Norris Stanley Barratt was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on August 23, 1862, to James and Mary (Irvine) Barratt. Barratt grew up in Philadelphia, where he built his life and career. He was admitted to the city's bar in 1883 and, from 1890 to 1901, he served as Philadelphia's Assistant City Solicitor. In 1901, Barratt became First Assistant District Attorney for Philadelphia County and, in 1902, he began a ten-year term as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia. In 1909, Barratt received the degree of Doctor of Laws from Temple University.
Barratt was active in a number of Philadelphia clubs and organizations. In 1895, he became a member of the Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania and, from 1908 to 1912, served as a member of the Grand Lodge and on the Library Committee. In 1902, Barratt was named President of the Young Republicans of Philadelphia. From 1902 to 1905, he was a member of the Library Committee of the Law Association of Philadelphia and a member of Council, Colonial Society of Pennsylvania, from 1907 to 1912. He was elected Historian of the Pennsylvania Society Sons of the Revolution and also Chairman of its Board of Managers.
Norris Barratt authored numerous historical texts on Barratt family genealogy and Pennsylvania-related subjects, including Freemasonry in Pennsylvania, 1727-1907 and Outline of the History of Old St. Paul's Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Perhaps most notably, he wrote Barratt's Chapel and Methodism, published in 1911. Barratt's great-great grandfather, Philip Barratt, of Kent County, Delaware, donated the land in Frederica, Delaware, on which Barratt's Chapel, known as the "Cradle of Methodism," was built in 1780. In Barratt's Chapel and Methodism, Norris Barratt chronicled the meeting of Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury at the Barratt homestead in 1784. That meeting resulted in the formation of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America.
Barratt married Ellen Levering of Baltimore, Maryland, in October 1904. They had four children, three of whom lived to adulthood. Norris Barratt died in 1924 and is buried at Barratt's Chapel Cemetery in Delaware.