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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The name Ormsbee was brought to England in the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Ormsbee family lived in Lincolnshire. The name, however, is a reference to Orme, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

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The surname Ormsbee was first found in Lincolnshire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Ormsbee have been found, including Ormsby, Ormesby and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ormsbee research. Another 169 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ormsbee History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Ormsbee Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Ormsbee family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Ormsbee were among those contributors:

Ormsbee Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Miss Ormsbee, aged 19, who emigrated to the United States, in 1896

Ormsbee Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Allen T. Ormsbee, who emigrated to America, in 1904
  • Helen Ormsbee, aged 28, who landed in America, in 1912
  • Mary Ormsbee, aged 26, who landed in America, in 1912
  • Etta G. Ormsbee, aged 61, who emigrated to the United States, in 1913
  • Earl Ormsbee, aged 21, who landed in America, in 1919


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  • Caleb Ormsbee (1752-1807), American architect
  • Ebenezer Jolls Ormsbee (1834-1924), American teacher, lawyer, and politician
  • Chief Machinist's Mate Francis Edward "Frank" Ormsbee Jr. (1892-1936), American naval aviator during World War I who received the Medal of Honor for bravery


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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: Fortis qui prudens
Motto Translation: He is brave who is prudent.

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  1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  4. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  7. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  8. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  9. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  10. 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).
  11. ...

The Ormsbee Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ormsbee 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 27 May 2016 at 17:15.

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