Ornsbay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the bearers of the Ornsbay family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found in one of the places called Hornby in Lancashire, Westmorland (now part of Cumbria), or the North Riding of Yorkshire. "This place is distinguished for its castle, which stands on the site of a Roman villa, on the summit of a bold rock of conical form, in many parts shrouded by trees, and washed by the Wenning at its base. The castle was originally founded soon after the Norman Conquest." [1]

Early Origins of the Ornsbay family

The surname Ornsbay was first found in Lancashire at Hornby, a township and chapelry, and formerly a market-town, in the parish of Melling, hundred of Lonsdale. There are two Hornby Castles of note: the first in Lancashire which was originally built for the Neville family in the 13th century, and the second in Yorkshire, home to the St. Quintin family.

However, we must look to the latter shire to find the first record of the surname, namely William de Horneby, who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire in 1205. John Hornby was listed in Gloucestershire in 1376. [2] The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list the following: Johannes de Horneby and Agnes de Horneby. [3]

Early History of the Ornsbay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ornsbay research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1638, 1662, 1668, 1518, 1618, 1618 and 1619 are included under the topic Early Ornsbay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ornsbay Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Ornsbay include Hornby, Hornbie and others.

Early Notables of the Ornsbay family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Henry Horneby (d. 1518), Master of Peterhouse, was perhaps a native of Lincolnshire. He became a member of Clare Hall, and was afterwards elected to a fellowship at Michaelhouse. [4] William Hornby (fl. 1618), was English poet and was, "according to his own account, educated at Peterborough...
Another 54 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ornsbay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Ornsbay family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Ornsbay or a variant listed above: Mary Hornby and Joseph Hornby arrived in Philadelphia with four children in 1820; Mercy Hornby settled in Virginia in 1735; Squire T. Hornby settled in Philadelphia in 1860.



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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