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

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

In Scottish history, few names go farther back than Forbus, whose ancestors lived among the clans of the Pictish tribe. They lived in the lands of Forbes on Aberdeenshire where the family's history dates back before 1000 AD


The arts of spelling and translation were yet in their infancies when surnames began, so there are an enormous number of spelling variations of the names in early Scottish records. This is a particular problem with Scottish names because of the numerous times a name might have been loosely translated to English from Gaelic and back. Forbus has been spelled Forbes, Forbose, Forbess, Forbeis (Gaelic) and others.

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. It was also found that a William of Forbace was canon of Aberdeen in 1464


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Forbus research. Another 317 words (23 lines of text) covering the years 1626, 1581, 1626, 1380, 1448, 1611, 1680, 1644, 1704, 1685, 1747, 1629, 1712, 1590, 1632, 1623, 1696, 1671 and are included under the topic Early Forbus History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 113 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Forbus Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Forbus family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 255 words (18 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


This oppression forced many Scots to leave their homelands. Most of these chose North America as their destination. Although the journey left many sick and poor, these immigrants were welcomed the hardy with great opportunity. Many of these settlers stood up for their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence. More recently, Scots abroad have recovered much of their collective heritage through highland games and other patriotic functions and groups. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has located various settlers bearing the name Forbus:

Forbus Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Thomas Forbus, who landed in Maryland in 1716

Forbus Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Miss Forbus, who settled in America, in 1904
  • Mrs. M. S. Forbus, who landed in America, in 1904
  • Wiley Forbus, aged 26, who emigrated to the United States, in 1920
  • Elizabeth G. Forbus, aged 4, who landed in America from Bridgefort, Conn., in 1922
  • Sample B. Forbus, aged 31, who settled in Bridgefort, Conn., in 1922


  • Ken Forbus, Walter P. Murphy Professor of Computer Science and Professor of Education at Northwestern University


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  1. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  2. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  3. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  4. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  7. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  8. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  9. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  10. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  11. ...

The Forbus Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Forbus 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 19 November 2015 at 15:28.

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