Forister History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Forister surname was no doubt taken on by someone who either lived in or near a forest, or perhaps worked in the forest. The Middle English word "forest" referred specifically to an area of woodland reserved by law as hunting grounds for the king or his nobles. No doubt, as a surname, Forister would have appeared independently in various parts of Britain.
One source claims the name as Norman, descended from Forez, Normandy. There Guerard and Nicholas de Foresta of Normandy were found in 1198 (Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae). The source continues to note that William Forist held lands in Hampshire in the Domesday Book of 1086.  
Early Origins of the Forister family
The surname Forister was first found in Northumberland, but early records include John Forester, listed in the Pipe Rolls of Surrey of 1183, and Richard le Forester listed in the Feet of Fines of Essex in 1240. 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 include: Petrus Forestarius, Jordan le Forester; and Nicholas le Forester.  There was also a Shropshire family of this name, who held custody of part of the Wrekin forest. An early record of this family lists a Hugh Forester as a witness 1187. 
As a trade name, the family were traditional "officers made by letters patent under the great seal, and sworn to preserve vert and venison in the forest; and to attend upon the wild beasts within his bailiwick; to attach offenders there either in Vert or Venison, and to preserve the same at the courts of the Forest." 
Early History of the Forister family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Forister research. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1471, 1538, 1623, 1652, 1655, 1718, 1679, 1690, 1758, 1767, 1828 and 1698 are included under the topic Early Forister History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Forister Spelling Variations
The name Forister, appeared in many references, and from time to time, the surname was spelt Forrester, Forester, Forrest, Forster, Foster, Forrestor and many more.
Early Notables of the Forister family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family name during their early history was John Forrest (1471-1538), English friar and martyr; Francis Forester (b. 1623) was High Sheriff of Shropshire in 1652; Sir William Forester (1655-1718), of Dothill in Wellington, Shropshire, Member of Parliament for the borough constituency of Wenlock (1679 to his death)...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Forister Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Forister family to Ireland
Some of the Forister family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 43 words (3 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 Forister family
The New World beckoned as many of the settlers in Ireland, known as the Scotch/Irish, became disenchanted. They sailed aboard the armada of sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. Some called them, less romantically, the "coffin ships." Amongst the early settlers who could be considered kinsmen of the Forister family, or who bore a variation of the surname Forister were James Forest, who settled in Virginia in 1654; George Forest settled in Virginia in 1608, 12 years before the "Mayflower"; Toby Forrester settled in Virginia in 1655.
Related Stories +
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.