Glasson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Dalriadan kingdom consisted of the Hebrides islands, and the rugged mountains of Scotland west coast. The name Glasson began in this region; it was a nickname for a person with gray hair. The surname Glass is derived from the Gaelic word glas, which means gray, however, it may also be a shortened Anglicized form of the surname MacGille Glais, which means son of the gray lad. [1]

In England, the name is an occupational name for "one who made or sold glassware." [2]

Early Origins of the Glasson family

The surname Glasson was first found in Buteshire (Gaelic Siorrachd Bhòid), an island region of western Scotland within the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute. Glass is a "parish, of which the name, in the Gaelic language, signifying "grey," is descriptive of the uncultivated portion of its surface, is about eight miles in extreme length, and five miles in extreme breadth, comprising an area of nearly 19,000 acres." [3]

Early records of the family are very scarce. The name is thought to be "a shortened form of Mac Gille glais [who were] families locally called barons from the fifteenth century till recently. In 1506 there is record of a grant of half the lands of Langilculcreich in Bute to Alexander Glass. The name is also in record in Perth in 1674, and fifteen of the name are recorded in the Commissariot Record of Dunblane from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century." [4]

Much father to the south in Devon, England "the present home of the name of Glass in this county is in the Exbourne district. Nicholas Glass was the name of the mayor of Barnstaple in 1787 and 1804. Glass was the name of two Tiverton churchwardens in 1723 and 1724. The name is also established in Wiltshire." [5]

Early History of the Glasson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Glasson research. Another 150 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1652, 1674, 1695, 1773, 1724, 1695, 1773 and are included under the topic Early Glasson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Glasson Spelling Variations

Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, Glasson has been spelled Glass, Glas, MacGilleglas, Glasse and others.

Early Notables of the Glasson family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was John Glas (1695-1773), Scottish sectary, only son of Alexander Glas (d. 1724), minister of Auchtermuchty, Fifeshire, afterwards of Kinclaven, Perthshire. He was born at Auchtermuchty on 21 Sept. 1695. "Glas was of even and cheerful disposition, in company free from professional stiffness, and not without a sense of humour. ‘I too can be grave at times,’...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Glasson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Glasson family to Ireland

Some of the Glasson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Glasson migration to Australia +

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

Glasson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Charles Glasson, (b. 1819), aged 17 born in Crowan, Cornwall, UK convicted in Cornwall on 28th June 1836, sentenced for 7 years for stealing a hat and coat, transported aboard the ship "Henry Porcher" in 1836 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [6]
  • Mr. Charles Glasson, (b. 1819), aged 17, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 28th June 1836, sentenced for 7 years for stealing a hat, cap, jacket, and trousers, transported aboard the ship "Henry Porcher" on 1st August 1836 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [7]
  • Miss Mary Glasson, (b. 1814), aged 24, Cornish farm servant, from Breage, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "James Pattison" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 11th December 1838 [8]
  • Miss Mary Glasson, (b. 1814), aged 24, Cornish farm servant travelling aboard the ship "James Pattison" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 11th December 1838 [9]
  • William Glasson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "British Sovereign" in 1847 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Glasson 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:

Glasson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Charles Glasson, aged 20, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Auckland" in 1872
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Glasson, (b. 1854), aged 23, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Mataura" going to Hawkes Bay, New Zealand arriving in port on 9th November 1877 [11]
  • Mr. Thomas Glasson, (b. 1855), aged 22, Cornish farm Labourer travelling aboard the ship "Mataura" going to Hawkes Bay, New Zealand arriving in port on 9th November 1877 [11]
  • Mr. John Glasson, (b. 1878), aged 5 months, Cornish settler departing on 1st November 1878 aboard the ship "Waikato" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 18th January 1878 [12]
  • Mr. Joseph Glasson, (b. 1854), aged 24, Cornish farm labourer departing on 1st November 1878 aboard the ship "Waikato" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 18th January 1878 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Glasson (post 1700) +

  • Gregory Scott Glasson (b. 1974), American bass player
  • Franklin Clark Glasson (1913-1994), American golf course architect
  • William Lee Glasson Jr. (b. 1960), American professional PGA golfer
  • Levi L. Glasson, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Bristol, 1924, 1926 [13]
  • Joseph H. Glasson (1857-1923), American Democratic Party politician, Merchant; Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Bristol, 1915-18 [13]
  • Stephen John "Steve" Glasson OAM (b. 1969), Australian bowls player ranked number one in the world in 2004, current Australian national bowls coach
  • Martin Jamie Glasson (b. 1973), former English cricketer from Salisbury, Wiltshire
  • Ernest Désiré Glasson (1839-1907), French academic and jurist
  • William "Bill" Glasson AO (b. 1953), Australian ophthalmologist and politician, President of the Australian Medical Association (2003-2005)


The Glasson Motto +

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: Luctor
Motto Translation: I struggle, but am not overwhelmed.


  1. ^ Dixon, Bernard Homer, Surnames. London: John Wilson and son, 1857. Print
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/tasmanian_convicts_cornish.pdf
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_bounty_nsw.pdf
  9. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, May 30). Ships' Passenger Lists of Arrivals in New South Wales on (1828 - 1842, 1848 - 1849) [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_1838_on.pdf
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BRITISH SOVEREIGN 1847. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1847BritishSovereign.htm
  11. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to other ports, 1872 - 84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  12. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  13. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 26) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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