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Forristall History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



The Anglo- Norman Conquest of Ireland lead by Strongbow introduced the first non-Gaelic elements into Irish nomenclature. These Anglo- Normans brought some traditions to Ireland that were not readily found within Gaelic system of hereditary surnames. One of the best examples of this is the local surname. Local surnames, such as Forristall, were taken from the name of a place or a geographical feature where the person lived, held land, or was born. These surnames were very common in England, but were almost non-existent within Ireland previous to the conquest. The earliest surnames of this type came from Normandy, but as the Normans moved, they often created names in reference to where they actually resided. Therefore, some settlers eventually took names from Irish places. Originally, these place names were prefixed by "de," which means "from" in French. This type of prefix was eventually either made a part of the surname, if the place name began with a vowel, or was eliminated entirely. The Forristall family originally lived near a paddock, which is a small grassy enclosed area in which horses can graze and exercise. The surname Forristall is derived from a dialectical word which means paddock. The surname Forristall belongs to the large category of Anglo-Norman habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Forristall family


The surname Forristall was first found in Kent, where they held a family seat as Lords of the manor of Forstall, and were granted the lands by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Forristall family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Forristall research.
Another 305 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1359, and 1682 are included under the topic Early Forristall History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Forristall Spelling Variations


During an investigation of the origin of each name, it was found that church officials and medieval scribes spelled many surnames as they sounded. Therefore, during the lifetime of a single person, a name could be spelt numerous ways. Some of the spelling variations for the name Forristall include Forristal, Forristall, Forrestal, Forrestall, Forrestell, Forestal, Forestel, Forestall, Forestell, Forstal, Forstall, Furstal and many more.

Early Notables of the Forristall family (pre 1700)


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

Migration of the Forristall family to the New World and Oceana


A great number of Irish families left their homeland in the late 18th century and throughout the 19th century, migrating to such far away lands as Australia and North America. The early settlers left after much planning and deliberation. They were generally well off but they desired a tract of land that they could farm solely for themselves. The great mass of immigrants to arrive on North American shores in the 1840s differed greatly from their predecessors because many of them were utterly destitute, selling all they had to gain a passage on a ship or having their way paid by a philanthropic society. These Irish people were trying to escape the aftermath of the Great Potato Famine: poverty, starvation, disease, and, for many, ultimately death. Those that arrived on North American shores were not warmly welcomed by the established population, but they were vital to the rapid development of the industry, agriculture, and infrastructure of the infant nations of the United States and what would become Canada. Early passenger and immigration lists reveal many Irish settlers bearing the name Forristall:

Forristall Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Phillip M. Forristall, aged 26, who arrived in America, in 1911
  • John Forristall, aged 34, who arrived in America, in 1920
  • Peter J. Forristall, aged 42, who arrived in America, in 1922

Contemporary Notables of the name Forristall (post 1700)


  • Greg Forristall (1950-2017), American politician, Member of the Iowa House of Representatives (2007-2017)

The Forristall 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: In corda inimicorum regis
Motto Translation: In the King's enemies


Forristall Family Crest Products



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