Select Norman Surname Genealogy

The Norman surname in England may have derived from the Normans of Normandy who had invaded England with William the Conqueror in 1066; or it may have come from the Old English northmann, being a term describing Scandinavian settlers. 

In America it could also be of Jewish or Swedish or even possibly of Dutch origin.  Van Norman and variants were early names found in Dutch New York and Pennsylvania.

Select Norman Resources on The Internet

Select Norman Ancestry

England.  London provided some early mentions of the Norman name.  

London.  John Norman was recorded as mayor of London in 1250.  A later John Norman, born in Oxfordshire, was in 1453 the first Lord Mayor of London to take a boat to Westminster in order to pledge his allegiance. 

James Norman of Blackfriars was a successful timber merchant in London in the mid 1700's.  With the proceeds he bought property in nearby Bromley Common, at the time when it was a dangerous place.

"When James went to work in London he rode on horseback.  He would be armed and accompanied by an armed servant.  The danger was real.  His daughter-in-law had been robbed by footpads on Chislehurst Hill as she returned to Bromley Common after visiting friends." 

The Normans' house there, The Rookery, was to remain their home until it burnt down in 1946.  Via George Warde Norman of this family came the notable Norman banking family, including Montagu Norman who was Governor of the Bank of England from 1920 to 1944.

ElsewhereJohn Norman was mayor of Norwich in 1714.  When he died ten years later he provided funds In his will for the education of the children of needy relatives in the town. 

Norman also appears to have been a name of the southwest, featuring most strongly in Devon and Somerset.  Richard Norman, the early emigrant to America, was born in Charminster, Dorset.  Normans there were clockmakers and Quakers.  And there were many Normans to be found in the Mendip hills, in Somerset, Wiltshire and Berkshire.

There were Normans as well further north.  Normans in the village of Duffield in Derbyshire date from the 1500's. They held Court Farm House for many generations.  Normans were also recorded in the nearby Staffordshire villages of Uttoxeter and Abbots Bromley.

.  Richard Norman, a sea captain and shipwright, was part of a group of settlers from the Dorchester company in Dorset who came to New England in 1626.  He eventually settled in Marblehead, Massachusetts.  Later Normans of this family moved to South Carolina and Georgia. 

Several Normans came to Virginia during the 1600's.  Some stayed in the area.  Others moved onto New Jersey, Ohio, and Illinois.  Isaac Norman was born in Virginia in 1682 and he and his wife Frances raised nine children in Culpeper county.  Their descendants later spread, in particular to Tennessee and Georgia. This line was traced in Nellie Virginia Normanís 1972 book History of the Culpeper County Normans.

New Jersey  Oliver Norman started a forge in Sussex county, New Jersey (by Norman's Pond) in the years after the Revolutionary War.  His father John, also a forgeman, had come to upstate New York from England in the 1740's.  Oliver left his wife and family and took off for Ohio in 1808. 

Also from Sussex county, born there in 1796, was Joseph Van Norman, a descendant of the Pennsylvania Van Normans. 
He subsequently departed for Canada where he started an iron foundry in Normandale, Ontario.

Canada.  Normans from Poole in Dorset were early settlers in Newfoundland, John Norman arriving in Brigus sometime in the 1750ís.  Thomas Norman of this family was a carpenter and, after a great fire destroyed the center of the capital St. Johns in 1892, he moved there with his family as there was an abundance of work in rebuilding the city.

Australia.  Andrew Norman was the anglicized name of a young Norwegian seaman Andreas Olsen who came to Melbourne in 1876 and stayed.  He died in 1898 from a horse kick in the abdomen, leaving a young family.  His sons Ollie and Harry were both World War One volunteers.   Ollie did not come back.  Harry did, having been dishonorably discharged.  He changed his name to Skinner back in Australia.

Select Norman Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Norman Names

John Norman
was the Lord Mayor of London in 1453.  He was the first Lord Mayor to take a boat to Westminster in order to pledge his allegiance.
Robert Norman was a 16th century mariner and compass builder.  The crater Norman on the moon was named in his honor.
Montagu Norman was Governor of the Bank of England from 1920 to 1944.
Marsha Norman is an American playwright, screenwriter, and novelist.  She won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for her play 'night Mother.
Greg Norman is a well-known Australian golfer, nicknamed "the Great White Shark."

Select Normans Today
  • 30,000 in the UK (most numerous in Berkshire)
  • 25,000 in America (most numerous in California) 
  • 20,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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