Formby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Early Origins of the Formby family
The surname Formby 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."  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 Formby family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Formby research. Another 80 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Formby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Formby Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Formby, Formbey, Formbie, Fornby and others.
Early Notables of the Formby family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Formby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Formby migration to the United States +
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Formby or a variant listed above:
Formby Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Mary Formby, who arrived in Virginia in 1680
Formby Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Thomas Formby, who arrived in New York in 1831
Formby migration to Australia +
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Formby Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- William Harper Formby, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Alice Brooks" in 1839 
- William Formby, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Davidsons" in 1843 
- John Formby, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Constitution" in 1851 
- Thomas Formby, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Constitution" in 1851 
Contemporary Notables of the name Formby (post 1700) +
- Marshall Clinton Formby Jr. (1911-1984), American attorney, newspaper publisher and radio executive
- Marshall Clinton Formby Jr. (1911-1984), American Democratic Party politician, Dickens County Judge, 1937-40; Member of Texas State Senate 30th District, 1941-45 
- Henry Formby (1816-1884), English Roman Catholic priest and writer
- George Formby (1875-1921), English comedian and musician
- John Clinton Formby (1923-2010), English veteran radio broadcaster called the "Old Philosopher
- George Formby (1904-1961), English comedian
- William Formby Halsall (1841-1919), English-born, American marine artist, founding member of the Provincetown Art Association in 1914
Related Stories +
The Formby 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.