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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, French, Italian

Where did the English Mason family come from? What is the English Mason family crest and coat of arms? When did the Mason family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Mason family history?

The name Mason was brought to England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Mason is for a stone-mason. The name was originally derived from the Old English or Old French word masson.

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A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Mason, Masson and others.

First found in Kent on the Isle of Thanet where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mason research. Another 151 words(11 lines of text) covering the years 1629, 1686, 1652, 1660, 1716, 1690, 1735, 1650, 1676, 1633, 1685, 1673, 1646, 1694, 1683, 1770, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Mason History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 257 words(18 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mason Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Mason family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 155 words(11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Mason or a variant listed above:

Mason Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Francis Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1613
  • Jon Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1618
  • Ann Mason, who landed in Virginia in 1621
  • Alice Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1622
  • Robert Homer Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1622


Mason Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Elinor Mason, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Fra Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • Geo Mason, who landed in Virginia in 1704
  • Eliz Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
  • Cha Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1705


Mason Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Robert Mason, who landed in America in 1801-1802
  • Maria Mason, who landed in New York, NY in 1812
  • Daniel Mason, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815
  • Mad Mason, who arrived in North America in 1832-1849
  • Redding Mason, who landed in Texas in 1835


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  • Alpheus Thomas Mason (1899-1989), American Law Professor at Princeton University, author on American political thought and constitutional law
  • Frank Herbert Mason (b. 1921), Artist and Educator, Instructor in Fine Arts, New York City
  • William Mason (1829-1908), American musician
  • Daniel Gregory Mason (1873-1953), American composer
  • Private First Class Leonard Foster Mason (1920-1944), American Marine awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944 for heroism during the Battle of Guam
  • George Mason IV (1725-1792), American Patriot, statesman and a delegate from Virginia to the U.S. Constitutional Convention, called the "Father of the Bill of Rights." and one of the "Founding Fathers" of the United States
  • James Neville Mason (1909-1984), three-time Academy Award nominated English actor
  • Alfred Edward Wooley Mason (1865-1948), English novelist
  • Nicholas Berkeley "Nick" Mason (b. 1944), English drummer for Pink Floyd
  • Mr. Frank Archibald Robert Mason, aged 32, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on collaspible B

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  • Yesterday, a History of Norwegian Ancestry by Evelyn Hoff.
  • The Five George Masons by Pamela C. Copeland.
  • John Mason and Mary Ann Miller by Floyd R. Mason.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Dum spiro spero
Motto Translation: While I have breath I have hope.

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  1. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  5. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  8. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  9. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  10. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  11. ...

The Mason Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Mason Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 3 April 2014 at 10:58.

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