Fortum is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England
after the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Fortum family lived in Essex
, in the town of Fordham. Ancient records reveal the name Fortum 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 Fortum family
The surname Fortum 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 Fortum family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fortum research.Another 78 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 138 and 1388 are included under the topic Early Fortum History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Fortum Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations
are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Fordham, Fordeham, Fordsham, Fordesham, Fordam and others.
Early Notables of the Fortum family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Fortum Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Fortum family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England
at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Fortum or a variant listed above: Robert Fordham who settled in Massachusetts in 1635; Edward Fordham settled in Rappahannock Virginia in 1728; George Fordham settled in Pennsylvania in 1773.