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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Olmsted family come from? What is the English Olmsted family crest and coat of arms? When did the Olmsted family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Olmsted family history?

The Anglo-Saxon name Olmsted comes from the family having resided near or at a hermit's cell. The surname Olmsted 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.


Olmsted has been spelled many different ways, including Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Armistead, Armitstead, Armystead, Armstead, Olmstead, Ormstead, Ampstead and many more.

First found in the counties of 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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Olmsted research. Another 211 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1645 and 1726 are included under the topic Early Olmsted History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 47 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Olmsted Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Olmsteds to arrive on North American shores:

Olmsted Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • James Olmsted, who landed in Massachusetts in 1632
  • Richard Olmsted, who arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1632

Olmsted Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • D. Olmsted settled in New York in 1822
  • Fredk. L. Olmsted, aged 22, who emigrated to the United States from London, in 1892
  • Charles Jas Olmsted, aged 22, who settled in America, in 1895
  • E. F. Olmsted, aged 34, who landed in America, in 1896

Olmsted Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Cornelia Olmsted, aged 20, who emigrated to the United States, in 1906
  • F. H. Olmsted, aged 20, who landed in America, in 1906
  • Florence Olmsted, aged 26, who settled in America, in 1908
  • Frederich Lynde Olmsted, aged 52, who landed in America, in 1910
  • Elizabeth R. Olmsted, aged 39, who emigrated to America, in 1910

Olmsted Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Alec I. Olmsted, aged 6, who emigrated to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, in 1909
  • Ellen Olmsted, aged 55, who emigrated to Niagra Falls, Ontario, Canada, in 1913


  • Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903), American journalist, social critic, public administrator, and landscape designer, considered to be the father of American landscape architecture
  • John Charles Olmsted (1852-1920), American landscape architect, co-founder of The Olmsted Brothers company, an influential landscape design firm, step-son of Frederick Olmstead
  • Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. (1870-1957), American landscape architect, co-founder of The Olmsted Brothers company, an influential landscape design firm, step-son of Frederick Olmstead
  • Denison Olmsted (1791-1859), American physicist and astronomer from East Hartford, Connecticut
  • Francis Allyn Olmsted (1819-1844), American author, son of Denison Olmstead
  • Thomas Olmsted (b. 1947), American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church
  • Major-General George Hamden Olmsted (1901-1998), American Assistant Commanding General 103rd Division (1946-1947)


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


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  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  3. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  5. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  6. 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.
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  8. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  9. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  10. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Olmsted Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Olmsted 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 10:18.

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