The Ormsby Family


Notes about the Ormsby surname

The Ormsby family in County Sligo, Ireland are likely descendants of Lincolnshire man named Thomas Ormsby who settled in Ireland under the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.  The Ormsby family held estates in Sligo, Roscommon and Mayo and their family tree has been documented in Burke’s peerage and other 19th century genealogy works which trace the families of the landed gentry.  (See, for instance, A genealogical and heraldic history of the landed gentry of Ireland.)  I am interested in a branch of this family which was not landed gentry and was from St. John’s parish in Sligo.  They were likely shoemakers.  They may have been an illegitimate branch of the noble Ormsbys.

Surname distribution

Ormsbys in Ireland

Ormsby surname distribution in Ireland

Ormsby surname distribution in Ireland. The Ormsby families are concentrated in Counties Sligo and Mayo

Ormsbys in England

Ormsby surname distribution in England 1881

Ormsby surname distribution in England 1881. The highest concentrations of the name are in Lincolnshire and Harrowgate.

Important branches on my tree

  • James Ormsby and Elizabeth Franklin. James Ormsby and his wife Elizabeth came to Canada in 1831 and cleared a plot of land in Oro Township, Simcoe County, Ontario.  Although I have not yet found the names of James’ parents, I believe that he is from a poor and perhaps illegitimate branch of the Ormsby family in Sligo.  James’s army record hints at this poverty: he was a mere private in the army and listed his profession as cordwainer (shoemaker).
  • James Ormsby and Ellen Reid. Son of James Ormsby and Elizabeth Franklin. James Jr. and his wife Ellen moved away from the Ormsby family farm and worked in Washago and Toronto. Their son AB Ormsby became a famous industrialist in Toronto and later moved to California where he farmed avocados.
  • George Billings Ormsby and Jane Reid. Son of James Ormsby and Elizabeth Franklin.  George B. and his wife had a large family and are the ancestors of many of the Ormsbys remaining in the Simcoe County area.

Ormsbys on Twigged

Ormsby family material on the web

 Posted by at 10:37 am

  One Response to “The Ormsby Family”

  1. I have a great great grandfather who went from Ireland to New Zealand with the Fencibles, who called himself Francis Ormbsy Queenan, he always said he was from the Ormbsy in Sligo, (this was heresay passed down) Does anyone know anything about him

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