Foresman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Foresman originated among the descendants of the ancient Pictish clans. It is derived from the old Gaelic personal name Fearsithe, which means man of peace. [1]

However, some recorded examples of the surname Foresman suggest that it is occasionally a local name derived from residence a place named Forsythe.

There appears to be two origins for the family: Stirlingshire and Edinburghshire. [1] Another source claims the family came from "Forcett (whence also Fawcett) a township in the wapentake of Gillingwest, in the [North Riding] of Yorkshire," [2] but this source's claim is doubtful.

Early Origins of the Foresman family

The surname Foresman was first found in Stirlingshire, where "Osbert filius Forsyth [who] had charter of a hundred shilling land in the tenement of Salakhill (now Sauchie), sheriffdom of Stirling, from Robert I c. 1308." [3]

The Edinburghshire's first entry was that of "William de Fersith, bailie of Edinburgh, 1365, [who] may be William of Forsythe, servant of Aleyn of Bollone of Edinburgh, merchant of Scotland, 1394." [3]

Early History of the Foresman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Foresman research. Another 278 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1364, 1364, 1368, 1405, 1420, 1418, 1428, 1446, 1451, 1461, 1471, 1497, 1498, 1504, 1525, 1525, 1512, 1446, 1504, 1621, 1980, 1929, 1402, 1423, 1439, 1424, 1426, 1452, 1487 and are included under the topic Early Foresman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Foresman 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 Foresman include Forsyth, Forsythe, Forseyth, Forsy, Foursides and others.

Early Notables of the Foresman family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was William de Fersith, who participated at an inquest in Edinbergh, 1402. He may be William Fersith (without 'de'), who was burgess of Edinbergh in 1423. Thomas of Forsythe was listed in Edinburgh, 1439. Robert of Forsythe had a safe conduct in England...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Foresman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Foresman family to Ireland

Some of the Foresman family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 76 words (5 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 Foresman 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 Foresman: James Forsyth who settled in New England in 1685; Catherine Forsyth settled in Georgia in 1747; Adam Forsyth settled in Philadelphia in 1802; followed by Henry, James, John, Joseph, Patrick, Robert, Samuel, Thomas Forsyth, who all passed through the same port between 1800 and 1865..



The Foresman 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: Instaurator ruinae
Motto Translation: A repairer of ruin.


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ 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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