The origins of the Omstead name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture. It comes from when the family lived near or at a hermit's cell.
The surname Omstead 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 Omstead family
The surname Omstead was 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
in 1066, by Duke William of Normandy.
Early History of the Omstead family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Omstead research.Another 211 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1645 and 1726 are included under the topic Early Omstead History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Omstead Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred
years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations
are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon
surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Omstead were recorded, including Armistead, Armitstead, Armystead, Armstead, Olmstead, Ormstead, Ampstead and many more.
Early Notables of the Omstead family (pre 1700)
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Omstead Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Omstead family to the New World and Oceana
To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England
went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Omstead family emigrate to North America: 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 Omstead 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