Fortam is one of the many new names that came to England
following the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Fortam family lived in Essex
, in the town of Fordham. Ancient records reveal the name Fortam is derived from the Old English ford,
which means ford,
which means homestead.
Towns bearing this name also exist in Norfolk
. Fordham Essex
is arguably the most important of these towns, but all were held by Norman nobles in the 11th century.
Early Origins of the Fortam family
The surname Fortam was first found in Essex
where they held a family seat
as Lords of the Manor of Fordham. In the Domesday Book
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
a survey of England
undertaken for Duke William of Normandy
in 1086 A.D. after his conquest of England
at Hastings in 1066, there were three villages or manors named Fordham, one in Cambridgeshire
, one in Norfolk
and one in Essex
, all were held by Norman nobles. The one which was most influential and gave rise to the name Fordham was that of Fordham in Essex
which was held by William de Warrene and others. In the survey of 1086 the village consisted of a Mill, 6 Beehives, and 25 goats. It was the Norman custom that the senior son should continue the main line name, but that the second son should adopt the name of the manor. "A small Gilbertine priory was founded in the reign of Henry III., by Sir Robert de Fordham, [in Fordham, Cambridgeshire] as a cell to the great monastery of the same order at Sempringham, in Lincolnshire; but scarcely a vestige remains." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Fortam family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fortam research.Another 78 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 138 and 1388 are included under the topic Early Fortam History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Fortam Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. When the Normans
became the ruling people of England
in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Fordham, Fordeham, Fordsham, Fordesham, Fordam and others.
Early Notables of the Fortam family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Fortam Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Fortam family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England
. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Fortam or a variant listed above were: Robert Fordham who settled in Massachusetts in 1635; Edward Fordham settled in Rappahannock Virginia in 1728; George Fordham settled in Pennsylvania in 1773.
Fortam Family Crest Products
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.