Norris Family History
The Norris ancient family history was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. Meaning 'the Noreis', Norris is a locational name from a man from the North, often Norwegian. Variants include Norrish, Norriss, Norreys and Norrie. This name is of Anglo-Saxon descent spreading to the Celtic countries of Ireland, Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts throughout these countries. Examples of such are a Thomas de Noreis who was recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', England, in the year 1273 and a Walter le Noreis who was recorded in the 'Writs of Parliament' in the year 1313. In Scotland a Robert le Norreis witnessed a charter by Earl Gospatric, to the priory of Coldingham, in the year 1166, and a William Norrensis witnessed a charter by Malcolm, Earl of Fife, in the year 1228. In Ireland the name is very often found in Irish records since the thirteenth century, and came into special prominence with the arrival of Sir John Norris, who was involved with the terrible massacre at Rathlin Island in the year 1575.The Norris family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Norris descendants.