Forbess History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Forbess is a name whose ancestors lived among the Picts, a tribe in ancient Scotland. The Forbess family lived in the lands of Forbes on Aberdeenshire where the family's history dates back before 1000 AD
Early Origins of the Forbess family
The surname Forbess 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. 
Early History of the Forbess family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Forbess 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 Forbess History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Forbess Spelling Variations
The appearance of the printing press and the first dictionaries in the last few hundred years did much to standardize spelling. Prior to that time scribes spelled according to sound, a practice that resulted in many spelling variations. Forbess has been spelled Forbes, Forbose, Forbess, Forbeis (Gaelic) and others.
Early Notables of the Forbess 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 Forbess Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Forbess family to Ireland
Some of the Forbess 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.
| Forbess migration to the United States ||+|
The expense of the crossing to the North American colonies seemed small beside the difficulties of remaining in Scotland. It was a long and hard trip, but at its end lay the reward of freedom. Some Scots remained faithful to England and called themselves United Empire Loyalists, while others fought in the American War of Independence. Much of this lost Scottish heritage has been recovered in the last century through Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Forbess:
Forbess Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Marg,arett Forbess, who landed in Virginia in 1704 
- Thomas Forbess, who arrived in Maryland in 1716 
- George Forbess, who landed in South Carolina in 1716 
- 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)
- Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)