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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


Norse is a name that was brought to England by the ancestors of the Norse family when they migrated to the region after the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Norse family lived in Leicestershire. The name, however, is a reference to Noiers, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

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The surname Norse was first found in Leicestershire where they were Lords of the manor of Knossington, and where they had been granted lands by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. At the time of the taking of the Domesday Book survey in 1086, the family was shown with several spellings, de Noiers, de Noies, de Nouuers, Noers, Nourse. The first Lord of the manor was Simon de Noers, and he was succeeded by Robert de Nowers, Lord of the manor of Knossington in 1278.

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Norse have been found, including Nourse, Norse, Nurse, Nowers, Noers, Noies and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Norse research. Another 228 words (16 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Norse History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Norse were among those contributors:

Norse Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Charlie Norse, who arrived in Texas in 1850-1906
  • Karl Norse, who landed in Texas in 1850-1906

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  1. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  2. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  5. 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.
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  10. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  11. ...

The Norse Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Norse 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 27 October 2010 at 13:52.

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