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[for John’s parents, siblings and children see page ‘ORMSBY’ at top of screen]

John (Pa) ORMSBY was born on 14 May 1856 on Brickrow Farm, St. Quivox, Ayrshire, Scotland. He was the second son named John to be born to James ORMSBY and his wife Helen STEEL since a younger son of the same name died in infancy. Giving a second child the same name as a deceased infant sibling was a not uncommon practice at the time. This was done to ensure that grandparents’ names were carried down the line of descendants.

John was 15 when his father died in October 1871. John’s older brother Richard had already left home. If his older brother James was still at home he left shortly after, probably in November 1871 when he turned 21 and was able to claim the £100 endowment policy left to him by his father. Younger brother Henry was only 12 and still at school. Consequently it fell to John and his brother Andrew (23) to stay at home on Brickrow Farm and provide for the remaining family.

Photo above: John Ormsby on 30 October 1924, Brickrow Farm, at the marriage of his daughter Jean to James Crawford McGuire. The photograph is from the collection of an Ormsby family descendant who still lives in Ayrshire, Scotland.

For the twenty years between 1871 and 1891 John farmed and lived at the Ormsby home of Brickrow with his mother Helen and older siblings Helen and Andrew. Both the 1881 and 1891 census listed his mother Helen as the Head of the family. The family must have worked hard as Brickrow increased in size by 26 acres in the ten years after the death of John’s father in 1871. In 1881 the farming operation required a farm servant and a domestic servant, although by 1891 only one ‘general domestic servant’ was employed by the family.

In 1894 John, 38, married 20 year old Helen Ramsay MUIR at her home of Mainholm Farm, Ayrshire.

For more information on Helen Ramsay MUIR and on the family she had with John ORMSBY see posting (to be posted)