Forsyth Clan Crest: A crowned blue griffin.
Forsyth Clan Motto: Instaurator Ruinae (A repairer of ruin).
Forsyth Clan History:
It is thought that the surname could possibly originate from the Gaelic 'Fearsithe,' which means 'Man of Peace.' Another clan tradition is that the family descend from Forsach, a Viking who settled in France and whose descendant later came to England where he acquired lands on the Scottish Border.
Robert de Fauside signed the Ragman Roll in 1296, and Osbert de Forsyth, his son, who distinguished himself fighting at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, was granted lands at Sauchie in Stirlingshire by Robert I. Lands at Polmaise-Marischal were granted to one Fersith, clerk, by Robert II, and in 1368, he was appointed Constable of Stirling Castle. Thereafter, the family seems to have settled and prospered in and around Stirling.
Alexander Forsyth fell at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. His grandson, James Forsyth, married the great granddaughter of King James III. In 1980, Alistair William Forsyth, descended from a 17th century Falkland laird, was recognised as being of the Chiefly line. Supported by a petition representing 200 Forsyths, a Gilfine of nine elders of the Clan, which by ancient custom may petition the Lord Lyon King of Arms, requested recognition of the Chief. The petition received the Lord Lyon's approval and Clan Forsyth was restored to formal recognition after a period of 300 years.
Alexander Forsyth (1768-1843), a clergyman in Aberdeenshire, invented the percussion cap to supersede the flintlock. Sir Thomas Douglas Forsyth (1827-86), a British Administrator with the East India Company, was instrumental in preventing war in Burma in 1875. William Forsyth (1737-1804), born at Old Meldrum, was Chief Superintendent of the Royal Gardens at Kensington and St James' Palace. He was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a genus of plant named 'forsythia' was named after him.
Surname distribution within Scotland: The highest concentrations of the Forsyth name occur in Highland (includes the historic counties of Caithness, Inverness-shire, Nairnshire, Ross and Cromarty and Sutherland), Aberdeenshire (includes all of the historic counties of Aberdeenshire, Kincardineshire and part of Banffshire), Moray (including most of historic Banffshire), Falkirk, Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire.
Places of Interest:
Falkland Palace, Falkland, Fife. Forsyth chiefs were members of the Royal Stewart household at Falkland.