Messer Surname History

Messer is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest in 1066. It is a name for a person employed in reaping or harvesting. The name can be traced to the Old French word messier, which meant harvester.

Early Origins of the Messer family

The surname Messer was first found in Lincolnshire where they were one of the noted families of the area. Roger Messer was the first on record in Lincolnshire, in 1172, a little over a century after the Conquest. In 1180 Erkenbald Messer was recorded in the same county. At about the same time Jacobus Mesoart was registered in Normandy. Early in their history a branch of this family moved to Scotland.

Early History of the Messer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Messer research. Another 73 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1273, 1296, and 1663 are included under the topic Early Messer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Messer Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Messer, Mesher, Messor, Mersser, Masar, Messier, Meisser, Measure and many more.

Early Notables of the Messer family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Messer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Messer Ranking

In the United States, the name Messer is the 1,444th most popular surname with an estimated 22,383 people with that name. [1]


United States Messer migration to the United States +

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Messer name or one of its variants:

Messer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • James Messer, who settled in Virginia in 1653
  • James Messer, who arrived in Virginia in 1653
  • James Messer, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 [2]
Messer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Sylvester Messer, who arrived in America from England in 1701 with his wife, 2 sons and 2 daughters
  • Sylvester Messer, who immigrated to America in 1709
  • Koenraet Messer, who arrived in New York in 1709 [2]
  • Pieter Messer, who landed in New York in 1709 [2]
  • Margaretta Messer, who settled in New York City in 1710
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Messer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Sebastian Messer, who settled in Baltimore in 1835 with his wife and 3 children
  • Sebastian Messer, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1845 [2]
  • W Messer, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [2]
  • Louise Messer, aged 21, who landed in New York in 1854 [2]
  • John Messer, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872 [2]

Canada Messer migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Messer Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Carolina Messer, who arrived in Quebec in 1850
  • Carolina Messer, who landed in Quebec in 1850
  • Maria Messer, who arrived in Quebec in 1850
  • Wilhelm Messer, who arrived in Quebec in 1850

Contemporary Notables of the name Messer (post 1700) +

  • Wilson Messer (1876-1958), American Republican politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Steuben County 1st District, 1924-36; Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1932
  • Richard H. Messer, American politician, Member of New Hampshire Governor's Council, 1856-58
  • Richard B. Messer, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1892 (alternate), 1896
  • Lon Messer, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1940
  • John A. Messer Sr., American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Virginia, 1944, 1948, 1956
  • F. F. Messer, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Iowa, 1920
  • Dee L. Messer, American politician, Mayor of Coffeyville, Kansas, 2004-05
  • Alan Luke Messer, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Indiana, 2008
  • Thomas M Messer (b. 1920), Czech-born American museum director, director of the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, of the Guggenheim Museum (1961-), and was the president of the Society of Art Museum Directors (1974-75), recipient of the Cross of the Order of Merit (West Germany), the Legion d'honneur (1980), and the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art (1981)
  • Glen Edmund Messer (1895-1995), American aviation pioneer
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ 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)


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