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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


The ancient name Forker was first used by the Strathclyde people of the Scottish/English Borderlands. It is derived from the Gaelic MacFhearchair which means son of Farquhar and Farquhar is derived from the Gaelic word Fearchar which means very dear one. So, the name means son of the very dear one.

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The surname Forker was first found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where they have enjoyed their seat at Kyle Stewart for many generations. The history is quite separate from that of Farquharson. Robert Farquhar, Laird of Gilmilnescroft about the year 1350 was the first Chief on record and he was probably a direct descendant of Ferchart, father of Fergus, one of the chiefs setting the bounds of Newbattle Abbey in 1178. Descended was Ferkar, Earl of Ross, 1224-1231, and at this time a branch was started in the north at Caithness at Ederlarg.

In Medieval times, spelling and translation were not nearly so highly developed as today. They were generally carried out according to the sound and intuition of the bearer. For that reason spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. Forker has been spelled Farquhar, Farquher, Farker, Farkar, Forker, Farquar, Farquer and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Forker research. Another 257 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1445, 1646, 1677, 1707, 1706 and 1707 are included under the topic Early Forker History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Forker Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Forker family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Unrest, poverty, and persecution caused thousands to look for opportunity and freedom in the North American colonies. The crossing was long, overcrowded, and unsanitary, though, and came only at great expense. Many Strathclyde families settled on the east coast of North America in communities that would form the backbone of what would become the great nations of the United States and Canada. The American War of Independence caused those who remained loyal to England to move north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the 20th century, Strathclyde and other Scottish families across North America began to recover their collective heritage through highland games and Clan societies. Among them:

Forker Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Mathias Forker, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1765

Forker Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • John Forker, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1803

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  • Samuel Carr Forker (1821-1900), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey (1871-1873)
  • André Forker (b. 1979), German silver medalist luger at the 2006 FIL European Luge Championships


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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: Sto cado fide et amis
Motto Translation: I stand and fall by faith and arms.

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  1. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  2. 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).
  3. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  5. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  6. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  7. 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.
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  10. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  11. ...

The Forker Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Forker 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 23 December 2014 at 06:25.

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