Clan Forbes

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Surnames/tags: Scottish_Clans Forbes
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Scotland Project > Scottish Clans > Clan Forbes


Welcome to Clan Forbes

Clan Forbes Team
Team Leader
Team MembersWendy Browne, Tracye Smith
Clan Chief: Malcolm Nigel Forbes, 23rd Lord Forbes, Chief of the Name and Arms of Clan Forbes.
Crest: A stag's head attired with ten tines Proper
Motto: Grace, me guide
Slogan/War Cry: Lonach" (A mountain in Strath Don)
Historic Seat: Castle Forbes, Alford Aberdeenshire
Plant badge: Broom
Pipe music: March "Cath Ghlinn Eurainn" ("The Battle of Glen Eurann").
Gaelic name: Foirbeis

Clan Team

Team Goals

The focus of this team's work is to identify, improve and maintain profiles associated with the Lairds and Chiefs of Clan Forbes together with members bearing the name Forbes, the related families and those recognised as septs of Clan Forbes.

Team To Do List

This list will be developed by the Team. If you are working on a specific task, please list it here:

  • promoting the entries of those bearing the name Forbes on Wikitree.
  • ensuring entries appearing on Wikitree are as accurate as possible, correcting mistakes once spotted.
  • encouraging interest in and study of Clan Forbes.


Clan History

A summary should be developed from the information at the bottom of the page and included here.

Clan Branches

Other Names Associated with the Clan

Surnames regarded as septs (sub-branch) of the Forbes clan include Berry, Boyes, Michie, Walters.

Bannerman Fordice Michie Berrie Fordyce Middleton Berry Furbush Walter Boyce Lumsden Walters Boyes Macouat Walters Faubus Macowatt Watson Fobes MacQuattie Watt Forbess MacWatt Watters Forbis Mechie Wattie Forbus Mekie Watts Forbush Meldrum

Allied Clans

Clan Mackay
Clan Campbell

Rival Clans

Clan Gordon

Clan Research and Free Space Pages

Source Material

Image Credits and Acknowledgements

The information below this line needs to be integrated into the Team Page's history (as a summary) or moved to other Clan research pages.

Clan Forbes

The name is from the Gaelic term "forb-ais" means "at the land". Originally the name was pronounced as two syllables sounding like "For bays" but that is largely lost. Established in Aberdeenshire on the banks of the river Don, they had been there long before being raised to a barony in 1271 by Alexander III. Duncan de Forboys paid homage in 1296 to John Balliol and John Forbes signed the "Ragman Roll" in 1296.

The main lines of Forbes were established in the 14th century. Sir John de Forbes of the Black Lip, justiciary in Aberdeenshire, had four sons - William the first of the Pitsligo line, John the ancestor of the Forbes of Polquhoun, Alistair of Brux who established the lines of Skellatar and Inverernan. Sir John's eldest son fought beside the Earl of Mar at the Battle of Harlaw in 1411 against Donald, Lord of the Isles and became Lord Forbes around 1445. Forbes eventually became the premier lordship of Scotland.

James, 2nd Lord Forbes had three sons, the two younger offspring establishing the Forbes of Corsindale and Monymusk and of Craigievar. The Forbes expanded their territory, at one time covering half of the earldom of Mar. However, over the years, there were feuds with the powerful Gordon clan and the Leslies, culminating in two battles and several massacres. Two Acts of the Scottish Parliament were required to force the factions to lay down their arms. King James VI confirmed the Forbes in their lands in 1582 but the cost of the struggles with the Gordons had created debts and much of the Forbes land had to be sold.

Robert Forbes, the episcopalian bishop of Ross and Caithness was arrested for being a Jacobite in 1745 but survived to write a three volume account of the Jacobite Uprising, entitled "The Lyon in Mourning." Involvement of the Forbes in the 1745 Uprising resulted in forfeiture of lands and title.

The first Baronet of Craigievar, Sir William, built the outstanding Craigievar Castle in 1626 and it is now in the care of the National Trust for Scotland. Craigievar is said to be haunted by a member of the Gordon family who was murdered in the castle. Another of the Forbes, the Baron of Monymusk, now lives in New Zealand.

In 1815, the 17th Lord Forbes built Castle Forbes near Alford which is still the home of his descendants.

find one here [1] or here [2]

Clan Name Crest Badge Lord Forbes


Lands Tartan

Dress Modern

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Categories: Clan Forbes