Clan Little

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Surnames/tags: Scottish_Clans Little
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Scotland Project > Scottish Clans > Clan Little


Welcome to Clan Little

Clan Little Team
Team Leader
Team MembersThomas Little, Beth Golden, Deborah Compton, Leake Little
Clan Chief:
Slogan/War Cry:
Historic Seat:
Plant badge:
Pipe music:
Gaelic name:

Clan Team

Team Goals

The focus of this team's work is to identify, improve and maintain profiles associated with the Lairds and Chiefs of Clan Little together with members bearing the name Little, the related families and those recognised as septs of Clan Little.

Team To Do List

This list will be developed by the Team. If you are working on a specific task, please list it here:

  • promoting the entries of those bearing the name Little on Wikitree.
  • ensuring entries appearing on Wikitree are as accurate as possible, correcting mistakes once spotted.
  • encouraging interest in and study of Clan Little.


Clan History

Clan Branches

Other Names Associated with the Clan

Allied Clans

Rival Clans

Clan Research and Free Space Pages

Source Material

Image Credits and Acknowledgements

Information below this line should be summarized and incorporated into this team page. Detailed information should be moved to additional Clan pages.

Clan Little

Image:Clan Tartans-105.jpg

This Category deals with the Scottish family of Little (varyingly: Litle, Littell, Litill, Littill, Lytil, Lytle, and Lyttille) that emanated from the Border Riever family in the Western Marches of Scotland in the 13th Century, based originally at Meikledale (valley of the Meikle), (Google maps: Lat: 55.234304°; Long: -2.997823°). The clan does not currently have a chief and is therefore considered an armigerous clan. There is an active Clan Little Society which maintained a "Guardian", an individual recognised by the society but not by Lord Lyon. The "Guardian" died in 2007 and was not replaced before 2013 and the current status is unknown.

Crest: A demi lion Sable powdered with saltires Argent, armed Gules, in dexter paw a cutlass Proper and in sinister a saltire Argent
Motto: Concedo nulli (do not concede; no surrender) also Fidei Coticula Crux (the test of truth is the cross)
Shield: sable, a saltire argent. (Lord Lyon, Little of Meikledale, 1672)
Region: Borders - the western march.
Clan Plant: Heather.

Clan History

There is nothing definitive known regarding the origin of the family of Little of Meikledale. The name, Little, is a descriptive name and was originally written in Latin documents as parvus meaning little or small.[1] This name, Parvus, appears on early Charter records but it is not clear whether these individuals are related to the later family of Meikledale. As a descriptive name it is likely that there is no single source of Little as a family name.

Given the geographic allocation, of Meikledale in the Borders, it seems possible that the originating family accompanied Walter Fitz Alan, (later Stewart) as he is known to have provided his knights with lands in these districts. There is a notice[2] that Walter granted, likely c. 1165, lands at Cairntable, in Ayrshire, to an Alan Little, who is mentioned as having been neighbour to Walter in Cheshire.

The Littles are thought to have accompanied Wallace in 1296 and 1297, possibly to Stirling Bridge, and this allocation, in Ayrshire, would have made them near neighbours to Wallace. The Wallace lands were, in themselves, a grant from Walter Fitz Alan. It is probable[3] that a sister to Sir William Wallace married a Little and had a son named Edward, who became a trusted lieutenant. Edward appears in the poem by Blind Harry: "And Edward Littil his sisters sone so der / Full wel graithit in till thar armour cler".

Edward must have died in Wallace's cause as the family made peace with Edward I., and there is notice of a Nicol Little as Conservator of the Peace for Clochmabenstane, near Gretna in the Scottish West March in 1300.

At sometime prior to 1426, but likely soon before, a Simon Lytil was granted, as a new grant, the lands of Meikledale, Sorbie and Kirktoun in Ewesdale, Dumfriesshire by the then regent, Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany. The grant was confirmed in 1426 shortly after James I returned from his captivity in England. Hence Simon Little is recognised as the lst Laird of Meikledale.

  1. George F. Black; The Surnames of Scotland; 1946 New York Library; 1999 Birlinn Limited, Edinburgh; pp. 432
  2. A historical and topographical account of North Britain from the most ancient to the present times, ......; Chalmers, G., Volume 6
  3. Blind Harry the Minstrel (15th century), Wallace.



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Categories: Clan Little