Norris is a girl.

Poor Norris Little born in 1846, Kirkpatrick-Fleming, Dumfriesshire.

Fancy being saddled with a name like Norris. From her point of view she might have wondered what was wrong with lovely pretty girly names like Elizabeth, Margaret or even Helen like her mum? But from a genealogist’s point of view – brilliant, bet there aren’t many of those and why on earth was a girl called Norris?

Simple, a bit of digging and it turns out to have been her maternal Grandmother’s maiden name. Lovely gesture Helen, but a bit rough on your 6th daughter. I imagine kids were mean back then as well and I bet school wasn’t fun.

She seems to have fixed it for herself though and was known as Norrie from at least the age of 15 (probably earlier) and all through her married life, that’s how her descendants all knew her. Much better, make the best of what you are given I say.

Incidentally her sister Janet named her 2nd daughter Norris too, but she did manage a more sensible tribute to their mother by naming the first one Helen.


Whale Farm Lowther

      Whale Cottage, Lowther where Norrie and her husband James Cairns lived in 1901.          © Copyright Martin Dawes


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