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WILLIAM NORN (1825-1902)

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:18 pm
by gnstill
New Family Page: WILLIAM NORN (1825-1902)

Please post comments & queries about the family of Sarah & William NORN here.

Re: WILLIAM NORN (1825-1902)

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:59 am
by gnstill
Shirley wrote:

Thank you for the great notes regarding William and Sarah!

The 1891 census of William and Sarah at Lac la Biche lists grandchildren Donald and Harriet. They are children of William and Sarah's daughter Margaret and and her husband Peter BAHAN. The original doc is very faint, poorly written and difficult to read - transcribed incorrectly as Cohan.


Thanks to Shirley I was able to make those corrections on the NORN Family Page.

Re: WILLIAM NORN (1825-1902)

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:25 am
by Shirley
Thank you Gary for your response to my query regarding the two William NORNs that are often confused. The addition of the Family Page for William and Sarah NORN is wonderful!

The Magnus BIRSTON pages help clarify that the William NORN married to Catherine Birston is not the William Norn married to Sarah/Sally WHITFORD. Many NORN family researchers are of the opinion that Sarah was the second wife of William. My research has found Sarah/Sally to be the only wife of William. The William Norn married to Sarah Whitford died November 30, 1902 per his Alberta Registration of Death. Cartherine’s William was born around 1800 and died 1844 according to the Denney Papers.

The Hudson’s Bay Archives lists on William NORN’s biography “The Lives of Rory McRae” by Ruth Matheson Buck. Rory McRae, born 1888, was the youngest child of Margaret (Bahan). Margaret was the first child of William and Sarah. Mrs. Matheson Buck interviewed Rory in his later years stating “my own research would substantially support” the details Rory gave her. The first 33 pages are Rory’s perception of his life with and about his grandparents William and Sarah. (Mrs Matheson Buck was interested in Rory’s recollection of her parents the Reverend John R and Dr. Elizabeth Matheson and the missionary school Rory attended at Onion Lake.)

The search continues for William Norn’s parents and roots in the Orkneys……

Best regards

Re: WILLIAM NORN 1798 - 1844

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:25 pm
by stevencbentley
Hi Shirley:
A family tree of the William Norn not directly associated with your family. Perhaps there is a relationship between the two like uncle/nephew but only speculation.

Descendants of William Norn Nairn

Generation No. 1

1. WILLIAM NORN1 NAIRN was born Abt. 1717 in Orphir, Orkney Isles. He married MARJORY SPENCE Abt. 1747. She was born Abt. 1725.

2. i. DAVID2 NORN, b. 1759, Orphir, Orkney Isles.

Generation No. 2

2. DAVID2 NORN (WILLIAM NORN1 NAIRN) was born 1759 in Orphir, Orkney Isles. He married ELIZABETH ALLAN 17 Aug 1792 in Stromness, Orkney Isles. She was born Abt. 1761.

3. i. WILLIAM3 NORN, b. Abt. Apr 1798, Orkney Iles, Scotland; d. 02 Sep 1844, St John's, Red River Settlement, Rupertsland.

Generation No. 3

3. WILLIAM3 NORN (DAVID2, WILLIAM NORN1 NAIRN) was born Abt. Apr 1798 in Orkney Iles, Scotland1, and died 02 Sep 1844 in St John's, Red River Settlement, Rupertsland. He married CATHERINE BIRSTON 03 Dec 1829 in St John's, Red River Settlement, Rupertsland2, daughter of MAGNUS BIRSTON and NANCY CARDINAL. She was born Abt. 1806 in York Factory, Rupertsland, and died Abt. 1906 in The Dalles, Wasco, Oregon, USA.

Baptised: 20 May 1798, Sandwick, Orkney Isles

Baptised: 30 Jul 1824, St John's, Red River Settlement, Rupertsland by David Jones3

i. CATHERINE4 NORN, b. Abt. May 1830, St John's, Red River Settlement, Rupertsland.

Baptised: 08 Jul 1830, Red River Settlement, Rupertsland by William Cockran4

ii. JAMES NORN, b. Abt. 1831, St John's, Red River Settlement, Rupertsland.
iii. ALEXANDER NORN, b. Abt. 1832, St John's, Red River Settlement, Rupertsland.


1. 1829 Red River Census, page 3 by himself 5 Jun 1829.
2. Hudson Bay Archives E.4/1b fol, 225 # 185.
3. Hudsons Bay Archives E.4/1a fol, 50.
4. Hudsons Bay Archives E.4/1a fol, 68.

Re: WILLIAM NORN (1825-1902)

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:46 pm
by Shirley
Thanks Steven!
I don't know of a connection between the William Norns...........the search continues!

Re: WILLIAM NORN (1825-1902)

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:07 pm
by Shirley
My brick wall: finding the parents and family of William Norn.

William NORN's HBC bio indicates his parish to be South Ronaldsay. I contacted the HBC archives and obtained copies of all the docs listed. Unfortunately there was no personal/birth/parents information. No application form. I contacted the Anglican Archives of Rupertsland and obtained copies of the marriage, birth, baptismal records for the family. But again, no mention of William's Orkney roots.

One possibility is that his father was William Norn son of David and Elspat Norn. David and Elspat's William, married Hannah Mowatt 23 Nov 1822 at Stromness. Online I found the birth/christening record of William and Hanna Mowatt for a son William born 17 Jul 1823; christened 01 Aug 1823 at Stromness. G2 grandfather William gave his birth date as July 1825 on the 1901 Canadian census. To the same couple, another son John was born 6 Mar 1827 and christened 8 Apr 1827 at Stromness.

David and Elspat had other children: Sam (married Catherine Birston) died Esquimalt, BC 7 Dec 1886 at the age of 80 years. His Registration of Death indicates he was born at Sandwick, Orkney Islands. Other children of David and Elspat were: John, James, David and Marabl - but I have found nothing more about them. Nor can I find any details about David and Elspat - what became of them?

Through my membership with the Orkney Family History Society I've found other potential William Norns but come to dead ends there too. Where did they go?

Does anyone have information regarding the parents and family of my g2 grandfather William NORN? Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Thank you!