Forbass History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

An ancient Pictish-Scottish family was the first to use the name Forbass. It is a name for someone who lived in the lands of Forbes on Aberdeenshire where the family's history dates back before 1000 AD

Early Origins of the Forbass family

The surname Forbass was first found in Aberdeenshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen, located in the Grampian region of northeastern Scotland, at Pitscottie from 1168, which was later named "the Braes of Forbes."

Legend has it that the founder of the Clan, Oconochar, slew a bear in order to take up residence there. One of the first records of the name from this region was Duncan de Forbeys who received a grant of lands c. 1272 from King Alexander III. Later, John de Fernboys was listed as rendering allegiance to King Edward I of England in 1296 and later still, William of Forbace was canon of Aberdeen in 1464. [1]

Early History of the Forbass family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Forbass research. Another 159 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1626, 1581, 1626, 1380, 1448, 1165, 1214, 1611, 1680, 1644, 1704, 1685, 1747, 1629, 1712, 1590, 1632, 1623, 1696, 1671 and are included under the topic Early Forbass History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Forbass Spelling Variations

During the Middle Ages, there was no basic set of rules and scribes wrote according to sound. The correct spelling of Scottish names were further compromised after many haphazard translations from Gaelic to English and back. Spelling variations of the name Forbass include Forbes, Forbose, Forbess, Forbeis (Gaelic) and others.

Early Notables of the Forbass family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Alexander de Forbes, (c. 1380-1448) 1st Lord Forbes, progenitor of the lordship. He was "the eldest son of Sir John de Forbes of that ilk. The lands of Forbes in Aberdeenshire gave name to the family, who trace back their ancestors in it to the time of King William the Lion (1165-1214). Sir John...
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Forbass Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Forbass family to Ireland

Some of the Forbass family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 134 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Forbass family

Scots left their country by the thousands to travel to Australia and North America. Desperate for freedom and an opportunity to fend for themselves, many paid huge fees and suffered under terrible conditions on long voyages. Still, for those who made the trip, freedom and opportunity awaited. In North America, many fought their old English oppressors in the American War of Independence. In recent years, Scottish heritage has been an increasingly important topic, as Clan societies and other organizations have renewed people's interest in their history. An examination of passenger and immigration lists shows many early settlers bearing the name of Forbass: Alexander Forbes (c.1755-1848) who after serving in the 38th Regiment, settled in Shelburne N.S. and was granted land; Alexander Forbes (c.1793-1830) who served in the North Carolina Highlanders and later settled in Kingston, Ontario.



  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)


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