Frobisher History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Frobisher family

The surname Frobisher was first found in Shropshire where the "surname is derived from an occupation. 'the furber' or 'furbisher.' A furbisher or scourer of armour and metals generally, found also as' furbearer.' Frobisher is the most prominent modern form of the surname." [1]

"French fourhisseur, an artizan who polishes and mounts swords; a sword cutler." [2]

The first record of the family was found in Leicestershire where Geoffrey le Furbisur held estates c. 1260. A few years later, Henry le Fourbissor was listed in Shropshire in 1306 and later, Richard Forbour, Forbysschour was listed in Colchester, Essex 1359-60. [3]

The famed navigator Sir Martin Frobisher (1535?-1594), belonged to a family of Welsh origin, which moved from Chirk in Denbighshire. [4]

Early History of the Frobisher family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Frobisher research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1588, 1535, 1594, 1576, 1577, 1578, 1588, 1674 and 1756 are included under the topic Early Frobisher History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Frobisher Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Frobisher family name include Furbisher, Frobisher, Frobishar, Frobyfar, Furbusher, Frobysher, Frobishire, Furbishire, Furbyshire, Furbisher, Furbishaw, Furber, Frobishaw, Ferbishaw, Forber and many more.

Early Notables of the Frobisher family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Sir Martin Frobisher (c. 1535-1594), English seaman and privateer who made three voyages to the Canadian Arctic (1576, 1577, and 1578) in search of the Northwest Passage. All landed in northeastern Canada, around today's Resolution Island and Frobisher Bay...
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Frobisher Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Frobisher migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Frobisher surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Frobisher Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Frobisher, who landed in Bermuda in 1609 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Frobisher (post 1700) +

  • Joseph E. Frobisher (d. 1939), American politician, Mayor of Kearny, New Jersey, 1939; Died in office 1939 [6]
  • Benjamin Joseph Frobisher (1782-1821), Canadian fur trader and politician, son of Joseph Frobisher
  • Joseph Frobisher (1740-1810), Canadian fur trader and politician, brother of Benjamin Frobisher
  • Benjamin Frobisher (1742-1787), Canadian fur trader


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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