FORTE, Samuel Sr. 2 3 4 5 6
- Marriage (1): HIAT, Ursula before 1672
- Marriage (2): ESTWICK, Elizabeth in 1700-1705 in St. Johns Parish, , Barbados 1
- Died: After Apr 27, 1712, Haynes Hill Plantation, St. John's Parish, Barbados
According to cousin James Forte, the Forte's came from Normandy, France originally. There are two Forte brothers that assisted William the Conqueror and were given titles and land in England for their services. The Forte family had settled in Somersetshire, England during the 16th and 17th centuries. Samuel Forte came to Barbados in 1680 from the Somersetshire family according to Burkes Landed Gentry. However, he is likely the Samuel Forte who was a witness to George Foster's will on Nov. 23, 1670 in St. John's Parish, Barbados. Another of the witnesses was Edmund Haynes. Samuel later owned land known as Haynes Hill Plantation in St. John's Parish. He was supposedly exiled from England, obviously with portable wealth in tack. James Forte, a cousin, states that the Fortes lost their property, title, and the "scue" on the end of their name when siding with the Royalists against Cromwell. The name was originally Fortibus according to the "General Armory". It states the Forte's from Somerset were originally from the name de Fortibus. The coat of arms for the Fortes in Somerset also comes from Fortibus. This would have occurred a generation or more before Samuel came to Barbados. (F-469)
Samuel came to own Haynes Hill Plantation in Barbados. He and Thomas Estwick are listed as beneficiaries of Mary Combs Adamson's will in 1689 in St. John's Parish. He was a friend and executor for John Pearnell's will dated 1691 in an island called Hothersall's Poole. He is named as a friend of Augustin Dry's will dated 1692 in St. John's Parish. Several of his family members are named as executors including a Codrigton Forte that I am guessing is Samuel's son who died before Samuel wrote his will. He is named in his son-in-law, William Collymer's will in 1705. In Samuel's own will dated Oct. 16, 1711 in St. John's Parish, he bequeaths his wife the silverplate and his grandchildren money due him from the estate of William Collymore. (F-164) He and the members of his family were buried in a tomb on his plantation. (F-24) In his will, he stipulated that the tomb should always be available for whoever wished to visit. When Jim and I visited Barbados in Apr. of 1990, we were able to visit Haynes Hill House and see the tomb, plaque and all. The current owner of the House, Jean Porter, stated that the small plot of land surrounding the tomb does not belong to anyone. We believe that to be because of Samuel's will. The house that is now standing on Haynes Hill is not the house that Samuel originally lived in. It was blown down in the 1831 hurricane and the one that now stands was built then. This house is, according to Jean Porter, haunted. The ghost walks around at night in what sounds like heavy men's work boots and is harmless.
The Coat of Arms for the Forte family is a shield with a Rooster and 3 red what looks like large hammers as symbols. The motto is Forte Scutum Salas Ducum. Forte means strong. Scutum in ancient Rome was a leather shield, Salus means health, and Ducum means of or relating to Dukedom. (F-465)
Although the parentage of this Samuel Forte is unknown, I have two working theories as to his parentage based on baptismal, marriage, and burial records for all towns in Somersetshire having records in the 1600s. The information was supplied by James Forte of Ontario and was researched professionally in 1977-78. Upon sorting it, I feel it is highly likely Samuel's parents were Thomas and Thomasine Forte of South Petherton or Samuel of St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Somerset, England.
The first theory that he is the son of Thomas and Thomasine is based on the following pattern. They had a daughter, Thomasine in April of 1663. Baptismal records from that town were missing for seven years from 1653 to 1660, the likely time period of birth for our Samuel Forte. Thomasine, his possible mother, is the name that clued me in. Samuel has a daughter named Thomasin, which is rather unusual. Secondly, his son Samuel, only has one male and female name unaccounted for from his wifes' or his side, and that is Thomas and Thomasin. I believe it is likely that he named them after his parents. This Thomas's father is most likely John but could be William instead. This theory needs further verification in deed or lawsuit records. The will records will not help support this, as Tauton wills were destroyed in World War II at Exeter.
The second theory, is that he is the son of Samuel Forte of St. Mary Magdelen. Only one child, Thomas, has been recorded as the son of this Samuel. Thomas was christened on Nov. 18, 1650. This Samuel still could be the father of our Samuel as he has the correct name and right age. He is also the only Samuel that has been found in the records of Somerset Co., England. The records again are not conclusive, as the microfilm is nearly unreadable. The original records from St. Mary Magdelen were still privately held when a professional researcher last tried to check them.
Lastly, there is a Samuel Forte, Mariner, from Wapping, Middlesex, England who wrote a will when he was outward bound to sea on February 25, 1675/1676. The will, proved on July 29, 1680, gives his estate to his friend Andrew Davison of Wapping. Because the date of probate is the same year as our Samuel entering Barbados, a connection to this Samuel needs to be studied. Instead of a will, was this possibly a settlement of his estate in England when he decided to move to Barbados for good? 1
Noted events in his life were:
• Immigration, 1680, , Somersetshire, ENG.
• Will, Apr 27, 1712. 1
• Probate, Jan 13, 1712/13, , , Barbados.
Samuel married Ursula HIAT, daughter of Samuel HIAT and Ursula UNKNOWN, before 1672. (Ursula HIAT died in 1700.)
Samuel next married Elizabeth ESTWICK, daughter of Richard ESTWICK and Joan WALKER, in 1700-1705 in St. Johns Parish, , Barbados.1 (Elizabeth ESTWICK was born in 1675 and died on Aug 12, 1739.)