Category Archives: To research

Is This Slandering, NY Church Duke?

I was just trolling through the website and came across an entry for Ormsbys in the American Civil War. Listed is a “DC Ormsby” who was a Chaplain for one year (on the side of the Union thank goodness!). He’s listed as being from New York and that’s the right time for our disgraced New York church guy Duke Compton, because he was in the NY church between 1860 and 1866 before being disciplined for some reason and thrown out.

Updated: Hmm… maybe not. I found this entry on the official civil war records site. It lists a Reid DC Ormsby from NY who was a chaplain. So unless that’s a typo, he’s probably not our NY Duke.


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Notes to Mum (and myself)

Today I signed up for a free trial on, which means I’ve been able to check all kinds of things I couldn’t see before.

Here are some notes of things we have to pursue:

Tram Duke

Mum had already looked for San Francisco Tram Duke leaving England (we have him on a UK census in 1901 and then we know he was involved in a train accident in New York in 1906) and couldn’t find him in the immigration records. I can’t either, although I found US censuses that say he left moved to the US in 1904, when he would have been 17.

But then I decided to look for his family members and I found his mother (Hannah) and 2 of his siblings leaving in 1910 for New York. It seems they left dad at home in Liverpool because she lists her husband as her UK contact and gives his address as West Derby, Liverpool.

Then I found the other brother, William Henry Gilbert Ormsby, living with Hannah and the daughter (Adelaide) in San Francisco in 1920. They were living close to Duke because they share the same district. It says William left England in 1907, so 3 years after Duke and 3 years before his mum left. Here’s that census.

He joined the US army in 1942 and on the form, he lists his birthplace as Belly Castle, County Mayo, but I think he means Ballycastle. I wonder if the whole family was from the same place? I hope we’re from there – it looks lovely! (btw – Kilfyan Duke is near Ballycastle and we already know we have a Duke there in the 1800s).

Ballinglen Duke

I also found this Duke, in 1901, listed in the Parliamentary Papers as renting a property in Ballinglen, which is here – very close to Ballycastle.

I don’t think we’ve found a Duke yet who isn’t either from this part or Ireland, or born to a father from there. Must check that.

Oswego NY Dukes

Also interesting – the Oswego Ormsbys have a William Henry as well as two Dukes, although I haven’t figured out how he fits in just yet. I just found him online. But what’s the likelihood that they woud have two Duke Cs and one William Henry and NOT be related to William Henry father of Tram Duke C.?

Sligo George Duke

I found another Duke (albeit Duke is his middle name) in “The Irish law times and solicitors’ journal” printed and published by J. Falconer, 1868


I think this is him, listed as a landowner in the 1870s:

George Duke Ormsby, address Miltown Pass, Co. Westmeath, owned 372 acres in Co. Sligo valued at 246 pounds 12 shillings.

So although he’s the first Duke we’ve found who’s not in County Mayo, he owns land in Sligo, which is the same area as all our other Dukes.

Canada Duke?

Do we have a Duke Ormsby in Canada? Or was he writing from another country? This is a snippet from a book you can’t view on Google, but it seems that a Duke Ormsby wrote to Robert Baldwin, a Canadian Prime Minister between 1804 and 1858, in 1848.

Iowa Duke

Our Iowa Duke is on the 1930 US census and says his father was from England and his mother from ireland. No names unfortunately and no towns. He was born in New York though in around 1865.


In other news: I wonder if this means the Ormsbys held on to Killeena? I found this gravestone online:


I came across this rather confusing answer to a question on a geneology forum. Of interest to us is this:

As you see Mary had a brother named Duke, she also had a cousin Duke, and uncle George Duke and a great grand uncle Duke.

Of course, this mystery Mary is from County Mayo.

So much to research, so little time!

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Duke Ormsby in York

How is this Duke Ormsby related?

He was born in York and is still there in 1881 at age 13. His father was John Ormsby, who says he was born in Bellmond Ireland, but when I google Bellmond, Ireland, I don’t find anything. Does he mean Belmont? If so, he’d be the first Duke I’ve found who originates from the north of Ireland.

This could be significant because my great great grandfather James moved from Ireland to York and his father was called Duke. In 1881, James was 33. I’ve assumed all Dukes came from southern Ireland, but maybe not?

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