© 2020 by Clan Forbes Society, Inc.

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Clan Forbes Society Newsletter
January 2020

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A major branch of the House of Forbes has flourished in France since the fourteenth century. The family fled Scotland as refugees after John Alexander Forbes was killed in 1303 at Urquhart Castle by the troops of England’s Edward I. The family gained prestige and prominence in the King’s Gens d'Armes Ecossais (Scots Men-at-Arms). One of the most celebrated descendants is Claude de Forbin, Lieutenant-General (Admiral) of the Naval Armies of the King. His legacy is represented today in naming of the  French Horizon-class frigate Forbin, commissioned in 2008. Learn more here.


Not so long ago, genealogy involved personal visits to churches and libraries, hundreds of file cards and documents, and complex hand-written family trees. Today, tracing your lineage has been revolutionized by computers and the Internet. Online services have streamlined and enhanced the ability to research and create family trees.  Many services can assist you in organizing your genealogical research, such as FamilySearch and MyHeritage. However, the Clan Forbes Society has chosen to use Ancestry.com for recording its many family trees. Ancestry has the most records of any other site (17 billion), is extremely easy to use, has a mobile app, and has a companion program for updating information offline. Learn more here.

Welcome New Members!

Please welcome the new Active Members for December 2019: 


  • Katheryn Apperson, Utah, USA

  • Thompson H. Forbes III, South Carolina, USA

  • David Stewart Forbes, New York, USA

  • Dennis L. Furbush, Massachusetts, USA

  • Lynette Palfrey, South Australia, Australia

  • Margaret Unwin, Washington, USA

  • Virginia Mandell Weber, Texas, 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

Highland Games & Festivals

Clan Forbes was well-represented at the 2019 Alexandria Scottish Christmas Walk, thanks to Convener Ron Pearson! 

Jan. 18 – 19, 2020: Central Florida Scottish Highland Games, Clan Convener: Ann Forbes

We’re now compiling the list of 2020 Highland Games and Scottish Festivals. Please send the dates of your local events to VP for Conveners Leslie Furbish.

Thank you!


The next time your physician places a cold stethoscope to your chest, you can thank Sir John Forbes (1787 – 1861). While he did not invent this device, he was “instrumental” in promoting its use throughout the English-speaking world. John Forbes was born on 17 December 1787 in Banffshire, Scotland. He was the fourth son of local tenant farmer Alexander Forbes and Cicilia Wilkie. He served in the Royal Navy as a surgeon between 1807 and 1816. In 1818, Forbes acquired an early model of the newly invented stethoscope of René Laënnec. He translated into English the French physician’s work De L’Auscultation Médiate (1819). On 15 February 1841, Forbes was appointed court physician to Prince Albert (1819-1861) and the royal household – a post that he held until his death in 1861. Learn more here.


Hogmanay is a quintessentially Scottish holiday: born of pagan mysticism, enlivened with Viking bravado, challenged by religious clashes, and enriched by local traditions. Beginning in the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation effectively banned Christmas for 400 years. In fact, Christmas Day didn’t become a public holiday in Scotland until 1958. Instead, Scots celebrated the mid-winter holiday of Hogmanay with their friends and families. Today, Hogmanay is one big party in such urban centers as Edinburgh. Learn more from a 1898 article in the "Scots Magazine" by Eric Forbes and a 2000 article in the "World and I Magazine" by B.R. Forbes. Read the article here

2020 Clan Forbes Society Leadership

Congratulations to the newly-elected members of the Board of Directors:

President, Barry Robert (Bart) Forbes


As a teenager, Bart’s first poster was a map of the Clans of Scotland. For the past 20 years, he has served such Scottish-American organizations as the St. Andrew’s Society of Washington, D.C. (2 years as president), National Tartan Day Executive Committee of the American-Scottish foundation, and the Virginia Scottish Games. His career has included public broadcasting, association management, public affairs, and federal grants program officer. He jump-started the inactive Clan Forbes Society in 2018.

Vice President for Conveners, Leslie A. Furbish (Ingram)

Leslie started her genealogical journey in 2017 when she discovered through a group of Outlander fan friends that she was a descendant of William (Forbes) Furbish. He came to Boston in 1650 as a POW from the Battle of Dunbar. She looks forward to learning more about history and her connection to the Forbes family in Scotland. She represents Clan Forbes as a Convener at local Scottish Festivals and Highland Games. She plans on attending 7 festivals in 2020.

Vice President for Operations, James G. Forbes II


Jim’s first interest in Scottish heritage was sparked when he was 10 years old. His father gave him the book "The Clans of the Scottish Highlands" by R.R. McIan and he was hooked. Jim retired from the U.S. Army after about 25 years with the rank of Command Sergeant Major. His focus during the last 10 years was almost exclusively in Operations. Since retirement in 2018, he has served as an operations consultant for non-profit organizations.

The following individuals have agreed to help guide the Society as the 2020 Advisory Council:

  • Jamie, Lord Sempill, Clan Chief Tours, Scotland, UK

  • Alexander Forbes, Druminnor Castle, Scotland, UK

  • M. Hollis Hutchinson (Maggie Foster), Texas, USA

  • Ray Fobes, Arizona, USA

  • Nancy Forbes, Virginia, USA

  • Rick Forbes, Texas, USA

  • Ron Pearson, Virginia, USA

  • Kathryn Tisdale, Virginia, USA

  • Valerie Walters, California, USA

Interested in representing Clan Forbes Society at one of these Games? Download the Clan Forbes Convener Guide and we'll help you!