Forraster History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Forraster 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, Forraster 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 Forraster family
The surname Forraster 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 Forraster family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Forraster 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 Forraster History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Forraster Spelling Variations
Although the name, Forraster, appeared in many references, from time to time, the surname was shown with the spellings Forrester, Forester, Forrest, Forster, Foster, Forrestor and many more.
Early Notables of the Forraster 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 Forraster Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Forraster family to Ireland
Some of the Forraster 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 Forraster family
Gradually becoming disenchanted with life in Ireland many of these uprooted families sailed aboard the armada of sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. These overcrowded ships often arrived with only 60 to 70% of their original passenger list, many dying of cholera, typhoid, dysentery or small pox. In North America, some of the first immigrants who could be considered kinsmen of the Forraster family name Forraster, or who bore a variation of the surname 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.