Norman Conquest of England in 1066, the name Fortescue was recognized on the island as a name for a valiant or strong warrior. This name is composed of the Old French elements, fort, which means strong, and escu, which means shield. Sir Richard le Forte was one of the leaders of the Norman army at Hastings. He was a great fighter and protected Duke William by holding a large shield or escue in front of him, hence Fortescue.
Early Origins of the Fortescue family
Devon at Wymodeston (later called Winston) in the parish of Modbury in the year 1209. CITATION[CLOSE]
Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print. This was "the most ancient seat of the Fortescues, in whose possession it continued from the days of King John to the Reign or Queen Elizabeth." CITATION[CLOSE]
Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print. A current search for Winston in Devon returns nothing other than a reference to Winston Manor. However, the parish of Modbury is today in the South Hams region.
Early History of the Fortescue family
Another 391 words (28 lines of text) covering the years 1442, 1607, 1394, 1476, 1442, 1461, 1531, 1607, 1578, 1659, 1580, 1659, 1621, 1581, 1666, 1665, 1719, 1689, 1695, 1695, 1698 and 1797 are included under the topic Early Fortescue History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Fortescue Spelling Variations
spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Fortescue, Fortesque and others.
Early Notables of the Fortescue family (pre 1700)
Another 54 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fortescue Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Fortescue family to Ireland
Some of the Fortescue family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 83 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Fortescue family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Fortescue or a variant listed above:
Fortescue Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Fortescue Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Contemporary Notables of the name Fortescue (post 1700)
The Fortescue 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: Forte scutum salus ducum
Motto Translation: A strong shield is the safety of generals
Fortescue Family Crest Products