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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Ramsey family come from? What is the English Ramsey family crest and coat of arms? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Ramsey family history?

The name Ramsey arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Ramsey family lived in Essex. Their name, however, is a reference to the Castle of Rames, at Bolbec, in the arrondissement of Havre, France, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.


A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Ramm, Ram, Rams, Rame, Rames, Rammes and others.

First found in Essex where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Metinges. Roger de Rames was granted sixteen acres at Metinges, as well as land at Ramesdune under Robert Grenon. In Breseta in Suffolk, Roger de Rames was chief tenant. These lands were granted to Roger for his assistance at the Battle of Hastings by William, Duke of Normandy in his victory over King Harold. Roger was from the Castle of Rames at Bolbec in the arrondisement of Havre.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ramsey research. Another 215 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1599, 1605, 1615, and 1684 are included under the topic Early Ramsey History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Ramsey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Ramsey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 124 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Ramsey or a variant listed above:

Ramsey Settlers in the 17th Century

  • Robert Ramsey, aged 15, arrived in Bermuda in 1635
  • Penelope Ramsey, who arrived in Virginia in 1636
  • Morgan Ramsey, who landed in Maryland in 1653
  • Bar Ramsey, who arrived in Virginia in 1653
  • James Ramsey, who came to Virginia in 1654

Ramsey Settlers in the 18th Century

  • John Ramsey, who arrived in Virginia in 1705

Ramsey Settlers in the 19th Century

  • Alexander Ramsey, aged 22, landed in New York in 1812
  • Samuel Ramsey, aged 31, landed in New York in 1812
  • George Ramsey, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815
  • William Ramsey, aged 6, arrived in New York, NY in 1818-1819
  • Cuthbert Ramsey, who arrived in New York in 1819


  • Sir Alfred Ramsey (b. 1922), English soccer player/manager
  • Frank Plumpton Ramsey (1903-1930), British mathematician, philosopher, and economist
  • Anne Ramsey (1929-1988), American stage, television, and film actress
  • Gordon Ramsey (1930-1993), American television, stage and voice actor
  • Norman Foster Ramsey Jr. (b. 1915), American physicist and co-winner of the 1989 Nobel Prize for Physics
  • Admiral DeWitt Clinton Ramsey (1888-1961), American naval officer, Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, eponym of the USS Ramsey (DEG-2), recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal
  • James Edward Ramsey (1931-2013), American politician and lawyer, Member of North Carolina House of Representatives (19631974), Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives (19731974)
  • Brigadier-General Norman Foster Ramsey (1882-1963), American Commanding Officer Springfield Armory, Illinois (1944-1945)


The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Quod tibi vis fieri, facias
Motto Translation: What you wish done, do yourself.


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  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  2. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  3. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  4. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  6. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  7. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  8. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  9. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  11. ...

The Ramsey Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ramsey Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 26 March 2014 at 11:26.

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