Show ContentsForestell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Norman Conquest of Ireland lead by Strongbow introduced the first non-Gaelic elements into Irish nomenclature. These Anglo-Normans brought some traditions to Ireland that were not readily found within Gaelic system of hereditary surnames. One of the best examples of this is the local surname. Local surnames, such as Forestell, were taken from the name of a place or a geographical feature where the person lived, held land, or was born. These surnames were very common in England, but were almost non-existent within Ireland previous to the conquest. The earliest surnames of this type came from Normandy, but as the Normans moved, they often created names in reference to where they actually resided. Therefore, some settlers eventually took names from Irish places. Originally, these place names were prefixed by "de," which means "from" in French. This type of prefix was eventually either made a part of the surname, if the place name began with a vowel, or was eliminated entirely. The Forestell family originally lived near a paddock, which is a small grassy enclosed area in which horses can graze and exercise. The surname Forestell is derived from a dialectical word which means paddock. The surname Forestell belongs to the large category of Anglo-Norman habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Forestell family

The surname Forestell was first found in Kent, where they held a family seat as Lords of the manor of Forstall, and were granted the lands by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Forestell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Forestell research. Another 85 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1359 and 1682 are included under the topic Early Forestell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Forestell Spelling Variations

Since church officials and medieval scribes spelt each name as it sounded to them; as a result, a single person could accumulate many different versions of his name within official records. A close examination of the origins of the name Forestell revealed the following spelling variations: Forristal, Forristall, Forrestal, Forrestall, Forrestell, Forestal, Forestel, Forestall, Forestell, Forstal, Forstall, Furstal and many more.

Early Notables of the Forestell family

More information is included under the topic Early Forestell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Forestell migration to the United States +

During the middle of the 19th century, Irish families often experienced extreme poverty and racial discrimination in their own homeland under English rule. Record numbers died of disease and starvation and many others, deciding against such a fate, boarded ships bound for North America. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Unfortunately, many of those Irish that arrived in Canada or the United States still experienced economic and racial discrimination. Although often maligned, these Irish people were essential to the rapid development of these countries because they provided the cheap labor required for the many canals, roads, railways, and other projects required for strong national infrastructures. Eventually the Irish went on to make contributions in the less backbreaking and more intellectual arenas of commerce, education, and the arts. Research early immigration and passenger lists revealed many early immigrants bearing the name Forestell:

Forestell Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Peter J. Forestell, aged 42, who arrived in New York aboard the ship "President Adams" in 1922 [1]
  • Mr. Daniel Forestell, aged 60, Canadian settler who arrived in New York aboard the ship "Queen Mary" in 1950 [1]
  • James T. Forestell, Canadian who arrived in New York aboard the ship "Independence" in 1956 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Forestell (post 1700) +

  • Samuel Forestell, Canadian curler who played for the Moncton, New Brunswick, 2020-2021 curling team
  • The Honourable Maureen D. Forestell, Canadian jurist for the Ontario Superior Court of Justice
  • Helen Forestell, Canadian Silver Cross Mother in 1958
  • Dave Forestell, Canadian Acting Executive Director of the Conservative Party of Canada from October to December 2013
  • Harry Forestell, Canadian television journalist and news anchor


The Forestell 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: In corda inimicorum regis
Motto Translation: In the King's enemies


  1. Ellis Island Search retrieved 15th November 2022. Retrieved from https://heritage.statueofliberty.org/passenger-result


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