Forshaw History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The illustrious surname Forshaw is classified as a habitation surname, which was originally derived from a place-name, and is one form of surname belonging to a broader group called hereditary surnames. Habitation names were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Topographic names, form the other broad category of surnames that was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree.
Early Origins of the Forshaw family
The surname Forshaw was first found in Buckinghamshire, where Ralph de Fougeres was tenant in chief and held many Lordships in Buckingham, Devon, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Surrey. The name Forshaw phonetically responds to this Breton name and has been linked to this notable Breton stock, which was descended from Alan, Baron of Fourgeres in Brittany living about 900 A.D. Descended in 1066 was Maine II who was Baron of Fougeres at the time of the Conquest. Maine was succeeded by Raoul or Ralph in 1084 and held his lands in chief in Devon. He was a great benefactor and founded the Abbey of Savigny and the Abbey of Risle which were amongst his vast domains in Normandy. His son Henry became a monk at the Abbey of Savigny. Both Ralph and William de Fougeres attended Duke William at the Conquest.
Early History of the Forshaw family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Forshaw research. Another 70 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Forshaw History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Forshaw Spelling Variations
Since the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules, Breton surnames have many spelling variations. Latin and French, which were the official court languages, were also influential on the spelling of surnames. The spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. Therefore, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England after the Norman Conquest, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. The name has been spelled Foreshaw, Foreshawe, Forshaw, Forshawe, Foreshoe, Forshoe, Forshew, Foreshew and many more.
Early Notables of the Forshaw family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Forshaw Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Forshaw, or a variant listed above:
Forshaw Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
Forshaw Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century