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

Origins Available: English, Scottish


The surname Rumsey comes from the place-name Ramsey, which is derived from the Old English words "hramsa" and "eg," which mean "wild garlic" and "island." Thus, the original bearers of the surname came from an island where wild garlic was grown.

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The surname Rumsey was first found in Huntingdon, where the first record of the name was Simund de Ramesie who witnessed the charter by Turstan filius Leuingus of the church of Livingston to the Abbey of Holyrod (c. 1153-1156.) In 1196, Simon's son (or grandson) witnessed a charter to the Church of Coldingham and in the following century many branches of the Clan began to emerge. About 1216, Sir Nessus Ramsay was noted for settling local disputes, and he put his seal on a Charter of King Alexander II of Scotland. William Ramsay was one of the signatories of the Ragman Rolls, when two thousand Earls and Barons were forced to swear fealty to Edward I of England, during the latter's brief conquest of Scotland. But later, in 1320 William Ramsay swore allegiance to King Robert the Bruce of Scotland when he, a Campbell, a Cameron, a MacDuff, a Fergusan and a Murray signed the 'Declaration of Independence' in Arbroath, asserting to the Pope that Scotland would never again be subject to English rule.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Ramsay, Ramsey and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rumsey research. Another 951 words (68 lines of text) covering the years 1335, 1618, 1633, 1700, 1672, 1674, 1682, 1624, 1696, 1673, 1684, 1689, 1646, 1686, 1758, 1686, 1743, 1619, 1688, 1659, 1658 and are included under the topic Early Rumsey History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 149 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rumsey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Rumsey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 167 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rumsey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Robert Rumsey, who arrived in Fairfield, Conn in 1664

Rumsey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • B. Rumsey, aged 39, who landed in America from England, in 1893
  • Charles Rumsey, aged 28, who emigrated to the United States from London, in 1893
  • Albert E. Rumsey, aged 15, who emigrated to the United States, in 1894
  • Elma Rumsey, aged 21, who emigrated to the United States, in 1896

Rumsey Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Charles E. Rumsey, who landed in America, in 1905
  • D.P. Rumsey, aged 50, who settled in America, in 1907
  • Beatrice F. Rumsey, aged 24, who emigrated to America from Northampton, England, in 1908
  • Rumsey, aged 5, who settled in America from Northampton, England, in 1908
  • Edna Rumsey, aged 5, who settled in America, in 1908


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  • Howard Rumsey (1917-2015), American jazz double-bassist
  • Charles Cary Rumsey (1879-1922), American sculptor
  • Elisha Walker Rumsey (d. 1827), American pioneer, co-founder of Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • F. B. Rumsey, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kansas, 1912
  • Harmon Rumsey, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for New York State Assembly from New York County 5th District, 1921, 1922
  • Henry Rumsey (b. 1784), American politician, Supervisor of Ann Arbor Township, Michigan, 1827-28, 1834-35; Member Michigan Territorial Council from Washtenaw County, 1828-29
  • Julian Sidney Rumsey (1823-1886), American Republican politician, Mayor of Chicago, Illinois, 1861-62
  • L. M. Rumsey, American Republican politician, Member, Arrangements Committee, Republican National Convention, 1896
  • Leonard Rumsey, American Democrat politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Wyoming County, 1934
  • Levi Rumsey, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Rensselaer County, 1821-22

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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: Ora et labora
Motto Translation: Pray and work.

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  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  3. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  4. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  5. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  6. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  7. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  8. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  9. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The Rumsey Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Rumsey 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 9 November 2015 at 11:39.

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