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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Foorte family come from? What is the English Foorte family crest and coat of arms? When did the Foorte family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Foorte family history?

The Foorte family name dates back to 1066 when the Norman Conquest of England introduced a plethora of new names and words into Britain. It comes from an early member of the family who was 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.


A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Fort, Forte, Forts, Fortes, Foort, Foorte and many more.

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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Foorte research. Another 172 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Foorte History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Foorte Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Foorte or a variant listed above:

Foorte Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Richard Foorte, who landed in Maryland in 1659


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


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  2. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  3. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  7. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  8. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  10. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  11. ...

The Foorte Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Foorte Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 27 October 2010 at 13:34.

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