Week 25: #52 Ancestors – Same Name
By Eilene Lyon
One of the most problematic lines on my tree is the Orme family. My 3rd-great-grandmother was Christiana Orme, married to Martin R. Smith. Her parents were Nicholas Davis Orme and Penelope Permellee Pell. The Orme, Smith, and Pell families all have ties to Lewis County, Kentucky. My ancestors on these lines migrated to Indiana around 1820.
I’ve had better luck documenting my Smith line back from Martin than I’ve had with Christiana Orme. Why? Because Nicholas Davis Orme’s father was named Moses Orme.
You’d think that wasn’t such a common name, not like my John Smith ancestor. But this name was passed down through generations (I have four generations of Moses Ormes in my tree, assuming I’ve got it correct). And there appear to be other Moses Ormes who may or may not be related to the ones in my tree.
One Moses Orme was a Revolutionary War patriot. Does he belong in my tree? I don’t know. One had 21 slaves in Maryland. Is he mine? Not a clue. Is he the one whose will was proved in 1837? It’s a real sticky wicket, I must say!
Typing in a search for family trees on Ancestry that have a Moses Orme brings up many results, but few of them have much attached documentation. I have 18 documents for the Moses I believe is Nicholas’ father, but I am not 100% certain about them all.
Some trees indicate that Nicholas Davis Orme had a son named Moses H. Orme, but they have clearly made an inductive reasoning error based on the 1850 census. I’ve found no evidence Nicholas ever had a son named Moses. Moses H. is most likely the son of Charles N. Orme, who may be Nicholas’ younger brother.
I do have quite a few DNA matches to other Orme descendants, which gives me some confidence, at least back to Nicholas Davis Orme, and probably to his parents (his mother was Elizabeth Sarah Davis). I think it will take a research trip to Kentucky and Maryland to untangle the knot that is named Moses Orme, if it’s possible at all. Put it on the To Do list!
Feature image: Headstones of Nicholas Davis Orme and Penelope Pell Orme in Round Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis. Submitted on Ancestry.com by Dr. Randall D. Peffer