Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when the family lived near or at a hermit's cell. The surname Olmestead is derived from the Old French word ermite, which means hermit, and the Old English word stede, which means place. The name may also be an Anglicized form of the German surname Darmstädter, which is derived from the settlement of Darmstadt in Hesse, a former landgraviate of Germany.
Early Origins of the Olmestead family
Cheshire in north western England where they held a family seat for many centuries, probably well before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, by Duke William of Normandy.
Early History of the Olmestead family
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Olmestead Spelling Variations
hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Olmestead are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Olmestead include: Armistead, Armitstead, Armystead, Armstead, Olmstead, Ormstead, Ampstead and many more.
Early Notables of the Olmestead family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Olmestead family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Olmestead or a variant listed above: Joseph Armistead who settled in Savannah, Georgia in 1775; Charity Armstead settled in Maryland in 1774; Hannah Armstead came to New England in 1780; James Olmstead settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1632.
The Olmestead Motto
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: Ever ready
Motto Translation: Always prepared
Olmestead Family Crest Products