Show ContentsOlmsted History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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. [1] [2]

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 Olmsted family

The surname Olmsted was first found in Yorkshire where the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 include some of the first listings of the family: Laurencius del Armetsted; Johannes de Armetstede who both held lands there at that time. [3] [2]

"This has been a Yorkshire surname for five centuries at least." [3]

Later in Norfolk we found William Armistead, was vicar of Berwick Parva, Norfolk in 1587. [4]

Early History of the Olmsted family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Olmsted research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1527, 1618, 1645, 1726, 1676, 1680, 1693, 1696, 1699, 1783, 1845, 1780, 1818, 1812, 1817, 1863 and 1863 are included under the topic Early Olmsted History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Olmsted Spelling Variations

Olmsted has been spelled many different ways. 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. Spelling variants included: Armistead, Armitstead, Armystead, Armstead, Olmstead, Ormstead, Ampstead and many more.

Early Notables of the Olmsted family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Captain Anthony Armistead (1645-1726), British Justice of the Peace in the British Colony and Dominion of Virginia. He was born in Elizabeth City County, Virginia, the son of William Armistead. He assisted Sir William Berkeley's courts-martial in 1676 to try the Bacon insurgents and was a justice of the peace and Captain of Horse in 1680. He was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1693, 1696, 1699. He married Hannah Ellyson and had five children; the...
Another 87 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Olmsted Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Olmsted Ranking

In the United States, the name Olmsted is the 12,364th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

United States Olmsted migration to the United States +

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 [6]
  • Richard Olmsted, who arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1632 [6]
Olmsted Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • D. Olmsted, who settled in New York in 1822
  • Fredk. L. Olmsted, aged 22, who immigrated to the United States from London, in 1892
  • Charles James 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 immigrated 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 immigrated to America, in 1910
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Olmsted migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Olmsted Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Alec I. Olmsted, aged 6, who immigrated to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, in 1909
  • Ellen Olmsted, aged 55, who immigrated to Niagra Falls, Ontario, Canada, in 1913

Contemporary Notables of the name Olmsted (post 1700) +

  • Major-General George Hamden Olmsted (1901-1998), American Assistant Commanding General 103rd Division (1946-1947) [7]
  • Thomas Olmsted (b. 1947), American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church
  • Francis Allyn Olmsted (1819-1844), American author, son of Denison Olmstead
  • Denison Olmsted (1791-1859), American physicist and astronomer from East Hartford, Connecticut
  • 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
  • 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 (1822-1903), American journalist, social critic, public administrator, and landscape designer, considered to be the father of American landscape architecture
  • Arthur G. Olmsted, American politician, First Selectman of East Hartford, Connecticut, 1899 [8]
  • Allen S. II Olmsted, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1940 [8]
  • Aaron Olmsted (d. 1813), American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Columbia County, 1812-13 [8]
  • ... (Another 17 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Olmsted 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

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2014, March 26) George Olmsted. Retrieved from
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from on Facebook