Origin of the Name


Information obtained from papers of June Aitken (nee Ormsby).

The name came originally from the "SCOTS" word "ORM" meaning Elm tree, or, as applied to a person would mean one who comes from a place by or near an elm tree. The BEE or BY means a place hence the names Ormsbee, Ormsby, or Ormsbey were derived from "One who comes from Orm's place.

About the year 750 AD, "Orm of the Scandinavian Peninsula," joined a group of sailors, under the leadership of a Viking Sea King bent on plundering the coast of Scotland and capturing land for Viking settlements.

ORM was a Viking who was born in the early part of the eighth century in what is now known as Sweden, he was noted for his tremendous skill in battle and also his great strength. However, it seems that in battle he was apt to become subject to strange fits of berserk rage and frequently flung down his weapon and would rush unarmed to meet his adversary, and later, as we will see, this led to his downfall.

There are many stories told about ORM, some of which have some foundation of truth. It is said that he used to wield a sword with one hand that any other man would have difficulty in wielding with two hands.

It is also said, on one occasion, to have crushed the skull of a large bear, which attacked him, with one blow of his fist. It was Orm's boast that he could wrestle and defeat any two strong men of his day.

When he joined the Viking sea king who was going to the Scottish coast, he and a handful of men under his leadership, in there Viking long boat, were welcomed as an addition to the party. At that time ORM in his prime must have been about thirty years of age.

As they neared the coast of Scotland, the Scots came out in their own ships to give battle. The Vikings, fearful that the Scots were too strong to overpower, and wishing to spur his men to greater effort, called them together and promised that he would grant the rulership of the captured territory to the first man who put his foot on Scottish soil. The battle with the Scots, was fought about a mile from the coast of Scotland, and as the Scottish ships drew closer, the Vikings swarmed on board. Although outnumbered three to one by the Scots, they were able to defeat them.

When orm's ship came alongside of one of the Scottish ships, ORM was the first to board, and it was said, that with one blow of his mighty sword. He killed the three leading Scots, and laying about, he had accounted for about six of the Scots when he was overcome by one of his uncontrollable fits of berserk rage. Flinging aside his sword, he rushed at his nearest foeman and, lifting him high in the air he smote his head on the side of the ship, bashing out his brains. But in doing so he neglected his other foman, and as he turned to defend himself, the broad axe of a Scottish Chieftain severed his leg just above the knee. Notwithstanding this ORM appears to have encircled the Scottish chief in his arms and crushed the life from him. Evidently this incident marked the end of the battle and ORM appears to have killed, with the aid of his crew, the crew of the Scottish Chieftains boat, which outnumbered them three to one. With rude surgery that the Vikings had, they succeeded in bandaging Orm's leg and as the night was drawing near, they spent it about one mile from the coast of Scotland.

Next morning, ORM, despite his frightful injury, insisted on taking leadership of his crew, and as the Viking ship neared the coast ORM picked up his severed leg and threw it on the shore before the others had the opportunity to land, and claimed the reward for having been the first man of the crew to put his foot on Scottish soil.

The Viking Chief kept his word and ORM became ruler of the captured territory. After subjugating the Scottish people, Orm settled in the new country and a few months later went back to Scandinavia and returned with a wife, different from most of his crew who selected fresh wives from amongst the wives of Scottish Chieftains who had been slain in battles previously. Orm only had one wife and as far as the records show he remained true to her during the whole of his life. After making the settlement he never went a Viking again and it is believed that he lived to a considerable age. Although he was much handicapped by the loss of his leg he was still reckoned one of the strongest men in the land. Orm had seven children three boys and four girls. The girls married and nothing further is heard of them. Two of the sons in accordance with the Viking customs went away to far distant lands and no true record of them is known although it is believed that one of these Vikings in his ships penetrated into the Mediterranean Sea and went over land to India. A certain Ormus Kahn, who as a border tribesman in the North of India, of Pathan ancestry, and who later fought for the British in the Great war was reputed to be a direct lineal descendant of one of Orms children. But although there are many legends to this effect little is known of this branch of the family. Of the other two of Orms children both married and had children although one died in battle at an early age. The other son was a man of tremendous strength like his Sire and had much strength and fighting ability. It is definitely known that he had four children and from their children are descended the Ormsby clan. Later the "Bey" "By" "Bee" was added meaning the place over which Orm ruled and the name was changed to Ormsby meaning Orm's place. The settlement grew and prospered and after many generations they quarreled with the government of England. After considerable fighting the king of England offered to grant a title and land in Lincolnshire to the Ormsby ruler if he would accept same, relinquishing his control, and live peaceable, and as a English subject. Ormsby accepted and moved to Lincolnshire England. The remaining Ormsby tribe scattered and nothing further is known of them. The English family however, became quite prominent but little worthy of note was heard from them until the middle of the 11th century. About this time England was defending herself against William the Conqueror of Normandy in Northern France. The title head of the Ormsby's mingled with fray and through some unfortunate circumstances abducted the daughter of a Norman Nobleman, who in turn stole the heart of Ormsby's oldest son. The son aided her to escape and accompanied her to her native land where they married. This brought Norman praise upon the head of young Ormsby and he was knighted Sir William de Ormsby, knight by the Norman crown. He entered the war under William the Conqueror and returned to England fighting on the side of France. After the subjection of England the king under instructions of William the Conqueror granted to young Sir William de Omrsby Kt. "All lands he (the family) possesses before. Sir William de Ormsby than became head of the Ormsby family in England and his descendants come down to the present day. The Ormsby Crest is a mans arm holding in the hand the human armored leg as though he were about to throw it. Undoubtedly this is to hold in memory the history of how the Ormsby's came to existence.


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