Show ContentsMaas History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In Scottish history, few names go farther back than Maas, whose ancestors lived among the clans of the Pictish tribe. They lived in a place called Mar, which was in the county of Aberdeen. It may come from the Old Norse word marr, which was an extremely rare word, that was usually associated with the sea, but sometimes referred to a marsh or a fen. In this sense, Maas would be a habitational name. [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Maas family

The surname Maas was first found in the West Riding of Yorkshire at Marr, a parish, in the union of Doncaster, N. division of the wapentake of Strafforth and Tickhill. [3]

It was here in England that James de Mar was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of 1182. Ralph atte Mar was also listed in Yorkshire in the Subsidy Rolls of 1297 as was William del Marre in the Subsidy Rolls for 1302. [2] The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included Johannes de Merre; and Henricus de Marre. [4]

However the lion's share of the family claim Scotland as their ancient homeland. Here Mar is a parish in Aberdeenshire where "the name is of local or territorial origin from the district in Aberdeenshire so named." [5]

This same source postulates that the name was "probably also from Marr in Yorkshire. In the Yorkshire dialect mar is used of 'marshy land, sodden or reedy ground.' " [5]

"In 1235 William de Mer, perhaps the earliest of the name in record [in Scotland], witnessed a grant by Radulf Manus to the Abbey of Kelso. Gilberd or Gilbert de Mar of Fifeshire, John of Mar, bailiff of Linlithgow, and James de Mer of Aberdeenshire, all rendered homage in 1296 [to King Edward I of England]. Richard Mar was present at inquest made at St. Andrews, 1302-1303. John de Marr, c. 1316, witnessed a charter of the lands of Linton-Rothirrik, and David de Marre was king's messenger in 1327. A canonry of Glasgow was granted to John de Mair, chaplain to Joan, queen of Scotland, 1346. Roger dictus Mer held land of the Abbey of Arbroath in 1329, Donald de Marre is mentioned in 1353 as late archdeacon of Brechin, Master David of Mer was treasurer of Moray, 1358, and Alexander de Marr was custumar of Dundee in 1359. " [5]

To better understand the York, England and Scotland relationship in the family, we found "William Mar, ninth Earl of Mar (d. 1281?), the son of Duncan, eighth earl of Mar, and grandson of Morgrund, fifth earl. He succeeded his father in or before 1237, when he attested at York the agreement between Henry III of England and Alexander II of Scotland. His right of succession was contested by Alan Durward, who asserted that William's father and grandfather were both of illegitimate birth, and that he ought to succeed as lawful heir. But apparently the case was arranged on the footing of an agreement which had been made about 1228 with Thomas Durward, father of Alan, who received a large accession of territory in Mar ; and the earldom remained with William de Mar. In 1249, during the minority of Alexander III, he was appointed one of the regents of Scotland." [6]

William's son, Donald Mar, tenth Earl of Mar (d. 1297), was knighted by Alexander III at Scone in 1270, and succeeded as earl before 25 July 1281, when he took oath at Roxburgh to observe the treaty for the marriage of Princess Margaret of Scotland and Eric, king of Norway. [6]

Early History of the Maas family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Maas research. Another 230 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1120, 1366, 1403, 1391, 1439, 1130, 1408, 1439, 1475, 1734, 1501 and 1748 are included under the topic Early Maas History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Maas Spelling Variations

The arts of spelling and translation were yet in their infancies when surnames began, so there are an enormous number of spelling variations of the names in early Scottish records. This is a particular problem with Scottish names because of the numerous times a name might have been loosely translated to English from Gaelic and back. Maas has been spelled Marr, Mar, Marre, Mare and others.

Early Notables of the Maas family (pre 1700)

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

Maas Ranking

In the United States, the name Maas is the 4,265th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [7] However, in Netherlands, the name Maas is ranked the 40th most popular surname with an estimated 17,185 people with that name. [8]

United States Maas migration to the United States +

This oppression forced many Scots to leave their homelands. Most of these chose North America as their destination. Although the journey left many sick and poor, these immigrants were welcomed the hardy with great opportunity. Many of these settlers stood up for their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence. More recently, Scots abroad have recovered much of their collective heritage through highland games and other patriotic functions and groups. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has located various settlers bearing the name Maas:

Maas Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Andreas Maas, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1743 [9]
  • Sebastian Maas, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1752 [9]
Maas Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Carsten Maas, who landed in North America in 1832-1849 [9]
  • Joh Gerh Maas, who arrived in America in 1836 [9]
  • Bemh Heinr Maas, aged 46, who arrived in America in 1838 [9]
  • Ortwin Maas, who landed in America in 1844 [9]
  • Johann Gottlieb Maas, aged 67, who arrived in America in 1845 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Maas migration to Australia +

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

Maas Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Jean Herman Maas, (b. 1808), aged 20, British clerk from Sri Lanka who was convicted in Port Louis, Mauritius for 16 years for forgery, transported aboard the "Celia" on 14th August 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1830 [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Maas (post 1700) +

  • Chris Maas, American canoe sailor
  • Greg Maas (b. 1966), retired U.S. soccer goalkeeper
  • Ernest Maas (1892-1986), American silent-era screenwriter
  • Willard Maas (1906-1971), American experimental film maker and poet
  • Frederica Alexandrina Sagor Maas (b. 1900), American playwright, screenwriter, memoirist and author
  • Melvin Joseph Maas (1898-1964), U.S. Representative from Minnesota
  • Kevin Christian Maas (b. 1965), former American Major League Baseball player
  • William Thomas Maas (b. 1962), former American Football defensive tackle
  • Peter Maas (1929-2001), American journalist and author
  • Jason Maas (b. 1975), American gridiron football quarterback
  • ... (Another 23 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  • Willi Maas (1920-1941), German Maschinengefreiter who served aboard the German Battleship Bismarck during World War II when it was sunk heading to France; he died in the sinking [11]
  • Heinrich Maas (1910-1941), German Maschinist ROA Res. who served aboard the German Battleship Bismarck during World War II when it was sunk heading to France; he died in the sinking [11]
  • Hans Maas (1916-1941), German Mechanikersmaat (A) who served aboard the German Battleship Bismarck during World War II when it was sunk heading to France; he died in the sinking [11]

  1. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. 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)
  6. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  8. "Most Common Last Names in Netherlands." Forebears,
  9. 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)
  10. Convict Records of Australia. Retreived 18th January 2021 from
  11. Bismarck & Tirpitz Class - Crew List Bismarck. (Retrieved 2018, February 06). Retrieved from on Facebook