Forbes Coat of Arms, Family Crest and Forbes Family History


Forbes Family History


The Forbes ancient family history was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The name Forbes is of Celtic origin, mainly from Scotland. John of Forbes, first of the name, figured in the reign of William the Lion. In 1303 Alexander Forbes defended Urquhart Castle against Edward I, and was slain at the garrison. Alexander Forbes of Forbes was made Lord Forbes in 1442. John the sixth Lord, was a favorite of James V. The tenth Lord, Alexander, was a General under Gustavus Adolphus. The family is still represented by Lord Forbes, whose seat is Castle Forbes on Donside. The Lords Pitsligo are descendants of William, a son of Sir John Forbes, who lived in the reign of Robert II. The fourth Lord was attained after Culloden. The Baronets of Craigievar originate with Patrick Forbes of Corse, armour-bearer to James III. The Lairds of Culloden are descended from the Forbes of Tolquhoun, who date from 1420.

In Ireland this name and its variants were introduced into Ulster Province by settlers who arrived from England and Scotland, especially during the seventeenth century. During the 'Plantations of Ireland' in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Ireland was colonized by the English Crown with this period marking the end of Gaelic supremacy in Ireland. This period brought an influx of settlers into the country but, unlike the earlier Anglo-Norman invasion of the twelfth century that resulted in a full integration into Irish society of the new arrivals, the same never occurred with the Ulster Planters who maintained their own distinct identity.

Forbes is also found in Longford and in County Clare where it is a synonym of MacFirbis.The Forbes family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Forbes descendants.

Meaning of Symbols & Colors on the Forbes Coat of Arms


Argent/White or Silver Denotes Peace and Sincerity.
Azure/Blue Represents Loyalty and Truth.

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