My name is Dick Norwood and I have been trying to study families of this name prior to and including 1850. What prompts my study is the realization that this surname and the surname Norwood are sometimes variants of the same name, an interesting window on the pronunciation of Norwood in the 18th century in some cases.
We have recently found, through y-dna testing, that some Noreds from Tennessee match a Norwood in Kent, England. The Kent Norwood is a descendant of a very old Norwood family that goes back to the 12th century by name and has been researched extensively. In addition it has become clear that the Norrids in Laurens County, SC, were Norwoods.
I'm attaching a summary of my study from the 1850 and 1840 US censuses.
It would be great if some men of the name Nored and variants were able to take the y-dna test through our Norwood Y-DNA Project at Family Tree DNA. It would help sort out the Norwood/Noreds from those whose name was originally Nored or a variant.
I am still a beginner in this area research, so please feel free to correct me where I have made errors. I'd be grateful for any information to help me in my study.
Summary of Norred/Nored/Norrid/Norrod Research
In order to find out more about families in the United States with a name that has the sound [nɔrəd], I took a survey of families in the 1850 US Census. The rationale for this was that the census lists whole families, each member by name, with information about their age and where they were born. This pre-Civil War data captures the movements of families before the extensive immigration that followed the Civil War and is therefore more likely to reflect the spread of colonial families from their original places of settlement on the eastern seaboard than that of newcomers to the United States.
My survey showed that there were just four spellings of this name in 1850: Norred, Nored, Norrod, Norrid.
Based on the census, the eldest members of these families had origins in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
Directly from Virginia, there were two settlements in Illinois, in Iroquois and Sangamon counties, which are well separated from one another.
From North Carolina there were three families, two to Obion county and one to Henry county, Tennessee.
From South Carolina was the largest number of migrants to Henry county and Overton county, Tennessee, and Conecuh, Marengo, and Randolph counties, Alabama. One South Carolina migrant went to Leake county, Mississippi.
From Alabama, migrants went to Bienville, Louisiana, and from Louisiana, some went to Milam and Williamson county, Texas.
From Tennessee there was migration to Mississippi and Scott counties, Missouri, and Carroll county, Arkansas.
The greatest concentrations of people of this name were in Tennessee and Alabama, the majority having come through South Carolina in the late 18th century.
The four spellings are represented in various places, and sometimes two spellings occur in one place which indicates that in some cases these are just alternate spellings for the same name and the same group of people.
Norred and Nored both occur in Conecuh county, Alabama, and Nored, the least common spelling, also in Shelby county, Tennessee.
Norred also occurs in Marengo county, Alabama, Sangamon county, Illinois, Scott county, Missouri, Henry and Obion counties, Tennessee, and Milam and Williamson county, Texas.
The spelling Norrid is the second most common, occurring as an alternative spelling in Milam and Williamson county, Texas, and in Randolph county, Alabama, Laurens county, South Carolina, Iroquois county, Illinois, Mississippi county, Missouri, and Gibson, Overton, and Stewart counties, Tennessee.
The spelling Norrod occurs in Obion county, Tennessee, and in some isolated and far-flung families in Benton county, Alabama, Carroll county, Arkanas, Bienville, Louisiana, and Leake county, Mississippi.
Where do spellings overlap and seem to be variants used in the same family groups?
Nored/Norred: Conecuh county, Alabama
Norred/Norrod: Obion county, Tennessee
Norred/Norrid: Milam and Williamson county, Texas
In this case, it is clear that these spellings represent the same surname and suggests that this is the case for all of the spellings everywhere.
We already know that the Norrids in South Carolina and the Marengo County, Alabama, families were Norwoods. We have reason to believe that some people with the spelling Nored in Tennessee were originally Norwoods as well. Were all of these people descended from Norwoods? If so, which Norwoods?
Looking back to 1840, there are far fewer people of the name in the census.
The following heads of household are listed:
Conecuh County, Alabama
Saint Clair County, Alabama
Larkin Norred (to Randolph County, AL?)
Wilcox County, Alabama
Sangamon County, Illinois
Laurens County, South Carolina
Henry County, Tennessee
Obion County, Tennessee
Sanford B Norrid
William C Norrid
Benton County, Tennessee
Overton County, Tennessee
Scott County, Missouri
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