The ancestry of the name Onstead dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived near or at a hermit's cell.
The surname Onstead 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 Onstead family
The surname Onstead 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 Onstead family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Onstead research.Another 211 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1645 and 1726 are included under the topic Early Onstead History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Onstead Spelling Variations
in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred
years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Onstead have been found, including Armistead, Armitstead, Armystead, Armstead, Olmstead, Ormstead, Ampstead and many more.
Early Notables of the Onstead family (pre 1700)
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Onstead Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Onstead family to the New World and Oceana
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England
. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England
, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Onstead, 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 Onstead 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