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

Origins Available: English, Scottish


The Forrester 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, Forrester would have appeared independently in various parts of Britain.

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The surname Forrester 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. [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
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." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

The name, Forrester, occurred in many references, and from time to time, it was spelt Forrester, Forester, Forrest, Forster, Foster, Forrestor and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Forrester research. Another 209 words (15 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 Forrester History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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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 Forrester Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Forrester family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The New World beckoned settlers from the Scottish-English borders. They sailed aboard the armada of sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlanti c. Some called them, less romantically, the "coffin ships." Among the early settlers bearing the Forrester surname who came to North America were:

Forrester Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Toby Forrester settled in Virginia in 1655
  • Toby Forrester, who settled in Virginia in 1655
  • Toby Forrester, who landed in Virginia in 1658
  • John Forrester, who landed in Maryland in 1669

Forrester Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Geo Forrester, who landed in New York in 1751

Forrester Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Henry Forrester, aged 24, arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1803
  • George Forrester, who arrived in Portsmouth, NH in 1810
  • Robert Forrester, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1836
  • Stephen Forrester, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840
  • James Forrester, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840
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Forrester Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Samuel Forrester, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Sarah Forrester, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mr. George Peabody Forrester U.E. (b. 1757) who settled in Hampton, Kings County, New Brunswick c. 1784 he died in 1840 [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • Mr. John Forrester U.E. (b. 1735) born in Rhode Island, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 he died in 1821 in Hampton [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • Mr. John Forrester Jr., U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • ...

Forrester Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • William Forrester, a weaver, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • William Forrester arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Dauntless" in 1840
  • Robert Forrester arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Dauntless" in 1840
  • Rachel Forrester arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "David Malcolm" in 1847
  • Zephaniah Forrester, aged 30, a bricklayer, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Telegraph"

Forrester Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • William Forrester landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • William Forrester, aged 27, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" in 1841
  • Elizabeth Forrester, aged 24, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" in 1841
  • William Forrester, aged 21, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Eveline" in 1865
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  • Jay Wright Forrester (b. 1918), American computer engineer, systems scientist and professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, founder of System Dynamics
  • Gary "Keshel" Forrester (b. 1946), American-born New Zealand musician, composer, novelist, poet, and memoirist
  • George B. Forrester (b. 1862), American Republican politician, Merchant; Member of Michigan State Senate 20th District, 1917-22
  • George B. Forrester, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1892
  • Elizabeth G. Forrester, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1928
  • Elijah Lewis Forrester (1896-1970), American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Georgia, 1948, 1952; U.S. Representative from Georgia 3rd District, 1951-65
  • Douglas R. Forrester, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Senator from New Jersey, 2002; Delegate to Republican National Convention from New Jersey, 2004
  • Chip Forrester, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Tennessee, 2000, 2008
  • J. B. Forrester, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Arkansas, 1888
  • J. G. Forrester, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kentucky, 1904
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Forrester Historic Events



HMS Hood

  • Mr. John J Forrester (b. 1899), English Chief Petty Officer Writer serving for the Royal Navy from Broughton, Cumberland, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. Joseph Forrester, British Petty Officer, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
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Citations



  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X

Other References

  1. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  2. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  3. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  5. 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).
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  7. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  8. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  9. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  11. ...

The Forrester Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Forrester 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 26 November 2015 at 11:13.

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