Show ContentsFourside History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the ancestors of the Fourside family begins among the Pictish clans ancient Scotland. The name Fourside comes from the old Gaelic personal name Fearsithe, which means man of peace. [1]

However, some recorded examples of the surname Fourside suggest that it is occasionally a local name derived from residence a place named Forsythe.

There appears to be two origins for the family: Stirlingshire and Edinburghshire. [1] Another source claims the family came from "Forcett (whence also Fawcett) a township in the wapentake of Gillingwest, in the [North Riding] of Yorkshire," [2] but this source's claim is doubtful.

Early Origins of the Fourside family

The surname Fourside was first found in Stirlingshire, where "Osbert filius Forsyth [who] had charter of a hundred shilling land in the tenement of Salakhill (now Sauchie), sheriffdom of Stirling, from Robert I c. 1308." [3]

The Edinburghshire's first entry was that of "William de Fersith, bailie of Edinburgh, 1365, [who] may be William of Forsythe, servant of Aleyn of Bollone of Edinburgh, merchant of Scotland, 1394." [3]

Early History of the Fourside family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fourside research. Another 278 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1364, 1364, 1368, 1405, 1420, 1418, 1428, 1446, 1451, 1461, 1471, 1497, 1498, 1504, 1525, 1525, 1512, 1446, 1504, 1621, 1980, 1929, 1402, 1423, 1439, 1424, 1426, 1452, 1487 and are included under the topic Early Fourside History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fourside Spelling Variations

Prior to the invention of the printing press in the last hundred years, documents were basically unique. Names were written according to sound, and often appeared differently each time they were recorded. Spelling variations of the name Fourside include Forsyth, Forsythe, Forseyth, Forsy, Foursides and others.

Early Notables of the Fourside family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was William de Fersith, who participated at an inquest in Edinbergh, 1402. He may be William Fersith (without 'de'), who was burgess of Edinbergh in 1423. Thomas of Forsythe was listed in Edinburgh, 1439. Robert of Forsythe had a safe conduct in England...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fourside Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Fourside family to Ireland

Some of the Fourside family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 76 words (5 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 Fourside family

The freedom of the North American colonies was enticing, and many Scots left to make the great crossing. It was a long and hard journey, but its reward was a place where there was more land than people and tolerance was far easier to come by. Many of these people came together to fight for a new nation in the American War of Independence, while others remained loyal to the old order as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of Scots in North America have recovered much of this heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and other such organizations. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important and early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Fourside: James Forsyth who settled in New England in 1685; Catherine Forsyth settled in Georgia in 1747; Adam Forsyth settled in Philadelphia in 1802; followed by Henry, James, John, Joseph, Patrick, Robert, Samuel, Thomas Forsyth, who all passed through the same port between 1800 and 1865..



The Fourside 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: Instaurator ruinae
Motto Translation: A repairer of ruin.


  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)


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