituency of Wenlock (1679 to his death)...
Migration of the Fforest family to Ireland
Some of the Fforest family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Migration of the Fforest family
Gradually becoming disenchanted with life in Ireland many of these uprooted families sailed aboard the armada of sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. These overcrowded ships often arrived with only 60 to 70% of their original passenger list, many dying of cholera, typhoid, dysentery or small pox. In North America, some of the first immigrants who could be considered kinsmen of the Fforest family name Fforest, or who bore a variation of the surname were James Forest, who settled in Virginia in 1654; George Forest settled in Virginia in 1608, 12 years before the "Mayflower"; Toby Forrester settled in Virginia in 1655.