Oram History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ultimate origins of this name appear to be Nordic, where Orme derives from the Old Norse word "Ormr," meaning "Serpent" or "Dragon." It is certainly not unlikely that the name came to Normandy with the Viking invasions of Rollo in 911, and then making its way to Britain with the Norman invasion of 1066. The name also existed in France, coming from the Old French "orme," which meant "an elm tree." It also likely that some of the instances of Oram in Britain were as a result of Danish, and Swedish contact along the Eastern shores of England and Scotland.

Early Origins of the Oram family

The surname Oram was first found in Lancashire where the family claim descent from the parish of Ormskirk. "Ormskirk is not found in the Domesday survey; but, according to very credible tradition, the parish belonged to Orm, the Saxon proprietor of Halton, who, driven from his possessions in Cheshire, established himself in Lancashire, and, by his marriage with Alice, daughter of Herveus, a Norman nobleman, ancestor of Theobald Walter, obtained large estates in this county. He was the founder, no doubt, of the church; the word kirk, with his own name, constituting the name of the parish." [1]

Early History of the Oram family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Oram research. Another 168 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1153, 1620, 1671, 1654, 1660 and 1671 are included under the topic Early Oram History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Oram Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Orme, Orm and others.

Early Notables of the Oram family (pre 1700)

Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Oram Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Oram Ranking

In the United States, the name Oram is the 13,198th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2] However, in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Oram is ranked the 674th most popular surname with an estimated 65 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Oram family to Ireland

Some of the Oram family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Oram migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Oram Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Archibald Oram, who settled in Virginia in 1666
  • Val Oram, who landed in Maryland in 1675 [4]
  • William Oram, who arrived in Maryland in 1677 [4]
  • John Oram, who arrived in Maryland in 1677 [4]
Oram Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Ann Oram, who arrived in Maryland in 1768
Oram Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • S Oram, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [4]
  • George Oram, aged 11, who landed in New York in 1868 [4]
  • Henry Oram, aged 7, who arrived in New York in 1868 [4]
  • James Oram, aged 15, who landed in New York in 1868 [4]
  • Luke Oram, aged 13, who landed in New York in 1868 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Oram migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Oram Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. David L. Oram U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [5]
  • Mr. James Oram U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [5]

Australia Oram migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Oram Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Oram, British Convict who was convicted in Kent, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Earl Cornwallis" in August 1800, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. William Oram, British convict who was convicted in Leicester, Leicestershire, England for life, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. John Oram, English convict who was convicted in Warwickshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Fame" on 9th October 1816, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. John Oram, (b. 1826), aged 20, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 1st August 1846, sentenced for 7 years for 2 counts of stealing from William Harvey of South Petherwin and from James Coombe of Northhill, transported aboard the ship "Ratcliffe" on 25th July 1848 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [9]
  • Mr. John Oram, (b. 1825), aged 23, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 1st August 1846, sentenced for 7 years for stealing from William Harvey of South Petherwin, transported aboard the ship "Ratcliffe" on 29th July 1848 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Oram migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Oram Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Matthew Henry Oram, (b. 1832), aged 25, British bootmaker travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Glentanner" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 3rd October 1857 [10]
  • Mr. Charles Oram, (b. 1834), aged 23, British bootmaker travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Glentanner" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 3rd October 1857 [10]
  • Mr. Hubert Oram, (b. 1839), aged 24, British painter and carpenter travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Lancashire Witch" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 13th October 1863 [10]

West Indies Oram migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [11]
Oram Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • John Oram, who settled in Barbados in 1635
  • Mr. John Oram, (b. 1614), aged 21, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Anne and Elizabeth" arriving in Barbados in 1635 [12]
Oram Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • Catherine Oram, who arrived in Jamaica in 1727

Contemporary Notables of the name Oram (post 1700) +

  • Nick Oram (b. 1979), American television producer and actor
  • Steve Oram (b. 1973), English comedian, actor, writer and musician
  • Mr. Nicholas Andre Oram M.V.O., RAM, R.V.M., British Senior Dining Room Assistant for the Royal Household, was appointed Member of the Royal Victorian Order on 29th December 2018 [13]
  • Mr. Barry Keith Oram M.B.E., British recipient of the Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to Young People in Kettering [13]
  • Daphne Oram (1925-2003), British composer and electronic musician, creator of the "Oramics" technique of electronic sounds
  • David A Oram, Canadian visual artist
  • Albert Edward Oram, Baron Oram, was a Co-operative and Labour politician
  • Eliphalet Oram Lyte (1842-1913), American educator and author of grammar and composition textbooks, credited as the composer of the tune "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" published in 1881


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  3. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-cornwallis
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 27th September 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/fairlie
  9. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  12. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 23rd September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  13. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists


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