Show ContentsForrister History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Forrister comes from the Boernician Scottish-English border region. The Forrister family lived in areas near or inside a forest. Some research suggests that the surname is also a shortened form of Forester. The Middle English word forest referred specifically to an area of woodland reserved by law as hunting grounds for the king or his nobles. As such, the surname, Forrister would have appeared independently in various parts of Britain.

Early Origins of the Forrister family

The surname Forrister was first found in Newlands, a parish, in the historic county of Peeblesshire. 1 The first on record was William de Forest who was a tenant of the Douglases in the barony of Newlands in 1376. In the same year, Hugh de Forest was a Douglas tenant in Drumcorke. A few years later, Morgan de Forest in Aberdeen was "cherged" with being a forestaller in 1402 and Master Thomas de Foresta, licentiate in decrees, was rector of the parish of Soudon (Southdean) in 1404. 2

Early History of the Forrister family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Forrister research. Another 187 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1390, 1411, 1430, 1453, 1463, 1472, 1518, 1520, 1526, 1527, 1533, 1540, 1588, 1602, 1608, 1633, 1635, 1642, 1654, 1664, 1668, 1698, 1701, 1703, 1706, 1709, 1711, 1714, 1715, 1720 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Forrister History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Forrister Spelling Variations

Since medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, and since there were no consistent rules for the translation of rules from Gaelic to English, spelling variations are extremely common in Boernician names of this vintage. Forrister has been spelled Forrester, Forester, Forrest, Forster, Foster, Forrestor and many more.

Early Notables of the Forrister family

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was Sir Thomas Forster (d. 1527) of Etherston, Northumberland; and his son, Sir John Forster (c.1520-1602), an English military commander and Warden of the Middle Marches; Sir George Forrester (d. 1654), 1st Baronet of Corstorphine, Scotland, created Lord Forrester in 1633.Henry Forrest or Forres (d. 1533?), was a Scottish, martyr, referred to by Knox as 'of Linlithgow,' and Foxe describes him as a 'young man born in Linlithgow.' "David Laing, in his edition of Knox's 'Works,' conjectures that he may have been the son of 'Thomas Forrest of Linlithgow' mentioned in the...
Another 239 words (17 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Forrister Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Forrister family to Ireland

Some of the Forrister family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 129 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Forrister migration to the United States +

Many of the Boernician-Scottish families who crossed the Atlantic settled along the eastern seaboard in communities that would become the backbone of the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. In the War of Independence, American families that remained loyal to the Crown moved north into Canada and became known as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestral culture of all of these proud Scottish families remains alive in North America in the 20th century through Clan societies and highland games. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Forrister or a variant listed above:

Forrister Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Forrister, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1712 3

Australia Forrister migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Forrister Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Charles Forrister, British Convict who was convicted in Stafford, Staffordshire, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 25th June 1838, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 4
  • William Forrister, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Dauntless" in 1840 5

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th March 2021). Retrieved from
  5. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) DAUNTLESS 1840. Retrieved from on Facebook