This surname is a dialectal variant form of the locational name "Ormshaw", and describes a former inhabitant of this now "lost" medieval village in Lancashire. The derivation is from the Norse-Viking "ormr" translating as snake, serpent or dragon, plus "scaga", a shaw, the Middle English word for a wood or thicket. The developed form as Ormsher or Ormshire may describe one who comes from or works at Ormshaw, but more likely is a "slang" form of "Ormshaw", created by verbal usage over the centuries. Either way the name is very old, as shown below. Examples of the recordings include the following: Edward Ormshire, christened at St. Peter's, Liverpool, on January 11th 1777, Henry Ormsher, who married Mary Aspinall, at Halsall, on May 24th 1781, and Robert Ormsher, a witness at St. Peter's, Liverpool, on January 18th 1801, at the christening of his daughter, Susannah. The christening was recorded in Lancashire of Edward, son of James and Charlotte Ormesher, on October 23rd 1831 at St. Peter's, Liverpool. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alice Ormisher, which was dated January 12th 1571, christened at Augton by Ormskirk, Lancashire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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