Steven Butler's Family History Website



The Orme Family

By Steven R. Butler, Ph.D.

Introduction | Robert Orme [1] | John Orme | Robert Orme [2] | Dorothea Orme

The Butler and Orme families are allegedly related by virtue of the marriage of a 4th great-grandfather on my mother's side of the family, Francis Jenkins, to Dorothea Henrietta Maria Edmonston Orme. There is some uncertainty, however, as to the precise nature of the connection. The following line of descent is an educated guess, based on both assumptions and documentary evidence.

Robert Orme [1], "The Transportee"

Robert Orme [1], from Burton-on-Trent, East Staffordshire, England, was reportedly born about about 1650.1 In February 1673, as either a convict or prisoner-of-war, he was received for transportation to America.2 He died in Prince George's County, Maryland in 1715.3 His will names the following heirs:

  1. son, Robert
  2. son, John
  3. son, Moses (minor)
  4. son, Aron or Aaron (minor)
  5. daughter Sarah Tannyhill
  6. grandson John Tannyhill
  7. grandson Robert Orme (parent not identified, but probably son Robert)
  8. 4

No wife is named, which almost certainly means that he died a widower. His wife's name, according to one researcher (who does not provide any supporting evidence) was Sarah James, born 20 January 1648, date of death unknown.5

Daughter Sarah Tannyhill (also spelled Tannehill) was reportedly the wife of Andrew Tannyhill (or Tannehill), Sr.6

John Orme

Should not be confused with Rev. John Orme, V.D.M., a Presbyterian minister.

John Orme, believed to be the son of Robert Orme the transportee, was reportedly born in 1693 in Calvert County, Maryland.7 He died in Prince George's County in 1766.8 His will names the following heirs:

  1. son, Jesse
  2. son, Richard
  3. son, John
  4. son, William
  5. son, Robert
  6. daughter Sibbell
  7. daughter, Mary
  8. grandson Hezikiah (parent not indentified)
  9. 9

No wife is named, which almost certainly means he was a widower. His wife's name is unknown.

Robert Orme [2]

Should not be confused with Captain Robert Orme, a British army officer who participated (along with George Washington) in the 1755 Braddock Campaign, and died in England in 1781 or 1790.

Robert Orme, believed to a son of John Orme (above), was reportedly born in Maryland in 1744.10 He died in Prince George's County in 1820.11 His will names only his daughter Nancy Belt, who he designated his executor, and her children, all bearing the surname Belt. After subtracting Nancy's inheritance, he asked that the residue of his estate be divided among "all my children," which unfortunately he did not name.12

No wife was named, which means that he almost certainly died a widower. Reliable sources identify his wife as Priscilla Edmonston, daughter of Archibald Edmonston, Jr., who was one of two witnesses to Robert Orme's signature on his will.13

An old Orme family Bible lists the children of Robert and Priscilla Orme as:

  1. Deborah, born 04 November 1769 (married Brooke Edmonston 07 March 1799)
  2. James, born 24 November 1770
  3. Dorothy, born 21 September 1772
  4. Robert, born 23 June 1774
  5. Nathan, born 05 March 1776
  6. Ann Henrietta, born 10 January 1778 (married Basil Belt, about 1798)
  7. Eli Orme, born 10 January 1779
  8. Elizabeth, born 06 November 1781
  9. Archibald Edmonston, born 25 July 1783 (died St. Louis, Missouri)
  10. 14

Several other researchers, also without providing any supporting evidence, include Dorothea Henrietta Maria Edmonston Orme, as the ninth child of Robert and Priscilla Orme (between Elizabetha Orme and Archibald Edmonston Orme), saying that she was born 15 October 1782 (a few specify her birthplace as Sharpsburg, Washington County, Maryland). Unfortunately, although this information is not entirely implausible, no reliable contemporary source for it has yet come to the attention of this researcher.

It should be noted that if the birth dates for Elizabeth Orme and Archibald Edmonston Orme, as given above, are correct, then it is certainly possible for Dorothea to have been born after Elizabeth, since nearly eleven months separate them, but because only eight months separate the supposed birth of Dorothea and the supposed birth of Archibald, the birth date of one or the other becomes questionable.

Dorothy or Dorothea Henrietta Maria Edmonston Orme

Dorothy or Dorothea Henrietta Maria Edmonston Orme, identified in a Jenkins famly Bible as the wife of Francis Jenkins [3]15, is believed to have been the daughter of Robert Orme [2] and his wife Priscilla (Edmonston) Orme, based not on any documentary evidence but because 1.) she (Dorothy or Dorothea) was born in Maryland, 2.) she named one of her sons "Jesse," which is the name of one of John Orme's sons, 3.) she named another son, "Archibald Edmonston," which is the name of Priscilla Orme's father, and also 4.) because "Orme" is her maiden name and "Edmonston" is one of her four given names. Each one of these reasons strongly suggests an almost-certain connection to the above-named family.

Further information about Dorothea Orme is included in the biography of her husband, Francis Jenkins [3].



2. Peter Wilson Coldham, The Complete Book of Emigrants in Bondage, 1614-1775 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1988); Gust Skordas, Ed., The Early Settlers of Maryland: an Index to Names of Immigrants, Compiled from Records of Land Patents, 1633-1680, in the Hall of Records, Annapolis, Maryland. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1968; Repr. 1986).

3. Will of Robert Orme, Prince George's County, Maryland, probated 1715.

4. Ibid.




8. Will of John Orme, Prince George's County, Maryland, probated 1766.

9. Ibid.


11. Will of Robert Orme, Prince George's County, Maryland, probated 1722.

12. Ibid.

13. Nelson Osgood Rhoades, ed. Colonial Families of the United States, Volume II (New York: The Grafton Press, 1907), p.70.

14.; Elise Greenup Jourdan, Early Families of Southern Maryland, Vol. 1 (Revised) (Westminster, Maryland: Willow Bend Books, an imprint of Heritage Books, Inc., 2005), 151,

15. Jenkins Jubilee, Vol. 4, Part 4, June 1980, p.84.


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