Fortie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought many new words to England from which surnames were formed. Fortie was one of these new Norman names. It was specifically tailored to its first bearer, who was a strong, brave, or hardy person as the name was originally derived from the Old French fort, which meant strong. Another derivation suggests that the name is a local surname and it indicates that its bearer lived near a fortress or stronghold. The former is more common, but time has confused the two derivations and etymologists now disagree on which is appropriate in a given instance.

Early Origins of the Fortie family

The surname Fortie was first found in Lancashire where they were granted lands by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. They were Lords of the manor of this estate. They are believed to be descended from the Norman noble, William de Fortibus, Earl of Albemarle, who married Isobel, Countess of Devon. This line eventually became Earls of Lancaster, and conjecturally the junior lines assumed the name Forte.

Early History of the Fortie family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fortie research. Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fortie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fortie Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Fort, Forte, Forts, Fortes, Foort, Foorte and many more.

Early Notables of the Fortie family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Fortie family

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Fortie or a variant listed above: John Fort who settled in Maryland in 1685; Francis Fort settled in Virginia in 1736; Claude Fort settled in Louisiana in 1756; J.A. Fort settled in San Francisco Cal. in 1852.


Contemporary Notables of the name Fortie (post 1700) +

  • Eldon Fortie (1941-2021), American professional football player for the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League


The Fortie 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: Fortis et audax
Motto Translation: Strong and brave


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