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


The name Norway is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when a family lived in or near "the north wood," as in the northernmost wood within a particular jurisdiction; or in one of the several places named Norwood or Northwood found throughout England.

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The surname Norway was first found in Oxfordshire where the name was derived from the words "north" + "wood." [1] Some of the family were found in the parish of Sittingbourne in Kent where: "It is an incident worthy of notice in the ancient history of this town, that Henry V. was entertained at the Red Lion here, by John Northwood, a gentleman resident in the vicinity, at the expense of nine shillings and ninepence." [2]

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 Norway family name include Norwood, Northwood, Norwold, Narwold and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Norway research. Another 161 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1590 and 1675 are included under the topic Early Norway History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Norway Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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. Early immigrants bearing the Norway surname or a spelling variation of the name include :

Norway Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • John Norway, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1679

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  • Nevil Shute Norway (1899-1960), better known as Nevil Shute, English novelist and aeronautical engineer who spent his later years in Australia, one of the most popular novelists of the mid-20th century


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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: Sub cruce vinces
Motto Translation: Under the cross, we shall conquer.

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  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. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  2. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  3. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  6. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  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. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  10. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  11. ...

The Norway Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Norway 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 12 February 2016 at 09:50.

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