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The history of the name Norris goes back those Anglo-Saxon tribes that once ruled over Britain. Such a name was given to a person from the north. The surname is usually derived from the Anglo-French words noreis and norreis, which both mean northerner. Occasionally, Norris is an occupational name for a nurse; in this case, the derivation is from the Old French word norrice, which means nurse. Lastly, the surname Norris is sometimes a local surname for a "dweller at the north house."

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The surname Norris was first found in Hampstead Norreys (Hampstead Norris), a village and civil parish in Berkshire. Dating back to the Domesday Book, where it was listed as Hanstede [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
, the village is today still noted for its Norman parish church and the remains of a Norman motte-and-bailey castle nearby. The village name's changed to Hampstede Norreys, when the Norreys family bought the manor in 1448. A branch of the family was found in Speke, Lancashire where at one time they held Speke Hall. "From the de Erneys it came, also by marriage, to the family of Norres, of whom was Sir William Norres, who brought from the palace of Holyrood, at Edinburgh, part of the royal library and some curious pieces of fine oak wainscot, to Speke Hall: this mansion was re-erected by Sir Edward Norres. The family retained the manor until the 18th century, when their heiress married Lord Sidney Beauclerk, fifth son of Charles, Duke of St. Alban's; whose grandson, Charles George, sold Speke to the Watt family. The great hall is very lofty, with wainscot and a ceiling of oak, and having a mantelpiece brought from Holyrood: at each angle of the southern wall, within the court, are two spacious corbelled windows, one of which lights the hall. The house was originally surrounded by a moat, of which the outlines remain, and over which a bridge leads to the principal entrance. The whole forms a highly interesting specimen of old English domestic architecture." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Norris family name include Norreys, Norris, Norres, Norrice, Norrish and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Norris research. Another 353 words (25 lines of text) covering the years 1481, 1564, 1777, 1405, 1450, 1433, 1507, 1525, 1601, 1572, 1579, 1622, 1622, 1603, 1658, 1702, 1670, 1749, 1675, 1711, 1671, 1735, 1724 and are included under the topic Early Norris History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Distinguished members of the family include Lady Alice Norreys ( c. 1405-1450), an English Lady of the Most Noble Order of the Garter; Sir William Norreys (1433-1507), a famous Lancastrian soldier, and later an Esquire of the Body to King Edward IV; Henry Norris "Norreys" (1525-1601), created 1st Baron Norreys in 1572...

Another 88 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Norris Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Norris family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 113 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name Norris or a variant listed above:

Norris Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Mary Norris, who arrived in America in 1620
  • Edward Norris, who came to Salem in 1630
  • Jo Norris, aged 18, arrived in Bermuda in 1635
  • Ann Norris, who landed in Maryland in 1637
  • Eliz Norris, who arrived in Virginia in 1638
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Norris Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Martin Norris, who landed in Virginia in 1712
  • Humphrey Norris, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1717-1718
  • Charles Norris, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1730-1731
  • Richard Norris, who arrived in America in 1765
  • Philip Norris, who arrived in Maryland in 1776

Norris Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Norris, who landed in America in 1804
  • Tho Norris, aged 56, landed in New York, NY in 1804
  • Martha Norris, who arrived in America in 1805
  • James Norris, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Patrick Norris, aged 25, landed in Louisiana in 1813
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Norris Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • John Norris, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • William Norris, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Robert Norris, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750

Norris Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • James Norris, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1829
  • Ebenezer Norris, who landed in Canada in 1835
  • James Norris, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1836
  • William Norris, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843

Norris Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Joseph Norris, a shipwright, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Thomas Norris, aged 31, a servant, arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Buffalo" in 1836
  • Betty Norris, aged 30, arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Buffalo" in 1836
  • John Norris, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Aaron Floyd Norris, English convict from Devon, who was transported aboard the "Anna Maria" on March 6, 1848, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
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Norris Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Charles Norris, aged 23, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • Barbara Ann Norris, aged 20, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • E. F. Norris arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William Watson" in 1859
  • William Norris, aged 22, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Auckland" in 1872
  • William Norris, aged 33, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rodney" in 1875
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  • Clarence Norris (1912-1989), African American teenage hobo, one of the Scottsboro Boys, accused of rape aboard a train, convicted and finally receiving a full posthumous pardon on November 21, 2013
  • Terry Wayne Norris (b. 1967), American retired boxer, three-time World Champion in the light middleweight division
  • David Stefan "Bud" Norris (b. 1985), American Major League Baseball starting pitcher for the Houston Astros
  • Bruce Norris, American winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
  • Alexander Norris, American politician, Member of Maryland State House of Delegates from Harford County, 1818-24, 1826
  • Al Norris, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Indiana, 1956
  • A. Wilson Norris (d. 1888), American Republican politician, Member of Pennsylvania State Senate 6th District, 1881-82; Pennsylvania State Auditor General, 1887-88
  • A. H. Norris, American politician, Member of Minnesota State Senate 3rd District, 1859-60
  • Alexander Norris, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Bel Air, Maryland, 1895-99
  • Andrea Norris, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 2004
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Norris Historic Events



HMS Hood

  • Mr. Thomas F Norris (b. 1911), Scottish Stoker 2nd Class serving for the Royal Navy from Carlisle, Cumberland, Scotland, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking

HMS Repulse

  • Mr. Herbert Norris, British Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking

RMS Titanic

  • Mr. James Norris (d. 1912), aged 23, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
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  • Descendants of Isaac Patten, Sr., and his Wife, Jane Norris: An Early Pioneer Family in Sullivan County, Indiana by Ernest C. Swanson.
  • Norris, Hackett, Prescott and Allied Families Hugh Albert Johnson.
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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: Feythfully serve
Motto Translation: Faithfully serve

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Citations



  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  2. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  3. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  4. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  5. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  11. ...

The Norris Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Norris 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 22 May 2016 at 11:55.

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