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

When the ancestors of the Ormsby family emigrated to England following the Norman Conquest in 1066 they brought their family name with them. They 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.


The surname Ormsby 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.

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Ormsby has been recorded under many different variations, including Ormsby, Ormesby and others.


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


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


Some of the Ormsby 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.


To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Ormsbys were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Ormsby Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Ormsby, who landed in Maryland in 1641
  • Jacob Ormsby, who arrived in New England in 1677

Ormsby Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Clevell Ormsby, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746
  • Lawrence Ormsby, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746

Ormsby Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Robert Ormsby, who arrived in New York, NY in 1803
  • Henry Ormsby, who landed in Mississippi in 1850
  • P S Ormsby, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Francis Ormsby, who landed in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1859
  • George, Catherine, James, John, Joseph, Robert, and William Ormsby, who all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860

Ormsby Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • George Owen Ormsby a surveyor, arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Buffalo" in 1836
  • John Ormsby arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Condor" in 1851


  • Eric Linn Ormsby (b. 1941), American poet, scholar, and man of letters
  • Stephen Ormsby (1759-1844), American (Irish born) politician, who was a U.S. Representative from Kentucky
  • John William Ormsby (1881-1952), English soldier, recipient of the Victoria Cross for deeds during WWI
  • John Ormsby (1829-1895), British nineteenth-century translator
  • Frank Ormsby (b. 1947), Irish poet
  • Sir Lambert Hepenstal Ormsby (b. 1903), President of Royal College of Surgeons


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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  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
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  6. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  7. 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).
  8. 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.
  9. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  10. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Ormsby Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ormsby 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 16 August 2015 at 19:50.

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