What is the origin of the last name Forbes?

The last name Forbes has its origin in Scotland, specifically from the lands of Forbes in Aberdeenshire. The surname is derived from the Gaelic name "Fear" meaning "man" and "baas" meaning "death", which translates to "man of firmness or boldness". The Forbes clan played a prominent role in Scottish history, with the family having strong ties to the nobility and various royal connections. Over the centuries, the name Forbes has spread beyond Scotland, becoming a well-known surname worldwide.

Countries of origin for the last name Forbes

The last name Forbes has a rich history and carries significant meaning. It is derived from the Gaelic language, specifically from the personal name “Forba,” meaning “prosperity” or “success.” The name Forbes can be traced back to Scotland, where it has been prominent for centuries.

An important figure associated with the surname Forbes is the Scottish Clan Chief of Forbes. The Clan Forbes, known for their ancient lineage and noble heritage, played a significant role in Scottish history. They were engaged in various battles and wars, including the Jacobite risings of the 18th century.

The Forbes family motto, “Grace me guide,” reflects their strong religious beliefs and their commitment to living a righteous life. The motto embodies the values of humility, spirituality, and guidance from a higher power.

Throughout its history, the Forbes name has spread beyond the borders of Scotland. Many Forbes families emigrated to other parts of the world, including the United States. Today, there are numerous individuals with the surname Forbes in America, contributing to their diverse society.

The Forbes surname has also influenced the naming of places. In various regions, you can find towns, streets, and landmarks named after the Forbes family. This further reflects the enduring legacy of the name and its impact on local communities.

Furthermore, the Forbes name has gained recognition through notable individuals who bear this surname. Notable Forbes family members include influential figures in various fields, such as journalism, business, and philanthropy. Their achievements have added to the prominence and reputation associated with the Forbes name.

The meaning of the Forbes surname goes beyond its etymology and historical significance. It represents a legacy of prosperity, success, and nobility. The name continues to evoke a sense of pride and connection for those who bear it.

Although the facts known about the Forbes name provide a comprehensive understanding of its origins and significance, there remains a sense of intrigue and possibility. The potential for undiscovered connections and hidden stories adds an element of mystery to the history of this last name.

Interesting facts about the last name Forbes

  • The surname Forbes is of Scottish origin and is derived from the Scottish Gaelic name “Foirbeis,” meaning “field” or “pasture.”
  • The Forbes family has a long and notable history, tracing its ancestry back to the 12th century in Scotland.
  • The Forbes clan is one of the oldest and most influential clans in Scotland and has produced many important figures throughout history.
  • A branch of the Forbes clan, known as the Forbes of Pitsligo, held the hereditary position of Lord Forbes, one of the highest-ranking titles in the Scottish nobility.
  • The Forbes clan played a significant role in Scottish history, with notable members serving as military leaders and political figures.
  • Sir William Forbes of Craigievar, the 6th Baronet of the Forbes of Craigievar family, is known for building the iconic Craigievar Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, which is now a popular tourist attraction.
  • The Forbes surname has spread beyond Scotland, with descendants of the clan being found in various parts of the world, particularly in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
  • Forbes is also a common given name, derived from the surname. It gained popularity as a given name in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • There are several notable companies and organizations named Forbes, including the American business magazine Forbes, founded by B.C. Forbes in 1917, which is known for its rankings of the world’s wealthiest individuals and companies.
  • The Forbes surname continues to be associated with success and wealth, often evoking images of power and influence.

Name Rank


There are around 33813 people with the last name Forbes in the US

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