Furber History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Furber family

The surname Furber 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 Furber family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Furber 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 Furber History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Furber Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Furber has appeared include Furbisher, Frobisher, Frobishar, Frobyfar, Furbusher, Frobysher, Frobishire, Furbishire, Furbyshire, Furbisher, Furbishaw, Furber, Frobishaw, Ferbishaw, Forber and many more.

Early Notables of the Furber 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 Furber Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Furber migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Furber arrived in North America very early:

Furber Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Henry J. Furber, aged 34, arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "President Wilson" from Naples, Italy [5]
  • Percy Norman Furber, aged 53, arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Baltic" from Liverpool, England [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Furber (post 1700) +

  • William Henry Furber, American politician, 2nd Mayor of Somerville, Massachusetts (1876-1878)
  • Joseph Warren Furber (1814-1884), American politician, 1st Speaker of the Minnesota Territory House of Representatives (1849-1850), 8th Speaker of the Minnesota Territory House of Representatives in 1857
  • Holden Furber (1903-1993), American professor of South Asia Studies at the University of Pennsylvania (1952-1973)
  • Mike Furber (1948-1973), English-born lead singer of Mike Furber and the Bowery Boys
  • Stephen Byram "Steve" Furber CBE, FRS, FREng (b. 1953), English ICL Professor of Computer Engineering at the School of Computer Science at the University of Manchester; one of the designers of the BBC Micro and the ARM 32-bit RISC microprocessor
  • Alexander John Wylie Furber (b. 1987), Canadian actor, best known for his starring role as Albert in the Toronto production of War Horse
  • Darcy Furber (b. 1972), Canadian politician who represented the electoral district of Prince Albert Northcote in the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan in the 2007 election
  • Edward Price Furber CBE (1864-1940), British obstetrician and surgeon
  • Douglas Furber (1885-1961), British lyricist, probably best known for co-writing "The Bells of St. Mary's"


  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. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6Q7-C6R : 6 December 2014), Henry J. Furber, 29 Dec 1919; citing departure port Naples, arrival port New York, ship name President Wilson, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  6. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6QT-8TY : 6 December 2014), Percy Norman Furber, 22 Mar 1919; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York, ship name Baltic, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).


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