Norris Family History


Oral History Handed Down
Edith McCartney
An Englishman by the name of Norris caught an Indian boy from a tribe of Indians that had come from the Alleghenny Mountains going west. Norris named the Indian boy Sam. The Englishman had a daughter who's name was Betsy. Betsy and the Indian boy Sam would go get the cows everyday, and Betsy gave birth to a Indian child, and she named him Sam Norris after his father. The child named Sam, his mother an Englishwoman and his father a Indian, was born in 1750 in Morgantown. Betsy had two brothers and I guess they killed the Indian who was the father of Sam Norris. In 1764 Johnnie Gaul left Morgantown, and came to Hacker's Creek. Sam Norris the half Indian and half English boy came with him. Betsy followed her son Sam but Sam wanted to stay on in Hacker's Creek.

Betsy marks a stone where the Meridian West Virginia Company Store stands today along the Tygart Valley River and then she goes on to Kelly run and drives a stake by the Creek then hacks the sides of the trees till she comes to the top of the Fridley Ridge the highest hill in Barbour Co. She then turns North and hacks the side of the trees till she comes to where the Felton School House is today. She turns West and hacks the trees till she comes to the Tygart Valley river again and marked a rock at Fox Hall then she follows the river till she comes to her starting point at Meriden. She figures she had 750 acres of land in the survey. She goes to the government and gets a deed (for which she paid ten dollars) In Sam Norris's name, her son.

There was trouble after this over this land for there was about one thousand six hundred and twenty five acres in her survey. Sam lost about 600 acres of it. Betsy goes back to Morgantown and gets married. Her two brothers settled along Booths Creek. Sam Norris takes him a Delaware Indian named Pretty Hair as his wife and builds him a cabin and starts his life with the Indians.

The Gauls that came with Sam was mighty stout men and got along with the Indians without any trouble. They were very peaceable people and lived to a ripe old age. They were also hard workers, and they were like the Norris race, in that they didn't increase in family very fast.

Sam Norris born 1750 died 1844 and is buried in the Norris Cemetary, Barbour County, WVA. Sam was the father of William Norris born September 25, 1786 died 1870 and is buried in Taylors Drain Cemetary, WVA. Sam was the Grandfather of Alexander Norris born September 26, 1825 died 1906 buried Norris Graveyard. Sam was the Great Great Grandfather of William Norris born September 6, 1886 died 1978 being 5 generations back to Sam Norris.

Some of Sam Norris and Pretty Hair's children:

This being the beginning of the Norris Family in Barbour County West Virginia.


Oral tradition on the Norris family has been handed down from generation to generation. Some of the information was taken from history written down by Bill Pete Norris, who is said to have been the last one of our people who could speak the Lenape language. I acquired the information while working with the Alleghenny Nation Indian Center located in Canton, Ohio. The Alleghenny Nation was chartered in 1979 as a non-profit organization seeking to obtain federal recognition. My interest in the Norris family goes way back as I am a direct descendant from Sam and Pretty Hair.

Two of the children of Sam and Pretty Hair produced my grandparents, Mary Pearl Norris, and Grandville Norris. I never met my grandfather but my grandmother Mary Pearl Norris I did meet. I loved her dearly. This is in memory of one of the most precious people I have ever known. She has been my example in my Christian walk.

I have always wanted to have the kind of spirit and attitude that she has always shone forth to her family. Although, she is gone now her memory will always linger on forever. Grandma Mary, I love you. Edith McCartney


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