Clan Forbes Society Newsletter
April 2020

With the spread of coronavirus, we are all going through a difficult time. Some more than others.

During challenging times, our Forbes ancestors have stood on principle and taken action based on their beliefs throughout the centuries. Their blood flows through our veins today. We are ennobled by their achievements and motivated by their service.


We can also take action during these times to take care of ourselves, our families, and our communities. We can learn and teach others about avoiding virus transmission. We can bring groceries and supplies to family members. We can help others financially who are less fortunate than we are. We can stay positive and cheer others who do not share our heritage of fortitude and service.

We are Forbes. We’ve got this.
Read more here.


The 1411 Battle of Harlaw, one of the bloodiest in Scotland, was the making of the House of Forbes. Alexander Forbes, son of Sir John of the Black Lip, so distinguished himself that his commander, Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar, rewarded him with vast estates; James I awarded him the title of the first Lord Forbes; and George Douglas, Earl of Angus, agreed to his marriage to his only daughter, Elizabeth, granddaughter of Robert III. Alexander’s bravery was celebrated in the popular ballad, “Battle of Harlaw.” Learn more here.

Clan Forbes Society is proud to be one of the first clan societies to join the brand new Clan Partner program of the National Trust for Scotland USA (NTS-USA)! As a result, the Society can offer our Active Members a 15% discount on all NTS-USA memberships. Membership benefits include free admission and parking at all National Trust for Scotland properties, These include such iconic House of Forbes sites as Craigievar Castle, Culloden Battlefield, and Fyvie Castle!
Learn more here

Welcome Members!


Please welcome our new Active Members for March 2020: 


  • Mr. Ronald Kenny Forbes, Iowa, USA

  • Mr. James H. Forbess, Tennessee, USA

  • Mr. Jay Fox Forbess, Tennessee, USA

  • Ms. Malinda Forbess Manzo, Tennessee, USA

  • Ms. Teresa M. Forbes, Iowa, USA

  • Ms. Lisa Ann Payne, Tennessee, USA


We also welcome back our renewing Active Members:

  • Nancy Forbes, Virginia, USA 

  • Leslie Furbish Ingram, Maine, USA

  • Ernest (Ernie) Walters, California, 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.


Thanks to all our 2019 members – and now it’s time to renew your support for 2020! Renew your membership here.


Patron Members


If you don’t want the bother of renewing your membership every year, consider becoming a Patron Member for lifetime membership at the level of $600. 


This year marks the 600th anniversary of the construction of “Preston’s Tower” at the sprawling Tolquhon Castle in Aberdeenshire. Now in ruins, the castle was a grand showplace in the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1420, Sir John Forbes (c. 1390 – c. 1454) married Mariota (Marjory), daughter of Sir Henry Preston (c. 1368 – c. 1433), Thane of Fermartyn. In that year, Forbes and his wife took possession of the castle and "Preston's Tower" was built. Learn more here


Fatherless and poor at the age of four, Sir William Forbes, 6th Baronet of Monymusk and Pitsligo (1739–1806) worked his way up from a being a bank apprentice and clerk to becoming one of Scotland’s greatest bankers and philanthropists of the 18th century.

Learn more here


The most likely source of the name “Forbes” is from the descriptive Irish Gaelic name Forbhasach, “the man of courage.” In the 6th and 7th centuries, Gaelic invaders from northern Ireland created the overkingdom of Dál Riata (also called Dalriada) in the western islands and highlands of Scotland. Dalriadic warriors pushed eastward into Pictland (part of which is now Aberdeenshire) and intermarried with the Picts. The legendary Dalriadic warrior O’choncar Forbasach was said to have killed a mighty bear and thus won the “duthchas” (the Gaelic word for domain by right) for a substantial estate in Aberdeenshire that became known as “Forbes.” Learn more here

Highland Games & Festivals


Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, many highland games and Scottish festivals have been cancelled or postponed. Here’s the current list compiled by Leslie Furbish Ingram, Vice President for Conveners. Please see the complete list of Games & Festivals

Please send the dates or status  of your local events to VP for Conveners Leslie Furbish. Thank you!

© 2020 Clan Forbes Society, Inc.