The Fortt family has descended through the lines of the ancient Normans
that came to England
following their Conquest of England
in 1066. The Fortt name reveals that an early member 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 Fortt family
The surname Fortt 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 Fortt family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fortt research.Another 172 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fortt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Fortt Spelling Variations
Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations
were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Fortt family name include Fort, Forte, Forts, Fortes, Foort, Foorte and many more.
Early Notables of the Fortt family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Fortt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Fortt family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Fortt family to immigrate North America: 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 Fortt (post 1700)
- Khairi Fortt (b. 1992), American NFL football linebacker for the Washington Redskins
The Fortt 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