© 2019 by Clan Forbes Society, Inc.

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Clan Forbes Society Newsletter

December 2019


B.C. Forbes: Media Dynasty Founder


“Are you related to THAT Forbes…?” Everyone with the Forbes surname has heard variations of that question countless times. This demonstrates the power of the name, thanks to Forbes Magazine, Malcolm Forbes, and son Steve Forbes. But how much do you know about “that” Forbes family? The founder of the dynasty was Bertie Charles (B.C.) Forbes, born in 1880, in New Deer, Aberdeenshire, in Scotland. As the sixth of ten children in a working-class family, Bertie learned the value of hard work early. At the age of 14, he became an apprentice for the Dundee Courier. B.C. attended night classes, learned his journalism craft in South Africa, and ventured to New York City where he became a business and financial columnist for W.R. Hearst. In 1917, B.C. published his first book “Men Who are Making America” and, based on its success of this book, launched Forbes magazine. Learn more here


O’Conchar Forbhasach and

the Bear Stone at Castle Forbes

According to legend, around 775 A.D., the Dalriadic warrior O’Conchar Forbhasach II killed a bear at the Nine Maidens’ Well at Logie, in the parish of Auchindore, near Castle Forbes. For this valiant achievement, he won the “duthchas” (the Gaelic word for domain by right) for a substantial estate in Aberdeenshire. His descendants later intermarried with the Pictish people. A stone roughly carved into the shape of a bear’s head was discovered near the site and is now embedded above the main fireplace at the current Castle Forbes (formerly Putachie.) This is the reason for the three muzzled bear heads on the coat of arms for Lord Forbes. Learn more about Castle Forbes here.

‘Tis the Season for Giving!

This holiday season, please don’t forget the Clan Forbes Society, a non-profit organization. Your donations (outside of membership payments) are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. For your contribution of $25 or more, you may request a Clan Forbes Society Challenge Coin as your free gift (fair market value $17.) For your contribution of $60 or more, you will receive a copy of Castles & Mansion Houses of the House of Forbes as your free gift (fair market value $40.) Please also consider a larger amount to assist in our heritage efforts. Thank you!

Extensive Clan Forbes Society Archives Now Available!

The Society has compiled an extensive collection of materials from the Old Clan Forbes Society, of which this is the successor organization. The Archives (in the Members section of the website) includes the announcement of the formation of the society in 1979, original bylaws,  Clan Forbes Genealogy Directory (2009), and over 50 newsletters from 1984 to 2012! All this is thanks to former Secretary/Treasurer Ron Pearson and former President Nelson Harlee Forbes. If you have any of the missing newsletters or other materials, please contact us at news@clan-forbes.org. Thank you! 

Rosemary, Lady Forbes


The Clan Forbes Society is saddened by the passing of Rosemary, Lady Forbes, on 26 October, 2019. She was born the Hon. Rosemary Katherine Hamilton-Russell in 1921, daughter of the 9th Viscount Boyne (1864-1942), by his wife the former Lady Margaret Selina Lascelles (1883-1978). In 1942, she married Nigel Ivan, 22nd Lord Forbes, KBE (1918 - 2013) and is the mother of Malcolm, the current Lord Forbes. Lord Forbes relates that “the item that always attracts the most attention from visitors is the hand-written family tree chart that my mother compiled several years ago showing the clan’s descendancy from the kings of the Picts back in the 9th century!” 

2020 Elections Are Underway!

All Active, Patron, and Legacy Life Members are eligible to vote in the 2020 Clan Forbes Society Elections. If you are not yet an Active or Patron Member of the Society, please join here. You will be required to enter your Member Number, printed on your membership certificate.


You are eligible to vote for three officers, which constitute the Board of Directors: President, Vice President for Operations, and Vice President for Conveners. For more information, please see the Bylaws in the “Society Business” page of the Members section of the website. Please read the profiles of the nominees in the Members section of the website. You have the option to propose a “write-in” candidate for each position. 
You can access your ballot here. 

If you have any questions, please contact Bart Forbes. Voting will be closed by 5:00 PM Eastern U.S.A. time on Friday, December 20, 2019. Thank you!

Welcome New Members!


Please welcome the new Active Members for November 2019: 
- Susan Forbes, New York, USA

- James G. Forbes II, Indiana, USA

- Tina Olesen, Denmark

- Zachery Millspaugh, New York, USA

- Michael Craig Forbes, Georgia, USA


If you haven’t already supported the Society financially, please consider becoming a paid member! Active Membership is $25 annually will help the Society research the history and heritage of the House of Forbes; develop resources for tracing your genealogy with your cousins around the world; connect with other members in the Clan Forbes Community; and encourage more members to join us in events, tours and gatherings. If you don’t want the bother of renewing your membership every year, consider becoming a Patron Member for lifetime membership. If you can link your lineage to the Forbes family founders, you can become a House of Forbes Member

Scottish Christmas Walk

If you live in the Washington, DC, area, please join the Clan Forbes Society at the annual Alexandria Scottish Christmas Walk on Saturday, December 7, 2019. The St. Andrew’s Society of Washington, D.C., began the event on St. Andrew’s Day when they placed a wreath on the grave of William Hunter, the founder of the original Society formed in Alexandria, Virginia. The commemoration was moved to the first Saturday after St. Andrew’s Day and now serves as a fundraising focus for the social services of the Campagna Center. The Walk itself steps off at 11:00 AM near the corner of Wilkes and St. Asaph Streets in Old Town Alexandria. For more information, contact Ron Pearson.