Mason History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Mason can be traced back to the ancient and beautiful region of Piedmont. Although people were originally known only by a single name, it became necessary for people to adopt a second name to identify themselves as populations grew and travel became more frequent. The process of adopting fixed hereditary surnames was not complete until the modern era, but the use of hereditary family names in Italy began in the 10th and 11th centuries. Italian hereditary surnames were developed according to fairly general principles and they were characterized by a profusion of derivatives coined from given names. The most common type of family name found in the region of Piedmont is the patronymic surname, which is derived from the father's given name. During the Middle Ages, Italians adopted the patronymic system of name-making because it perfectly complemented the prevailing Feudal System. In Italy the popularity of patronymic type of surname is also due to the fact that during the Christian era, people often named their children after saints and biblical figures. The surname Mason came from the first-name Maso, which is the short form of the personal name Tommaso. The name Tommaso, or Thomas, is itself derived from the Aramaic "toma" which means "twin".

Early Origins of the Mason family

The surname Mason was first found in Piedmont (Italian: Piemonte, Piedmontese and Occitan: Piemont) in the 13th century where early records show the Masini family, decedents of a long line of counts, lived and whose members included Oddone, elected captain of the commune in 1284, and Oddonnino, governor of a town, Vercelli, in 1290.

Early History of the Mason family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mason research. More information is included under the topic Early Mason History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mason Spelling Variations

Enormous variation in spelling and form characterizes those Italian names that originated in the medieval era. This is caused by two main factors: regional tradition, and inaccuracies in the recording process. Before the last few hundred years, scribes spelled names according to their sounds. Spelling variations were the unsurprising result. The variations of Mason include Masella, Maselli, Masellis, Masetti, Masetto, Masi, Masiello, Masillo, Masin, Masina, Masini, Masino, Masiol, Maso, Masolini, Masolo, Mason, Masoni, Masotti, Masselli, Massetti, Massini, Masucci, Masuccio, Masulli, Masullo, Masutti, Masutto and many more.

Early Notables of the Mason family (pre 1700)

Prominent among members of the family was members of the Mason family from the Piedmontese tradition include Tommaso Guidi Masaccio, who was born in 1401, and is a painter known as the Father of Modern Art. He was a member of the Florentine school, and has works from the Medieval and Renaissance periods. He was a student of Masolino and under this master, aided in the frescoing of two churches: San Clemente in Rome and the Brancacci Chapel in Santa Maria del Carmine at Florence. The Brancacci...
Another 86 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mason Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Mason migration to the United States +

Immigrants bearing the name Mason or a variant listed above include:

Mason Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Francis Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1613 [1]
  • Jon Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1618 [1]
  • Ann Mason, who landed in Virginia in 1621 [1]
  • Alice Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1622 [1]
  • Robert Homer Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1622 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Mason Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Elinor Mason, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [1]
  • Fra Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1704 [1]
  • Geo Mason, who landed in Virginia in 1704 [1]
  • Eliz Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1705 [1]
  • Cha Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1705 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Mason Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Mason, who landed in America in 1801-1802 [1]
  • Maria Mason, who landed in New York, NY in 1812 [1]
  • Daniel Mason, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815 [1]
  • Mad Mason, who arrived in North America in 1832-1849 [1]
  • Redding Mason, who landed in Texas in 1835 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Mason migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Mason Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Nathaniel Mason, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • Isaac Mason, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Robert Mason, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Aaron Mason, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Charles Mason, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Mason Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Mason, who arrived in Canada in 1831
  • Betty Mason, aged 46, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Salus" in 1833
  • Thomas Mason, aged 25, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1837 aboard the barque "Robert Watt" from Cork, Ireland
  • James Mason, aged 23, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1837 aboard the barque "Robert Watt" from Cork, Ireland
  • Catherine Mason, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1843
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Mason migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Mason Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Mason, a comb-maker, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Richard Mason, English convict from Warwick, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on November 13, 1832, settling in New South Wales, Australia [2]
  • Mr. Robert Mason, British convict who was convicted in Kent, England for life, transported aboard the "Henry Tanner" on 27th June 1834, settling in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • Henry Mason a seaman, who arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Lady Mary Pelham" in 1836 [4]
  • Mr. Henry Mason, British Convict who was convicted in Worcester, England for life, transported aboard the "Asia" on 20th July 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Mason migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Mason Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Mason, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship " Dublin Packet" arriving in Cloudy Bay, South Island, New Zealand in 1838 [6]
  • Mr. Edward Thomas Mason, (b. 1818), aged 21, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Oriental" arriving in Port Nicholson, Wellington, New Zealand on 31st January 1840 [7]
  • Mrs. Mason, (b. 1820), aged 19, British settler travelling from London with a child aboard the ship "Oriental" arriving in Port Nicholson, Wellington, New Zealand on 31st January 1840 [7]
  • Mrs. Mason, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "Earl of Lonsdale" arriving in Bay of Islands, North Island, New Zealand in 1840 [6]
  • Mr. Mason, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "Earl of Lonsdale" arriving in Bay of Islands, North Island, New Zealand in 1840 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Mason (post 1700) +

  • Emily Mason (1932-2019), American abstract painter, daughter of Alice Mason
  • Marilyn May Mason (1925-2019), American concert organist, recording artist, and professor, from Alva, Oklahoma
  • Gina Marie Mason (1959-2017), née Crafts, an American politician, Member of the Maine House of Representatives (since 2017)
  • Anthony George Douglas Mason (1966-2015), American professional basketball player who played from 1988 to 2003
  • 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
  • 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
  • Daniel Gregory Mason (1873-1953), American composer
  • William Mason (1829-1908), American musician
  • Frank Herbert Mason (b. 1921), Artist and Educator, Instructor in Fine Arts, New York City
  • Alpheus Thomas Mason (1899-1989), American Law Professor at Princeton University, author on American political thought and constitutional law
  • ... (Another 19 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Mr. Robert Mason (d. 1979), New Zealander passenger, from, Auckland, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; he died in the crash [8]
Empress of Ireland
  • Master Howard Mason, English Third Class Passenger from Manchester, England, United Kingdom who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [9]
  • Mrs. J. Mason, English Third Class Passenger from Manchester, England, United Kingdom who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [9]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Vernon R A Mason (b. 1923), English Boy 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Malvern, Worcestershire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [10]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Hubert Mason, British Ordnance Artificer 4th Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [11]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Joseph Howard Mason, American 3rd Class passenger from Detroit, Michigan, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [12]
  • Mrs. Leslie Hawthorne Mason, American 1st Class Passenger from Boston, Massachusetts, USA moving to Woodbridge, Suffolk, England, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered [12]
  • Mr. Stewart Southam Mason, English 1st Class Passenger from Ipswich, England returning to Woodbridge, Suffolk, England, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered [12]
RMS Titanic
  • 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 collapsible B [13]
  • Mr. James Mason (d. 1912), aged 39, English Leading Fireman from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [13]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Byron Dalley Mason, American Seaman Second Class from Idaho, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [14]


Suggested Readings for the name Mason +

  • 135 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.

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 27) Andromeda voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1832 with 186 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/andromeda/1832
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/henry-tanner
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) LADY MARY PELHAM 1836. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1836LadyMaryPelham.htm
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th February 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1837
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ Mount Erebus, Memorial, Roll of Remembrance (Retrieved 2018, February 21st). Retrieved from http://www.erebus.co.nz/memorialandawards/rollofremembrance.aspx
  9. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  10. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  11. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  12. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  13. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  14. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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