Formbey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Formbey family

The surname Formbey was first found in Lancashire at Formby, a chapelry, in the parish of Waltonon-the-Hill, union of Ormskirk, hundred of West Derby. "This place was held in early times, as at present, by different proprietors; a large portion of the property descended to the Blundells, of Ince-Blundell, holders of the manor jointly with the Formby family, the latter descendants of Thomas de Forneby, who was living in the 46th of Edward III. Formby Hall is the seat of the Formby family." [1] Conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Formby, Roger of Poitou, a Norman Baron, who held the marshes of Formby and who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086. This Roger, who was at the battle of Hastings, assumed a variety of different surnames including Pictavensis, which deduced to Poitevin. He may have granted Formby to a junior relative as was the custom, because his main holdings were in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Succeeding was Adam of Formby in 1332.

Early History of the Formbey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Formbey research. Another 80 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Formbey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Formbey Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Formby, Formbey, Formbie, Fornby and others.

Early Notables of the Formbey family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Formbey family

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Formbey or a variant listed above: Mary Formby, who arrived in Virginia in 1680; and Thomas Formby, who arrived in New York in 1831.



The Formbey 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: Semper fidelis
Motto Translation: Always faithful.


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.


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