Ornsby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient roots of the Ornsby family name are in the Anglo-Saxon culture. The name Ornsby comes from when the family lived 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 Ornsby family

The surname Ornsby 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 Ornsby family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ornsby 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 Ornsby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ornsby Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Ornsby has appeared include Hornby, Hornbie and others.

Early Notables of the Ornsby 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 Ornsby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Ornsby family

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Ornsby arrived in North America very early: 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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