Genealogy of the Woodcock Valley

Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania


Two Norris Brothers

Posted on August 27, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Since we had the 30th annual reunion for the descendents of Samuel W. and Ruhama (Anderson) Norris last Sunday, I thought I would post some information about my Norris line!


Joseph Norris, Sr. was born on January 11, 1729 in Sharpsville, Washington County, MD.  Joseph acted as a patriot in the Revolutionary War, when he resided in Washington County, Maryland. On 4/17/1779, he took the Oath of Fidelity and Support, Maryland Assembly Act, enacted 2/5/1777 before Joseph Chapline in Sharpsburg, MD.


Joseph Norris moved from the vicinity of Hagerstown, MD in 1781/82, purchasing a farm on the Raystown Branch of the Juniata in then Hopewell Township, Bedford County, now Penn Township in Huntingdon County. The farm had been the property of a Mr. Sanders, who with his wife and three children, had been murdered by the Indians in May, 1780.


Joseph Norris Sr. was married to Mary Moody about 1750 in Maryland.  Joseph Norris Sr. and Mary Moody had 12 children that I am aware of:

  1. Elizabeth, born 10/11/1750, and married Adam Manor
  2. Ellener, born 4/17/1752, and married Adam Metcalf
  3. John, born 3/16/1754, died 11/1/1838 in Huntingdon County, and married Ann
  4. William, born 2/7/1756, and died in 1781
  5. Ruha, born 11/18/1758
  6. Mary, born 1/25/1760, and married Peter Wagoner
  7. Lydia, born 10/10/1761, and married John Garney
  8. Sarah, born 11/3/1763, and married David Jackson
  9. Nancy Ann, born 1/1/1766, and married Hugh Johnson
  10. Ruhama, born 12/21/1767, and married George Shirley
  11. Jane, born 8/19/1772 in Bedfor Co., PA, died 9/20/1848 in Largo, Wabash Co., IN and married William Enyeart
  12. Joseph Jr., born 8/18/1774 in Huntingdon Co., PA, died 9/21/1839 in Huntingdon County, PA, and married Elizabeth Enyeart


I know these dates and locations are not perfect.  How was Joseph Jr. born in Huntingdon County in 1774 if his father supposedly did not come to Huntingdon County until 1781 or so?  However, this is the info I have and I will welcome discussion and new information!


From here on out, my discussion is primarily going to focus on the two sons of Joseph Norris, Sr. who survived into adult hood:  John D. Norris and Joseph Norris, Jr.


John D. Norris is often given the middle name of Davis.  However, I have never been able to prove or disprove this middle name.  John Davis Norris moved to Huntingdon County, presumably with his father, and died here in 1838.  There are some different thoughts among researchers about who his wife was.  We know for certain from court documents that her name was Ann.  Some possible names that have been tossed around by researchers include Ann Thompson, Ann Rigdon, and Nancy Ann Walker.  I list the following children for John and Ann:

  1. William, born in 1781 in MD, died after 1850, and married Mary Hornoc
  2. Ruhannah, born about 1787, and married Jacob Whitehouse
  3. Mary, born 7/3/1787 in Huntingdon Co., PA, died 4/19/1863 in Clearfield County, PA, and married Ignatius Thompson
  4. Amos, born about 10/16/1787 in Huntingdon Co., PA, died 2/23/1848 in Ashland Co., OH, and married Mary Shaver
  5. Joseph, born before 1790, and died before 1838
  6. Thomas Larkin, born before 1790
  7. Nancy, born after 1790, and married a man with the last name of Duck
  8. Moses, born 5/24/1791 in Penn Township, Huntingdon Co., PA, died 4/19/1863 in Clearfield Co., PA, and married Sarah Reed
  9. Jonathan, born 3/30/1793 in Huntingdon Co., PA, died 11/27/1861 in Richland Co., OH, and married Jane Feley
  10. Elizabeth, born 8/5/1798 in Hagerstown, MD, died 11/11/1886 in Wyandott, OH, and married Robert Park and later a Shaver
  11. John, born 1/25/1807 in Huntingdon Co., PA, and married Mary Smith
  12. Lydia, born 10/16/1809, died 10/5/1887 in Nebraska, and married Robert Gill
  13. Adam, born about 1811, died 12/20/1890 in Dublin Township, Huntingdon Co., PA, and married Ephia Isenberg
  14. James Stevens, born 3/4/1813 in Huntingdon County, PA, died 4/4/1899 in Cass Township, Huntingdon Co., PA, and married Sophia Park
  15. Tobius Riley, born 7/17/1814, and died after 1899


Again, all of these dates and places can not be correct.  There were not three children born in 1787 in different months!  However, it is all I have for the moment.  The majority of John D.'s children went to Ohio.  Two ventured to Clearfield County, PA.  At least two remained in the Huntingdon County area.  Many researchers seem to have different lists of children for John D.  The obituary of his son James said that John D. was the father of 16 children, and only one of them was a girl!  I do not know much about John's children, especially those who moved to Ohio.  Please share information below if you know more about this family line.


I descend from John D.'s brother, and son of Joseph Norris, Sr., Joseph Norris, Jr.  Joseph Norris, Jr. was born in Huntingdon County on August 18, 1774.  He married Elizabeth Enyeart on September 5, 1797. Together, they were largely responsible for the large pocket of Norris family members that continue to reside in the county.  Their children included:

  1. Jane, born 8/25/1798, died 6/25/1864, and married Alexander McCall
  2. William, born 8/23/1800, died 6/12/1857, married Ellenor Masden
  3. John, born 9/23/1803, died 1/19/1891, married Martha Elizabeth Masden and Catherine Householder
  4. Joseph III, born 10/15/1805, died 12/15/1873, married Rachel Masden
  5. Mary, born 10/28/1807, died 9/5/1885, married Abraham Grubb
  6. Catherine N., born 5/6/1810, died 8/26/1884, and married Andrew Grubb
  7. David E., born 10/17/1812, died 12/3/1893, married Elizabeth Grubb and Christina Showalter
  8. Thomas, born 8/28/1814, died 1/8/1899, married Nancy Snyder
  9. Ellener, born 1/18/1817, died 2/21/1865, and married John Garner
  10. Isaac, born 11/21/1819, died 7/4/1898, married Mary Showalter
  11. Elizabeth, born 6/19/1823, and died 4/9/1842


I descend through Joseph Jr.'s son, David E. Norris and his wife Elizabeth Grubb. 


 These are the children of David and Elizabeth Norris.  Front Row: Mary Ann (Norris) Crownover (1857-1946) Jane Norris (1843-1923) Middle Row: William White Norris (1853-1941) Thomas Lucas Norris (1845-1923) Elizabeth (Norris) Shenefelt (1846-1931) Samuel Wilson Norris (1840-1919) Back Row: Sarah Ann (Norris) Kyler (1848-1923) Catherine N. (Norris) Grove (1855-1943) Hannah (Norris) Dean (1842-1917) This photo was shared with me by Ron McCall.


There are a number of researchers on this website who have an interest in the Norris family, whether it is the Joseph Norris Jr. branch or the John D. branch.  There are two photo albums with photos.  You can see the Joseph Norris, Jr. family by clicking on the link, or you can choose to view the John D. Norris family as well.


As always, I am up for a great discussion on this family line.  If you see errors, can provide new info, or even submit photos, please do so!  Comment on this blog post so others can see the new information as well.  Happy Norris hunting!


Categories: Family Names

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Reply Dave Norris
12:27 AM on September 3, 2011 
Thanks Deb! I believe I am a descendant of Joseph Jr's brother John D. Norris. So that would make us something like 6th cousins. :-)
Reply Marge
1:21 PM on September 16, 2011 
Hi Dave:
Thank you for the information. According to the records I have searched through, my great-great-great (if I counted correctly) grandfather is Jonathan Norris. I could never go back further than that, but now I see in your infomation that Jonathan's parents are John D. Norris and Ann. I hope to continue my search into the Maryland/DC Norris family. Please let me know if you find any thing before the early 1700's. Below is information from a narrative history of Richland County Ohio, where I was born. William Norris (son of Jonathan) is my great-great (?) grandfather. He is buried in the Easterly Cemetery near Butler Ohio, along with Jonathan and others in the Norris family. My mother, Adith Norris, was born near Belleville Ohio and is still alive - the last living of 13 children of Nellie Swihart Norris and Cary Norris.

NORRIS, WILLIAM, farmer; P. O. Butler. William Norris was born in Huntingdon Co., Hopewell Township, Sept. 19, 1818; he never had a coat made by a tailor until he was 21 ; he used to work in the fields with nothing but a long tow shirt on; but few boys at the present day know much of hard work compared with Mr. Norris' experience; he never bad but two or three months' schooling in his life, and had to walk about three miles to school in order to obtain that ; when but 15 years of age, he made his hand as cradler in company; he had a doctor visit him but once in his life; he came to the State of Ohio in 1835, and located in Holmes Co., where he remained eighteen months. His father, Jonathan Norris, was born March 30, 1793 ; he was a farmer by occupation. He was married to Jane Feley; she was of Irish descent, and was born in September, 1788; she had five daughters and two sons by Jonathan Norris ; she also had a son and daughter by Jacob Long, her first husband; William Norris and his sister Jennie (Lee) Norris are all that are alive of the second set of children-Jonathan Norris came to Ohio in 1835, and settled in Holmes Co., where he remained over one year; he owned 80 acres of land, which he sold and came to Worthington Township, where he bought 160 acres, which he improved. His wife died Feb. 19, 1861, and he died Nov. 26, 1861. William Feley, Mrs. Jane Norris' father, served in the Revolutionary war; he had a finger shot off which came near mortifying; he was subsequently discharged from service on account of it; on his way home he slept in the woods, rolled up in his blanket ; one morning he awoke to find two feet of snow over him. William Norris was married to Margaret Measle Dec. 11, 1842, who was born Aug. 11, 1818, in the State of Maryland; she bore him three sons and three daughters-Amos D., Susan H., Nancy, John and Mary (twins), John died in his 17th year. Margaret Norris died Oct. 18, 1866, after a wedded life of twenty-four years. Mr. Norris was married to Rebecca Daugherty March 3, 1868 ; she was a daughter of Charles Daugherty, whose history is elsewhere stated in this book; she was born May 30, 1840 ; she is the mother of three sons and two daughters-Charley D., Nicholas, Jennie, Minnie and Franklin, who died March 13, 1879; he was born March 20, 1878. Mr. Norris' first land was 80 acres of the old homestead, now occupied by John Bittinger; he afterward bought 80 acres in Jefferson Township, which he sold and made $300; afterward bought the Samuel Hoover farm of 56 acres, which he sold and made $2,400; then bought 80 acres of Mr. Hammet for $1,200; then the Teeter estate of 80 acres for $1,800 ; then his father's estate of 80 acres; afterward the Mike Croner farm of 80 acres for $3,300, and sold to a daughter and son-in-law for $3,300 ; then 80 acres in Paulding Co., Ohio, for $800; he also has a single lot and a lot of two acres in Mansfield, Ohio ; bought 50 acres of the William Darling estate for $2,500; he owns a lot in Independence. Mr. Norris owns 452 acres; he has paid to his first five children $6,000; his last children are to receive the same in addition to their regular share. Mr. Norris was not worth $5 when 21 years of age; he has always been temperate in his habits, worked hard and economized. He never chewed tobacco, nor swore, never smoked a cigar in his life. He is worth from $35,000 to $40,000. He never received any estate from his or wife's parents. He owns the finest house in Worthington Township, and is called one of the finest business men.

Thanks again for the info. I will post more later; hopefully including photos.
Reply Dave Norris
3:57 PM on October 2, 2011 
Would anyone have any info on the children of William Norris, John Davis Norris' eldest son, other than what is listed in Dr. Hill's book about the history of Ashland County, Ohio?

Or would anyone have any info on a John D. Norris, born March 15, 1819, in Huntingdon County, died January 12, 1897 in Wayne County, OH? I have a hunch he is William's son, the "John" listed as yet living when Dr. Hill's book was published, but can't prove it yet.
Reply Alan
7:21 PM on October 7, 2011 
Minor correction here:Jane, born 8/19/1772 in Bedfor Co., PA, died 9/20/1848 in Largo, Wabash Co., IN and married William Enyeart

That should be Lagro, Wabash county, IN. Also Jane married William Enyeart as his second wife, they had 16 children. William's first wife was Catherine Schell, his daughter from his first marriage, Elizabeth, married Jane's brother, Joseph Norris, Jr. William had seven children with his first wife, two of which (twins) and his wife Catharine died at the twins birth.
Reply Janet France
12:16 PM on April 26, 2012 
Joseph Norris III is my great great grandfather married to Rachel Masden (shown as Madzon in Isenberg family history). Their daughter Mary married Joseph Isenberg. Mary and Joseph are my great grandparents, they had 4 children, Lizzie Mary, Joseph N., James M. and Warren D. who is my grandfather, my father is Warren D. Isenberg, Jr. I believe you are a cousin to me and my brothers and sisters.
Reply Bob Wrigley
10:32 PM on June 16, 2012 
RE: John D Norris, my family line thru Moses Norris to Clearfield Cty, trying to locate where John D and his wife are buried in Huntingdon County. Located his father, Joseph, burial in Jacob's Church cemetery. Any help greatly appreciated
Reply Mary Beth Raper
6:02 PM on June 21, 2012 
i am descended from John D. Norris through his daughter Ruhama. She married Jacob Whitehurst and moved to Illinois. Would love to contact and share information with anyone who is interested.
Reply bonnie slaughter
11:17 PM on February 4, 2014 
I am descended through Ruhama and Jacob through Jehu. I am looking for documentation that Jehu was their son. Any info?
bonnie slaughter
New Orleans