Its estimated that there are well in excess of 45,000 Littles populating planet earth today. “Little” is one of the three most common surnames in Dumfriesshire (the others are Bell and Johnstone), and is well used across the Border in Cumbria and other Northern, counties of England.
Clan Little Society (CLS) is the armigerous society, of which Crawford Little is the Guardian. Then there are the three “regional” and autonhttp://littleclan.net/wp-admin/post.php?post=2&action=edit#omous societies one being our own Charitable Trust. We collaborate with kith and kin world wide to advance our common interests and understandings of heritage.
Questions are sometimes asked about the Littles being a real Clan. In an Act of the Scots Parliament dated 1587, a roll of names specifies 34 Highland Clans or ‘clannis’, and 17 Border Clans, including the Littles. Clan Little is therefore one of Scotland’s 51 true clans. In the Anglo-Scottish Border Wars of 1296-1603, the Littles were a fighting clan of the West March, living close up to the border on the Scottish side. By the close of the 16th Century they had earned a reputation as the finest light cavalry in Europe because of their constant raiding and reiving.
For more than three hundred years along with Armstrongs and Beatties the Littles shared, the steep-sided dales immediately to the north and west of the present town of Langholm, East Dumfriesshire. Their successive chiefs, Little from that area. Lairds of Meikledale, resided at the foot of the side of Meikledale Valley halfway up Ewesdale (beside the present A7 road from Langholm to Hawick).
Edward Little of Meikledale, founder of the clan, was active in 1296-1297 as a guerrilla fighter with William Wallace, the great Scottish patriot hero. In 1426, two years after his return from excile, James I, King of Scots, granted to “our beloved Simon Littill“, chief of the clan, tenure of the lands of Meikledale, Kirkton, and Sorbie in Ewesdale. Simon thus became the first Laird of Meikledale. Simon Little was chief of Clan Little at the end of the Border Wars. His son Thomas’ successor, David Little, was the last Laird of Meikledale. In 1672, David was the last chief to be officially recognized. Since David’s time, the Littles have been one Scotland’s many heidless (headless) clans. Here is an interesting Youtube Video shared with acknowledgment to its producers:-