QUESTIONS                                               ANSWERS                          
Do people have difficulty spelling your name? Here are some variants extracted from Kentish documents between 1350 and 1800: Osborne, Osbourne, Osbarn, Osburne, Ossbourne, Osbarne, Osburn, Osebarn, Usborne, Usbourne, Useborn, Usbound, Usburne, Usboorn, Usbourn, Usborn, Usbarn, Usband, Usbaine, Usberne, Usbounne, Usbond, Usbern, Husburne.  Irregular spelling makes family research difficult before 1600.
"Spelling was fixed in the fifteenth century. Before that time scribes observed no uniformity in the matter of spelling, but when printing was invented it was found necessary to adhere to some definite system".
(Oxford English Dictionary.)
Erratic spelling Usbourne/Osborn/Usbaine is found in parish registers etc
until spelling stabilised in the nineteenth century.
What is the origin of the name? According to the Penguin Dictionary of Surnames "the prefix os- (or us-) is old norse for "god man"/warrior while -borne (bjørn in Scandinavia) means bear". Warrior/god bear?
How is the name pronounced? For the first half of the 20th century the English pronunciation was always "Uzbn". Most of the family now say "Uzborn".
Which are the commonest Christian names? Boys: Thomas:21, John:20, William:10, Alexander:9, Henry:8.
Girls:  Elizabeth:16, Mary:12, Ann,Anne,Anna:9.
Where do I look for fame and fortune? The family is better at fortune than fame. Fortune can make dull reading.
We have produced landed gents, entrepreneurs, politicians, clergymen,
soldiers and sailors, an explorer, scientists, journalists and a publisher.  The family is uniformly middle class, rarely climbing up the ladder or down. There are two townships called Usborne, Mount Usborne, Port Usborne, Usborne Island, Usborne Passage and several Usborne streets.                   For colour see: 
b.1778; Alexander b.1809; Thomas b.1840; Dorothy b.1887;
Maria, b.1850; Edith b.1854; Neville b.1883; Thomas b.1811.
Why is Mount Usborne in the Falklands so called?

Mount Usborne is named after Alexander Burns Usborne, Master's Assistant in HMS Beagle 1831-36.
Falklands government archivist reports: “It was at this time that East Falklands was being discovered. Mount Usborne would have been given its name around 1834 and referred to as such in Darwin's journal".
Alexander was accidentally shot while the Beagle was in Western Australia and invalided home. There he gave his name to Port Usborne, Usborne Island and Usborne Point. Usborne Passage, Fiji is also named after him.       He died in 1885                                          web link

What is the origin of Usborne Mews in south London?

"Usborne Mews was a development by Usborne Developments plc and carried out in 1985/86 on a thin strip of land which was formerly a bus station.  Shortly thereafter the company was taken over as a cash shell and had a pig breeding business injected into it;  seems like they went from making one type of pig's ear to another!"  Mews resident

What is the family connection with the Usborne Township, Huron, Canada?

Named after Henry Usborne (1778-1840), one of the first directors of the Canada Company

What is the family connection with the rural municipality of "Usborne No 310" near Lanigan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada? Not known if there is a family connection.

The Rural Municipality can be found at 51º45N 105º10W. It covers 313 square kilometers and in 2006 had 566 residents (0.7 inhabitants to the sq mile). There are 222 domestic houses occupied full time; 24 occupied part time.
What is the family connection with Lac Usborne in Quebec? It is not certain whether this was named after Henry Usborne or his cousin George Usborne. Both were timber barons based in Portage du Fort and Arnprior.(1825-1860). See Lac Usborne

Why does the family (or some of them) share a Coat of Arms with the Duke of Leeds?
Tom the Tyrant"

London bridge (gone)

Ruins of Thorpe Hall 1636-1699
Kiveton Park (gone) 1699-1810

       Hornby castle 1810 - ?

Coat of arms 
of Dukes of Leeds
(7 spots)

As it appears on our family tree
    (3 spots)

From the tomb of Rev Thomas Usborne in 1686
(5 spots)

This coat of arms on the right was used by the unrelated Staplehurst Branch. The earliest use has been traced to the tomb of Thomas Usborne b.1640 who died in 1686, eight years before the dukedom was created.
The Leeds coat of arms was first registered at the Herald's Visitation of London in 1568 to Edward Osborne. At a time when the names Usborne and Osborne were interchangeable Richard Osborne of Ashford, Kent married Jane Broughton and had a son Edward in 1530. Edward became apprenticed to Sir William Hewett whose house stood on old London Bridge. One day a careless maid dropped the four year old daughter Ann into the river Thames. Against all odds Edward dived in and rescued the unhappy child. From then on Sir William treated Edward as his own son and twenty years later Edward and Ann were married. Edward inherited Sir William's business interests and became a highly successful cloth merchant. In 1582 he was installed Lord Mayor of London and knighted shortly after. Edward's great-grandson Thomas Osborne was born in 1632. He achieved high political office (Lord High Treasurer in 1673) interspersed with stretches in the Tower of London accused of "tyrannical rule, favouring the popish party and wasting the king's revenue". In spite of this he was created Baron Osborne, Viscount Latimer (1673), Earl of Danby (1674), Marquis of Carmarthen and finally Duke of Leeds (Leeds in Yorkshire) in 1694.  He died in 1712. The stately home he built at Kiveton Park, near Sheffield was demolished in 1811 in mysterious circumstances and the family moved to Hornby castle.   
                                           See family tree.
What is the family connection with Loddenden Manor in Staplehurst, Kent, England?

Loddenden is a fine half-timbered 16thC.Yeoman's house in Staplehurst, Kent. It is incorrectly known as Loddenden Manor. The Usborne family were living in the area from 1350 to 1908. This was a separate branch of the family which has now died out. The last male Usborne was Edward who died in 1828 leaving the estate to his wife Anne. When she died in 1875 her niece Elizabeth Sarah Downing inherited the estate. By a remarkable coincidence she married a member of our branch of the family called Thomas Starling Usborne. They had no children. Thomas died in 1903 and his wife in 1906. The estate was sold out of the family in 1908.
                                Click to find out more

See "The Usbornes of Loddenden" by H.S.Cowper privately printed in 1914.
Did you know that Ireland continued to export corn through the famine years 1845/48? 
Thomas Masters Usborne was exporting corn from Ireland in 1846. In July of that year he sent 1,663 barrels of oats from Limerick to London and 25qrs oats & 20 tons of oatmeal from Galway to London.

See photo-copy of newspaper report headed "Port of Limerick Shipping Intelligence" July 1846 on page 84 of "A history of Ireland" by Robert Kee. 

Who was responsible for researching our family origins? The family tree is a remarkable work of historical research from the 1920's and 1930's by Major Thomas Masters Usborne (b.1866) of Chilham, Kent.
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