When James Henry Hornsby was born on 23 October 1823, in Roane, Tennessee, United States, his father, James Hornsby, was 30 and his mother, Eleanor McKiddy, was 23. He married Harriet Covington Coleman on 14 November 1849, in McMinn, Tennessee, United States. They were the parents of at least 6 sons and 4 daughters. He lived in McMinn, Tennessee, United States in 1860 and Athens, McMinn, Tennessee, United States for about 40 years. He died on 12 March 1917, at the age of 93, and was buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery, Athens, McMinn, Tennessee, United States.
English (Durham and Northumberland): habitational name from Hornsby in Cumwhitton (Cumberland), recorded as Ormesbyc. 1210 (compare Ormsby ), but later acquiring the prosthetic initial H-. The placename derives from the Old Norse personal name Ormr ‘serpent’ (see Orme ) + Old Norse bȳ ‘farmstead, village’.