Derived from the office of ‘Forest Keeper’ – guardians of the royal forest once located around Edinburgh – the first known use of the Forrester name is believed to have come in 1144 when an Archebaldus Forrestar is said to have been a witness at a grant at the church of Lesmahagow.
It was however not until over 200 years later in 1373 that the clan is said to have been truly founded by Sir Adam Forrester. Three years later, Sir Adam would go on to receive the estate of Corstorphine in Midlothian where he and his family would construct Corstorphine Castle, a now-demolished castle situated within the boundaries of modern-day Edinburgh.
Another important branch of the Forrester family is the Forresters of Garden who hail from Stirlingshire. This family-owned the other historic clan seat of the Forrester name, Torwood Castle – the ruins of which still stand today.
Today, Clan Forrester is without an official clan chief. However, as the Lords Forrester have traditionally been recognised as the chiefs of the clan, a potential chief is Sir John Duncan Grimston. If he were to assume the title, he would be required to assume the Forrester surname.