A History of the Ormsby Family

Compiled by

Robert F Ormsby


My deep interest in the study of the American Civil War was the initial reason behind the charts and individual histories that follow. In late 1985 I discovered that my great-grandfather (Adin Ormsby) had been a member of the Union Army and died in 1864 while serving with the 107th New York volunteer infantry. After obtaining his service records from the National Archives I became deeply interested in locating where Adin was buried. In September 1986 I had the great personal satisfaction of visiting Adin's grave, probably the first blood relative to do so in the 122 years since his death. But I discovered much more about my family than I had ever imagined when this study began. I had always been told that Adin Ormsby was the first Ormsby (of our branch of the family) to be born in America. Adin's father was purportedly Welsh and had immigrated from Wales sometime around 1840. In early August 1986 I found this old family belief to be completely wrong. From the data that I had compiled by mid 1986, I knew that Adin had enlisted in the Union Army from the small village of Howard Township, Steuben County, New York. At that time I still had not discovered the location of Adins Grave (that information became Known in late August, 1986), and I decided to visit Steuben County in the faint hope of finding it. I, of course, did not find Adin's grave but I did find the graves of his grandmother and grandfather, Luther and Sally Ormsby, my Great Great Great paternal grandparents! Through the professional help of Mildred Lyke, (historian of Howard Township) and Marion Springer (Steubin County Clerk's Office). I have been able to reconstruct that part of the Ormsby family history that had been totally unknown to my generation of the family. My personal thanks go to these two fine ladies for there invaluable assistance.

Robert F Ormsby
56 Washington Avenue
Williamstown, NJ 08094
(609) 629-6494
November 3, 1986


Consequently After I had completed my history of the Ormsby family (in the Fall of 1986), which traced the family back to the birth of Luther Ormsby (1781 1863), I prepared copies of it and sent them to several of my relatives. One copy went to Mrs. Gail (Ormsby) Byers, my niece and the daughter of George W. Ormsby. Gail's interest in the family's history has always been deep and when she read that Luther Ormsby had been born in Connecticut, the state in which Gail presently resides, she decided to investigate further. Gail contacted the state library in Hatford, Ct. and discovered a genealogical document that ended where mine had begun, with Luther Ormsby. Through Gail's efforts she was able to take the Ormsby family history back another five generations, to at least the year 1638, when a Richard Ormsby (1607-1664) immigrated to America from England., I have added two new pages (Roman numericals I & II) to the family tree section and several more pages of "notes", designated A, B, C etc. The Information that Gail discovered was compiled for a Francis G. Ormsby of Easton, Pa in 1965 and is entitled "Families of Connecticut prior to 1800". It was prepared by Claude W. Barlow Ph.D., of Clark University, Worcester, Mass.

So, due to the combined efforts of my niece and myself, my grandchildren are able to trace the Ormsby family in America for about 350 years and their grandparents, preceded by eleven (11) "Greats".

Robert F. Ormsby
Williamstown, NJ
August 12, 1987


Richard Ormsby first appears in America in 1641 at the settlement in York, now Maine. His signature appears as arbitrator of a 1641, recorded in York Deed's, Part I, folio 86. It would appear that he must have been here somewhat earlier. C. E. Banks, History of York, 1 (1931) p. 46, says that he was in York prior to 1636. He was a "planter" of the York settlement on Agamenticus Creek (York River) near Point Bolleyne or Bollogne, on the east side of the River and on the south side of Meeting House (now Barrell's Creek, near where it enters the York River. This area had been assigned to Edward Godfrey in 1641. The inhabitants, including Richard Ormsby, became members of the ill-fated "city of Gorgeana," incorporated by Sir Fernando Gorges March 1, 1641-2. Banks (op. cit. 163) states that Ormsby removed to New Hampshire in 1643; Wilbur D. Spencer, Pioneers on Maine Rivers (Portland 1930) pp. 138-141, says that Ormsby had removed to Boston in 1645, by which year his house and lot in York had been acquired by Henry Lynn. Certain it is that in the same year 1645 he became an original "planter" of the town of Salisbury, only a few miles south on the Atlantic coast. There he had two sons recorded and here or in Haverhill he was found almost every year to 1662. He took the oath as freeman of Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1649 and appeared occasionally as a member of various juries in Essex County. When giving witness in court at Hampton 5:8:1659 he gave his age as "fifty-two years," thus placing his birth close to 1607. He possessed a dwelling house and land in Salisbury until June 1662, and is mentioned in Records and Files of the Quarterly Court of Essex County, Mass. In vol. 2 p. 411 are found two sworn depositions by John Ormsby, Richard's oldest son. In the first on 12:2:1662 he called himself "aged about twenty years" and in the second on 23:4:1662 "aged about twenty-one years." If he had reached his twenty-first birthday between that we would call April 12 and June 23, then he was born between those dates in 1641.

Richard Ormsby went next to Rehoboth in Plymouth Colony, where he survived only two years, dying on June 30, 1664. In the birth records of the children in Salisbury and in the probate of his estate his wife's name was Sarah. The widow was living Oct. 3, 1665.

NOTE: The above information was compiled in 1965 by Dr. Claude W. Barlow of dark University, Worchester, Mass.

Robert F. Ormsby
November 30, 1987


John Ormsby , born York, Maine, 1641, died Rehoboth, Mass. March 10, 1717-8, son of Richard and Sarah Ormsby. He married at Rehoboth January 5, 1664, Grace Martin, bap. At Ottery St. Mary, Devonshire, Eng. June 16, 1633, died Rehoboth July 4, 1710, daughter of Richard and Elizabeth (Salter) Martin and granddaughter of Richard Martin of Ottery St. Mary. John Ormsby became a proprietor of Rehoboth in 1668 and served as one of Capt. Gallup's company in 1690 on Sir William Phipp's expedition against Quebec. (Ref. NEHGR 13:133.) His service has been recognized by the society of Colonial Wars. He left a will, dated October 31, 1717, which mentions sons John, Jonathan, Joseph, Jacob "if he came home"; grandson Joshua, son of Joshia dec.; daughters Mary Sabin, dec., Sarah Lane, Elizabeth Ormsby, Martha Franklin.

NOTE: The above information was compiled in 1965 by Dr Claud W Barlow of Clark University, Worchester, Mass.

Robert F Ormsby
November 30, 1987.


John Ormsby, born at Rehoboth, Mass. April 12, 1667, died at Norwich, Conn. July II, 1728, son of John and Grace (Martin) Ormsby. He married at Rehoboth about 1695 Susannah --ó--, of whose family no trace has so far been found. She died at Norwich Dec. 26, 1752. On Dec. 10, 1700 he was offered communion in the church of Windham, Conn., showing that he was preparing to move his family there, which he probably did in 1702 or 1703. The Land Records of Windham show that he had moved to Norwich before 1722: He apparently did not own land in Norwich, and there is no probate of his estate.

NOTE : The above information was compiled in 1965 by Dr. Claude W. Barlow of Clark University, Worchester, Mass.

Robert F. Ormsby November 30, 1987


Samuel Ormsby, born Windham, Conn. May 8, 1708, died Norwich, Conn. before Feb. 2, 1758, son of John and Susannah Ormsby. He married in Norwich Sept. 9, 1731 Dinah Fisher of Rehoboth, Mass., of whose death there is no record. Samuel Ormsby received from his uncle Joseph one-half of the latter's land in 1731 and was offered communion in the Norwich church May 28, 1732. Dinah was offered communion In the Franklin church Dec. 14, 1735. Deeds show that they lived in Norwich West Society, later Franklin, Conn. They moved to Windham by 1740, where Dinah was admitted to the church Aug. 30 and Samuel on Oct. II. A deed in Norwich shows that they had recently returned there in 1755. Bond to administer the estate of Samuel Ormsby was signed in Norwich Feb. 2, 1758 by Matthew Hide. A part of the estate was paid to the town of Norwich for support given the family while they were sick with smallpox.

NOTE; The above information was compiled in 1965 by Dr. Claude W. Barlow of Clark University, Worchester, Mass.

Robert F. Ormsby
November 30. 1987


Ephraim Ormsby was born in Norwich, Conn. on Sept. 5, 1736, the third child of Samuel Ormsby and Dinah Fisher. In 1762 he married a Ruth Hibbard in Windham, Conn. and they had three children.Deeds show that Ephraim moved from Windham to that part of Norwich, Conn. that became Franklin. His wife, Dinah, died prior to 1778, for on April 7th of that year he married his second wife, a Ruth Hyde in Norwich. Ephraim Ormsby and Ruth Hyde had a total of six children. There is a stone in the old Franklin Plains Cemetery for Ruth Ormsby, wife of Ephraim Ormsby, died Aug. 16. 1805, age 55. The Franklin VR entry calls her a widow and states that she died in Lebannon, Conn., but the Hyde Family genealogy states that Ephraim survived and went to live in Pennsylvania after her death.

NOTE: The above information was compiled in 1965 by Dr. Claude W. Barlow of Clark University, Worchester, Mass.

Robert F. Ormsby
November 30, 1987

Note I

Luther Ormsby was born In Connecticut and at one time probably Lived in Pennsylvania since his son, Elihu, was born in Pennsylvania in 1806. Luther and his wife Sally, apparently settled in Howard Twp., Steuben County, New York about 1850, since they appear on the 1850 census for Steuben County.In the 1850 census Luther is noted as a farmer and his age at 69 years.

As of this date (1986) I have not been able to determine his wife's (Sally) maiden name. Both Luther and Sally are buried in the Howard Cemetery, Howard Twp., New York

August 19, 1986


Elihu Ormsby was born in Pennsylvania in 1806. He apparently also lived in Broome County, New York since all three of his sons were born in Broome County. This information was taken from the 1850 census of Steuben County, New York. In that census he was noted as a farmer and age 44 years. I have not been able to find his wife's (Elizabeth, also called Betsey) maiden name. Also, I have been unable to determine when they died, but they were still listed in 1870 census of Steuben County. There place of burial is not known for certain, but it may be in the same plot as his father in the Howard Cemetery, Howard Twp., New York. The plot is large enough for eight graves but only two people are shown to be buried there.

August: 19, 1986


Very little is known of Luther Ormsby, Jr. He is shown in the 1855 and 1860 census for Steuben County, New York. His wife, Margaret, is apparently his second wife since she was only 24 years old in 1855, and Luther's children (Oman & Albert) are listed as 14 and 9. No information can be found as to the name of his first wife. The same 1855 census shows that Luther, Jr. was born in Otsego County, New York; Margaret was born in Pennsylvania; the two sons were born in Illinois. He is listed as a farmer. As of this writing I have no idea where any of the four are buried.

August 19, 1986

Note 4 (Revised )

Adin Ornisby was born in Broome County, New York in about 1842. In the 1860 census for Stcuben County, New York he is listed as a farmer, age 19, living with his Father, Elihu, in Howard Twp., Steuben County, New York. Adin married Sylvia Green in the Baptist Church, Towlesvilic, New York on January 1, 1862 by Rev. William L. Andrews. On August 5, 1862 he joined the 107th New York Infantry (Company K) at Elmira, New York. The 107th fought at the bloody battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862 and Adin was present for duty at that time. The 107th was transferred to the Western Theatre in late 1863 or early 1864 and was with General Sherman on his famous "March to the Sea". On May 18, 1864 Adin died of a renal infection at the Main Street U.S. Army Hospital in Covington, Kentucky. He is buried at the Camp Nelson Military Cemetery, section G, grave 1972. (Sec note 4-A). Camp Nelson is located about 25 miles south of Lexington, Kentucky. On June 4, 1867 Adin's widow, Sylvia, was remarried to a Morton Brown of Howard Township, New York. They were married in Dryden, New York (Tompkins County) and lived in Groton, New York, also in Toinkins County. Prior to 1876 the Browns moved to Rosenhayn, New Jersey (Cumberland County) and lived there for some time. After several years in Rosenhayn Sylvia and Morton returned to New York and probably relocated somewhere in Tomkins County. Frank A. Ormsby then a young man, remained in Rosenhayn to pursue a trade. At the time of this writing I have been unable to locate where Syliva 0rmsby/ Brown is buried or when she died. However, I feel that it was probably in the Tornkins County area of New York State.

Robert F. Ormsby
August 26, 1987


(Revised 10/6/87)

Edgar Ormsby was born in Broome County, N.Y. (as were his brothers, Adin and Robert), and moved to Howard Twp., Steuben County, New York with his parents. He is first shown in the Steuben County census of 1855 as a boy ten (10) years old. During the American Civil War he enlisted in the 76th New York (Vols.) infantry regiment. Co. C. He was mustered into service on 9/16/1861 and discharged on 11/16/1864 as a corporal. On May 8, 1864, during the Battle of the Wilderness. he was wounded in the right arm, shattering his elbow. As a result of the wound he ultimately received a small pension.

In September 1856 Edgar married a Louisa S. Schell. They had four children: Burfert E., Curtis H., Fay L.and Carrie M. In October 1868 Edgar and his new bride moved to Traverse City, Michigan, and spent the rest of their lives there According to my research, Edgar worked as a laborer and farmer.

Edgar's wife, Louisa, died some time prior to 1907, for on July 25, 1907 lie married again; his second wife's name was Hannah Krumn. Edgar died on January 24, 1915 in Traverse City and is most probably buried in that city. His last known address was 202 W. 12th Street, Traverse City, Michigan.

Robert F. Ormsby
October 6. 1987


(Revised 9/10/87)

Robert L. Ormsby was born in Broome County, New York and moved to Steuben County, New York with his parents. He first appears on the Steuben County (Howard Twp.) census of 1850 as a boy of five (5) years of age. During the American Civil War Robert joined the 179th (Co. B) New York Infantry regiment as a private and served for fourteen (14) months. He saw action at the siege of Petersburg, Virginia and was injured during a night assault made on April 2, 1865. His injury, which affected his back and kidneys, came from falling over an obstacle of some kind (probably a log) during the charge. In 1885 he received a disability pension of $4.00 per month, retroactive to 1865, and $8.00 per month from 1885 on in connection with his injury. After the war Robert returned to Howard Twp. and lived there for about five (5) years. In the early 1870's he "went west" and traveled in the states of Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Indiana for about three (3) years. About .1874 he again returned to the Steuben County area of New York. Some time after Robert returnee to Steuben County he married Adell Bolster (A.K.A. Ida) and they had at least one child: Jennie E. Ormsby, born in l880. I'm almost certain that they had more than one child but I've been unable to identify the others. Robert died on November 20, 1895 and is buried in the Hillside Cemetery, Greenwood Avenue, Canisteo, New York. His grave is located in the old section of the Cemetery, at the top of the hill, on the west side. His wife Adell, is not buried with him. I have no idea where she is buried but she was still alive in 1907 and lived in Cortland County, New York.

Robert F. Ormsby
September 10, 1987


(Revised 10/16/87)

This is the first of the Ormsbys that I knew personally, as Frank A. Ormsby was my grandfather. He was born in Howard Twp., Steuben County, New York. He was the only child of Adin Ormsby and Sylvia Green. Frank's father died as a soldier in the Civil War and his mother remarried in 1867. Frank (age 2 years, 4 months) and his mother (A.K..A. "Silvey") appear on the Steuben County census of 1865. In 1867 Frank's mother was remarried to a Morton Brown and all three moved to Rosenhayn, Cumberland County, New Jersey. Frank continued to live in Rosenhayn even after his mother and stepfather had returned to New York. Frank married a Lillie L. Schortz (also spelled Shortz in some documents) from the Bethlehem area.They had a total of eight children but only five lived until maturity. Frank and his family moved to Williamstown, New Jersey about 1910 and lived at 380 Walnut Street. He worked as a clothing cutter when in Rosenhayn and in the Bodine Glass factory when he moved to Williamstown. He also worked for the Camden Forge Company for several years later in his life. Frank, his wife Lillie, and three of their children are buried at the Rosenhayn Cemetery, Bridgeton Avenue, Rosenhayn, New Jersey.

Robert F. Ormsby
October 16, 1987


Christine C. Ormsby was the first-born child of Frank A. Ormsby and Lillie L Schortz. Like all the Ormsby children of that generation she was born in Rosenhayn, New Jersey. She was only 16 when she married Steve Labriola and they moved to the Vineland/Minotola area of Cumberland County, New Jersey Christine and Steve had a total of eight children, but only three (Joe, Frank and Wilbert) lived to maturity. Christine died in 1920 while giving birth to her eighth child, who also died. She is buried in the Sacred Heart Cemetery, Walnut Road, Vineland, New Jersey. Later Steve married Martha Wright, who was better known by everyone as "Dolly". Dolly raised Steve's three sons and was greatly respected as a fine person and mother. Steve Labriola worked in the clothing manufacturing business all of his life. He rose to be a supervisor in several different clothing factories in the Cumberland County area. Steve died in 1964 and Dolly in 1965. Both are buried in the Siloam Cemetery, N. Valley Avenue, Vineland; New Jersey.

November 3, 1986

Note 9

Ellena Ormsby, also known as "Lena", was born in Rosenhayn (Cumberland County) New Jersey. She married William H. Clee and raised three children Charles, William and Christine. Ellena and William Clee were divorced and she remarried Thomas Sykes, who was an English citizen from Barbados. Ellena had no children in her second marriage. Her former husband, William, also remarried and had several children by his second wife. For several years Lena and Tom Sykes owned and operated a small general store in the Fries Mills section of Franklin Twp., N.J. The store, now gone, was located on the curve of the Clayton-Williamstown road, across from Wilson's Lake. Lena is buried with her second husband, Tommy, in the Brotherhood Cemetery, Walnut street, Williamstown, N. J. Interestingly, her first husband (William Clee) and her eldest son, Charles, are also buried in the same Cemetery.

September 1, 1986


George F. Ormsby was born in Rosenhayn, New Jersey in 1897. He was the fourth child born in a family of eight children, and was the oldest son to reach maturity. About 1910 his parents moved to Williamstown, New Jersey so that the father (Frank) could work at the Bodine Glass factory. George, who was big for his age, went to work at the glass factory when he was about 14 or 15 years of age, and went on to become a journeyman in the business. In 1917 George married Elizabeth C. Ware who lived in the Robbanna section of Monroe Twp. About 1919 George and his family (they then had one son) moved to western Pennsylvania where he went to work for some other glass works. Actually, since he was a very good baseball player, he went to play baseball during the summer months and work in the factory once the season had ended. About 1921 George and his family returned to Williamstown, where he lived for the rest of his life. He worked as an iceman for a while and then took over a bowling alley-pool room-restaurant operation located in "Rammel's Hall" (where Atlantic Dress now operates) on Main Street in Williamstown. In 1929 George became Williamstown's (actually Monroe Township) first policeman. In fact he was the town's only policeman for several years and was on call 24 hours a day. Later on, when more officers where put on the force, George became the chief of police of Monroe Township. On September 4, 1953 George was drowned while fishing in the Delaware Bay. Of the three men in the boat, only one (Joe Burger) lived through the accident George and a young man by the name of Joseph Ambrosia both died. George and his wife, Elizabeth, are buried in the Brotherhood Cemetery, Walnut Street, Williamstown, New Jersey.

October 14 1986


Fred W. Ormsby was born In Rosenhayn (Cumberland County) N.J. in 1899. He was the fifth child (3rd son) of Frank A. Ormsby and Lillie L. Schortz. About 1910 he moved to Williamstown, N.J. with his parents and spent the rest of his life in that part of Gloucester County. Fred married Christine Bishop and they raised three children: Lilly, Kenneth and John. In the early 30's, and for several years, Fred operated a small grocery store and gas station near Wilson's Lake (between Williamstown and Clayton) in Franklin Twp. Fred's major vocation for most of his adult life, however, was a machinist. He worked for several companies during his career, including the old Camden Forge. But Fred was a man of varied interests; he started the first taxi service in Williamstown and, also, for several years he owned and operated a small restaurant and coffee shop called the "Hub". Fred died in 1976 and his wife, Christine, in 1979. Fred and Christine are buried in the Brotherhood Cemetery on Walnut Street in Williamstown. Interestingly, his brother George and sister Ellena are also buried in the same Cemetery.

October 23. 1986

Note 12

Franklin C. Ormsby was born in 1905 and was the youngest child of Frank A. Ormsby to reach maturity. Like all of his brothers and sisters he was born in Rosenhayn, New Jersey and moved to Williamstown, New Jersey when he was about five years of age. As a young man Franklin (better known as "Frank") worked at various jobs in the southern New Jersey area. He worked for the old Camden Forge Company, the Camden Electric Company and the Vineland Electric Company. Finally he joined the Atlantic City Electric Company and worked there the rest of his life, ultimately reaching a supervisory position. Frank married Dorothy Gay about 1923. Although Dorothy was born in Brooklyn, New York, she lived in the Fries Mill section of Franklin Township (Gloucester County) when she and Frank wed. About 1930 Frank and Dorothy moved to Vineland, New Jersey, where they lived for about four years while Frank was employed by the Vineland Electric Company. About 1935 they moved to Salem, New Jersey when Frank became employed by the Atlantic City Electric Company. Frank spent the rest of his life as a resident of Salem. Frank and Dorothy raised two children: Ralph and Vivian. Frank died in 1968 and is buried in the Lawnside Cemetery, just outside Woodstown, New Jersey. At the time this was written Dorothy is still living in Salem, New Jersey.

October 27, 1986


George W. Ormsby, the first child and son of George F. Ormsby, was born in Williamstown, New Jersey in 1918. As of the date this was written George W. Ormsby is alive and retired from the Prudential Insurance Company. He lives about six months a year on Lindale Avenue in Williamstown, New Jersey and the balance of the year in Ft. Pierce, Florida. George's first wife, Mildred Jaffe, died of cancer in 1977 and is buried in the Brotherhood Cemetery, Walnut Street, Williamstown, New Jersey. George and Mildred had one child a daughter. Gail, who now lives in Connecticut. George was remarried in 1978 to Anna Pavlik (nee: Fosnar). Since George W. Ormsby still enjoys outstanding health, this summary will be fully updated at, what Is hoped, a much later date.

October 28. 1986


Adin Ormsby was born in 1921, the second child of George F. Ormsby and Elizabeth C. Ware. He was born while George and Elizabeth lived In Williamstown, New Jersey, shortly after they returned from Pennsylvania. Adin lived approximately 36 hours; he was born on a Saturday morning and died the next evening. He was what today would be called a "blue baby". In 1921, unlike today, medical science was unable to save his life. He is buried in an unmarked grave in the same lot as his parents in the Brotherhood Cemetery, Walnut Street, Williamstown, New Jersey.

October 28, 1986


Ormsby Family Tree