The Foort surname, of Norman ancestry, was a name given to a strong, brave, or hardy person
as the name was originally derived from the Old French fort,
which meant strong.
Another derivation suggests that the name is a local
surname and it indicates that its bearer lived near a fortress or stronghold.
The former is more common, but time has confused the two derivations and etymologists now disagree on which is appropriate in a given instance.
Early Origins of the Foort family
The surname Foort was first found in Lancashire
where they were granted lands by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. They were Lords of the manor of this estate. They are believed to be descended from the Norman noble, William de Fortibus, Earl of Albemarle, who married Isobel, Countess of Devon
. This line eventually became Earls of Lancaster, and conjecturally the junior lines assumed the name Forte.
Early History of the Foort family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Foort research.Another 172 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Foort History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Foort Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations
are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Fort, Forte, Forts, Fortes, Foort, Foorte and many more.
Early Notables of the Foort family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Foort Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Foort family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England
at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Foort or a variant listed above: John Fort who settled in Maryland in 1685; Francis Fort settled in Virginia in 1736; Claude Fort settled in Louisiana in 1756; J.A. Fort settled in San Francisco Cal. in 1852.
The Foort Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Fortis et audax
Motto Translation: Strong and brave