Show ContentsOsbert History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Osbert surname itself is thought to be derived from an Old Norse personal name "Asbjorn" made up of "às," meaning "god" and "bjorn," or "bear." The name became Osbern in old English. Bearers of this name also came to Britain from Normandy, and over the centuries have become indistinguishable from those who predated the Norman invasion. "The name is found in England before the Conquest and may be of direct Scandinavian origin. It was also common in Normandy whence it was often brought over by Normans after the Conquest." [1]

Osbern (fl. 1090), was an English "hagiographer, was a monk of Christchurch, Canterbury, where, as he tells us himself, he was brought up from boyhood during the rule of Godric, who was dean from about 1058 to 1080; he would seem to have been there before the burning of the cathedral in 1067." [2]

Osbern or Osbert (d. 1103), was "Bishop of Exeter and Chancellor, the son of Osbern the Seneschal, who was guardian of Normandy for the future Conqueror. He was thus brother of William Fitzosbern, the Earl of Hereford, and a kinsman of Edward the Confessor. He came to England during the reign of Edward, and was one of the king's chaplains, and held land at Stratton, Cornwall, at the time of Edward's death (Domesday, iv. 216). As a royal chaplain he was present at the dedication of Westminster Abbey on 28 Dec. 1065, and after the conquest witnessed a charter to St. Martin's, London, in 1068, as 'Osbernus Capellanus' " [2]

Early Origins of the Osbert family

The surname Osbert was first found in Kent where "this family descends from a Kentish branch of the family of Fitz-Osberne, seated in that county early in the reign of Henry VI., when Thomas Osberne appeared to a writ of Quo warranto for the Abbey of Dartford." [3] His grandfather was Richard Fitz-Osberne, or Fitz-Osbert who held a fief from Earl Bigot in 1165. Richard's father was Stephen Fitz-Osbert fl. 1152 was son of William Fitz-Osbert, son of Osberne Fitz-Letard who held lands from Odo of Bayeaux in 1086. [3]

Many bearers of the name were descended from Sarum in Normandy. Confirming this ancient origin another source states the "name occurred in England before the Norman Conquest. It is confined south of a line joining the Humber and the Mersey, and its principal area of distribution takes the form of a belt crossing central England from East Anglia to the borders of Wales. [4]

"Several persons bearing it occur in Domesday [Book], as tenants in chief in different counties;" [5] specifically the Osbern variant. [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Gerard filius Oseberne in Huntingdonshire; and Robert Oseberne in Oxfordshire. [6] Osbernus filius Willelmi was recorded in the Curia Regis Rolls for the year 1221 in Buckinghamshire and Henry Osbern, in the Assize Rolls of Cambridgeshire in 1260. John Osebarn was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296 and Walter Hosebarn was found in the Feet of Fines of Cambridgeshire in 1327. [1]

Early History of the Osbert family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Osbert research. Another 74 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1467, 1593, 1659, 1627, 1695, 1643, 1692, 1692, 1694, 1771, 1632, 1712, 1559, 1667, 1639, 1649, 1685, 1639, 1649 and 1671 are included under the topic Early Osbert History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Osbert Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Osborne, Osborn, Osbourne, Osbourn, Osburn, Osburne, Osbern and many more.

Early Notables of the Osbert family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Francis Osborne (1593-1659), an English essayist; Dorothy Osborne, Lady Temple (1627-1695), a British writer of letters and wife of Sir William Temple, 1st Baronet; Sarah Osborne (Osbourne, Osburne, or Osborn) (c. 1643-1692) (nee Warren), one of the first three...
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Osbert Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Osbert family to Ireland

Some of the Osbert family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 127 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Osbert family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Richard Osborn, who settled in Barbados in 1634; Thomas Osborn, who settled in Virginia in 1623; Edward, George, John, Joseph, Mary, William Osborn, who all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.

Contemporary Notables of the name Osbert (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Osbert Mordaunt (1730-1809), British Army officer, and poet
  • Richard Osbert Lumley (b. 1973), 13th Earl of Scarbrough
  • Osbert John de Rozario (1924-2022), Singaporean field hockey player who competed in the men's tournament at the 1956 Summer Olympics
  • Osbert Salvin FRS (1835-1898), English naturalist, best known for co-authoring the 52 volume encyclopedia Biologia Centrali-Americana (1879–1915)
  • Osbert Molyneux (1871-1930), 6th Earl of Sefton
  • Osbert Peake (1897-1966), 1st Viscount Ingleby, British politician, Minister of Pensions and National Insurance (1951-1955)
  • Sir Osbert Lancaster CBE (1908-1986), English cartoonist, author, art critic, and stage designer
  • Osbert Guy Stanhope Crawford (1886-1957), English archaeologist

The Osbert Motto +

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: Pax in bello
Motto Translation: Peace in war.

  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6) on Facebook