Ormesby - Norfolk - England.

Genealogy Index | Orme in Place Names

Orme's farm or enclosure (from the Old Norse 'by' - farm or enclosure).

Ormesby is a Norfolk village where people are proud of their origins, the village sign features a Viking longship. The County of Norfolk was named after the people who settled there, North folk. Saxon records called Norwegians 'Northmen' or 'Norsemen', wheras Danes were always Danes, so we can assume that the North-folk were from Norway.

Even today (2002), Norfolk reed barges, used to collect cut reed for thatching, bear a strong resemblance to the shape and construction of Viking boats from 1000 years ago, though there are very few reed barges still afloat.

But what about Orme? Well, he is an elusive fellow who has not turned up in any records yet, but we know that he was there before 1020ad because Ormesby is mentioned in a will from that date. The Norse name Kettle (Ketil) appears in almost every place that 'Orme' can be found, so it comes as no surprise that the will was written by Thurketel. This will is part of the archives of Bury St. Edmunds Church, now stored at the Boidlean Library in Oxford.

Thurketel's will, C1020ad.

er kythet on þis write ihu ic Thurketel an min ahte after min day.
þat is erst þat ic an þat lond at Castre & at Thorpe mid medwe and mid merisce and ingong and vtgong mine soule to alisednesse god and sancte Benedicte and seynt Eadmunde to Biry and to Holm. and mine wyues del euere unbesaken to gyfen and to habben þer hire leuest be. and mine lafard rithte heregete.
And Alfwen mine douter habbe þat lond at Ormisby to þan forwarde þat he it ne may forwirken. and after hire day. go þat lond into Holme for mine soule and for hire bußen þat lond þat Omund ahte þat habbe Ketel mine nefe.
and þat lond at Scrouteby habben mine nefe kild Swegner sunen & Alemundes.
And an pund habbe se Abbot on Holm. an other se Abbot on Byri. and mine men fre þo it ihernen wellen. And wo so þis quides bereuen wille. bereue hym god heueriche. bußen he it her bete.
þise write sinden þre. and is on Holme and oþer on Byri. þridde mid Thurkitel seluen.

Here, my family, I Thurkettle write of my desire after my day.
I leave my land at Caister and Thorpe, with meadows and lakes, for my soul and the blessedness of God and Saint Benedict and Saint Edmund, to the churches at Bury and Holme. Tell my wife that she need not give up the land, but should take her living from it, and my Lord can have it thereafter.
My daughter, Alfwen, shall have the land at Ormesby so that she may continue to work it. After her day the land will go to the church at Holme for the good of my soul, and for her atonement the land that Onund left to my nephew Ketel can go to the church.
I leave my land at Scratby to my nephews, the sons of Swegner and Alemundes.
And your Abbot at Holme shall have a pound, and the Abbot at Bury another, and my free men (though it will shake them), and whosoever will mourn, and let him remember me yearly and pray for my atonement.
This is written three times, one copy is at Holme, another at Bury, and the third with Thurkettle.


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