My grandmother was "Margaret Ellen Currie Little" and maintained that she was related to Malcolm's, we have not found a link to them as yet but I have found out the following (with much help from Ian S.Little) who in 2012, was the Little Clan Guardian.

The "Scottish" Littles are descended from Richard le Lytle, third son of a third son in the fifth post-Conquest generation on the powerful Anglo-Norman family of Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, Viscompte d-Avranches, appointed by his uncle, William the Conquereor to hold the northernmost March of the Welsh Border.

The antecedents of Richard le Little include Robert Fitzhugh, Lord of the barony of Malpas, Robert the Magnificent Duke of Normandy and father of the Conqueror, back through the generations of Dukes of Normandy to the first, Rollo the norwegian founder of Normandy in AD 911, descended in the male line from the pagan Ingiald 111 Ruler, last of the Yngling Peace Kings of Uppsala in Svaer, Sweden, in the mid 7th century AD.

David King of Scotland

In the 12th century David king of Scots inviting young sons of Anglo-Norman families to Scotland. At some time before 1177 Walter the steward granted lands at Cairtable in Ayrshire to Alan Little about the same time Richard le Waleys was granted land in Ayrshire who was the GG-grandfather of Sir William Wallace. Sir William Wallaces mother was a Crawford, desecended from the Crawford of Ayr and his sisters son was Edward Little and fought along side his uncle William Wallace in 1297 at Stirling Bridge.

In the Anglo-Scottish Border Wars of 1296-1603 the Little's were one of the fighting clans of the West March. By the close of the 16th Century they had earned a reputation as the finest light cavalry in Europe. For over three centuries the Border Little's shared with the Armstrongs and Beatties the steep-sided dales to the north and west of the present town of Langholm.


In 1351 MARTIN LITILL was a witness at Hermitage Castle of a charter of William Douglas, Lord of Liddesdale. In 1398 NICOL LITTLE was one of a group of knights and "squires" entrusted to supervise the repatriation of English prisoners across the Border.

In 1426 SIMON LITILL became the 1st Laird of Meikledale being granted tenure of the lands in Ewesdale by James I, King of Scots. Little's of less warlike disposition found their vocation as monks in Abbeys and Convents. The Little's of Liberton in Edinburgh are a branch of the Border clan dating from around 1500. CLEMENT LITIL, 2nd of Liberton was founder of the University of Edinburgh Library. His brother William Litil, 3rd of Liberton, was twice Provost of Edinburgh in the post-Reformation period

The Little Clan of the Scottish West March supported the Stuart Kings of Scots through five reigns until 1530 when James V, under pressure from the English Court, tricked thirty two Armstrong's, Elliot's, Little's, Irving's into a parley and hanged them out of hand. The Eskdale clans from then on forsook patriotism for survival and sided with the most likely winners of international warfare. In 1603 King James I of Great Britain (a.k.a. King James VI) of Scotland was determined to put down the continuing lawlessness on both sides of the Border. His wishes were carried through with sword, noose and torch until hardly a building stood in the whole of Eskdale and Liddlesdale. Chiefs were hanged and those who survived were forced to quit their lands. SIMON LITTLE OF THAT ILK was chief of the Little clan at the end of the Border Wars. His son, THOMAS LITTLE was succeeded by DAVID LITTLE, last Laird of Meikledale and last of the chiefs.


The direct male line in descent from David terminates with 18th Century SIMON LITTLE of Nittyholm who had seven daughters and no sons. His brother, MATTHEW (?WILLIAM) LITTLE went to Reading in England, married and went to sea in 1745.

The clan began to scatter in the early 17th Century fleeing from persecution, poverty and overcrowding to the Ulster Plantations. Many moved to English Cumberland, crossed the oceans to North America, Australia and New Zealand. Later many Little's, Lytles, and Lyttles in Ulster re-emigrated as Scots-Irish back to Great Britain or headed overseas.

William Little 1842 - 1906
My Great Grandfather

There are at least three distinct groups of Littles

  English Littles whose ancestors never even set foot in Scotland.

  Littles of the Scottish Border

  "Huguenot" Littles who came from France 300+ years ago.


Clan Little

Many of the 45,000 Littles who are dispersed around the globe may be aware that their progenitors came from Dumfriesshire on the Scottish side of the Anglo-Scottish Border, or perhaps from neighboring Cumberland on the English side of the Border, or from Ulster in Ireland.

Parliament Act

The 1587 Act of the Scottish Parliament Roll of the Clans that have Captains, Chiefs and Chieftains "on whom clansmen depend against the will of their landlords in the Borders and the Highlands" names "Litillis" among the names listed under West March. Thus in 1587 the Littles were clearly regarded as a Clan.

Langholm as it was

A book about the border town of Langholm and its families.

Kings of Scotland

My grandmother Maggie Little b. 9 Mar 1883, was of the opinion that the Littles in her family were linked to the Malcolm Kings of Scotland

Sir Pultney Malcolm of
Langholm, Scotland had three brothers who were also knighted. I wonder if this is the only family to produce 4 sons who were all knighted.