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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Scottish Little family come from? What is the Scottish Little family crest and coat of arms? When did the Little family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Little family history?

Although the most natural origin to attribute this name to is of the original bearer's diminutive size, and many genealogists make this error, the name is actually derived from the manor of Liddel, in Cumberland England.


Medieval Scottish names are rife with spelling variations. This is due to the fact that scribes in that era spelled according to the sound of words, rather than any set of rules. Little has been spelled Little, Littel, Littell and others.

First found in Roxburghshire, where Richard de Lidel had a grant of lands from the Church of Largs in 1202. The Little Clan territory followed the banks of the River Esk and part of Ewarsdale, and their immediate neighbors were the Armstrongs, Elliots and Beatties. Adam Lityll was a tenant of the Douglas Clan in the barony of Kilbucho in 1376. A branch also moved further northward to Aberdeen, but the main branch of the Clan remained around Roxburghshire. By 1350, they had become an established Clan closely affiliated to the Douglases and their territories were located in the Scottish West Marches, approximately twenty miles due north of Carlisle.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Little research. Another 242 words(17 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Little History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Little Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Little family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 279 words(20 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many Scots were left with few options other than to leave their homeland for the colonies across the Atlantic. Some of these families fought to defend their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence. Others went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these families have recently been able to rediscover their roots through Clan societies and other Scottish organizations. Among them:

Little Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Benjamin Little, who arrived in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1630
  • George Little, who arrived in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1640
  • Fra Little, who arrived in Virginia in 1650
  • Anthony and his wife Frances Little settled in Virginia in 1650
  • Antho Little, who arrived in Virginia in 1650

Little Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Abraham Little, who arrived in Virginia in 1701
  • Cornelius Little, who landed in Virginia in 1702
  • Jasper Little, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • Edward Little, who landed in New England in 1727
  • Archibald Little, who arrived in New England in 1731

Little Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Blakely Little, who landed in New York in 1801
  • Francis Little, who landed in Maryland in 1803
  • Jane Little, who landed in America in 1805
  • Jas Little, who landed in America in 1805
  • Archd Little, who landed in America in 1805


  • Angela Michelle Little (b. 1972), American model and actress
  • Richard Bryan "Twig" Little (b. 1959), American former infielder in Major League Baseball
  • Brooker Little Jr. (1938-1961), American jazz trumpeter and composer
  • Ann "Anna" Little (1891-1984), born Mary Brooks, an American silent film actress
  • Little Ann Little (1910-1981), born Ann L. Rothschild, American voice actress, best known as the voice of Betty Boop
  • Bentley Little (b. 1960), American author of horror novels, recipient of the 1990 Bram Stoker Award
  • Elizabeth O'Connor "Betty" Little (b. 1940), American politician, New York State Senator
  • William Brian Little (1942-2000), American founding partner of Forstmann Little & Company
  • Cleavon Jake Little (1939-1992), American Emmy Award winning, BAFTA Award nominated film and theatre actor, best known for his role in the 1974 Mel Brooks comedy Blazing Saddles
  • David Gene Little (b. 1961), former professional American NFL football tight end



  • The Little Family: Ancestors and Descendants of Jonas Little Pioneer Settler to Tennessee by Dessie Little Simmons.
  • A Genealogy [sic] of the Little-Odom Family of Georgia and North Carolina by Lawrence L. Little.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Magnum in parvo
Motto Translation: Great things in a little


Little Clan Badge
Little Clan Badge

Buy JPG Image

A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...


Septs of the Distinguished Name Little
Little and more.


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  1. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  2. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  3. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  4. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  5. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  6. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  7. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  10. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  11. ...

The Little Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Little Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 21 August 2014 at 16:03.

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