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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, Scottish

Where did the English Forrester family come from? What is the English Forrester family crest and coat of arms? When did the Forrester family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Forrester family history?

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

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] 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]


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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.

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Another 177 words(13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Forrester Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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.

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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 Atlantic. 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


Forrester Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Saml Forrester, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Sarah Forrester, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750

Forrester Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • 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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  • Patrick Graham Forrester (b. 1957), United States Army officer and a NASA astronaut with over 950 hours in space
  • Joel Forrester (b. 1946), American jazz pianist and composer
  • Cay Forrester (1921-2005), American film and television actress
  • Gary "Keshel" Forrester (b. 1946), American-born New Zealand musician, composer, novelist, poet, and memoirist
  • Jay Wright Forrester (b. 1918), American computer engineer, systems scientist and professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, founder of System Dynamics
  • William "Billy" Forrester (b. 1869), English footballer
  • George Larmouth Forrester (1927-1981), English former professional footballer
  • Maureen Kathleen Stewart Forrester CC, OQ (1930-2010), Canadian operatic contralto
  • George Forrester (1934-2001), Scottish former footballer
  • Stephanie Emma Forrester (b. 1969), British gold medalist triathlete at the 2000 ITU Duathlon World Championships

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  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.

Other References

  1. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  2. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  3. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  4. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  5. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  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. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. 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 13 November 2014 at 16:21.

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