Show ContentsMachen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Welsh Machen surname is thought to derived from name of the village of Machen, located near Caerphilly, in the county of Monmouthshire.

Alternatively, the name could have been derived from the name of an ancestor as in 'the son of Matthew.' [1]

Early Origins of the Machen family

The surname Machen was first found in Monmouthshire (Welsh: Sir Fynwy), at Machen, a parish, in the union of Newport, partly in the hundred of Wentlloog, South Wales. [2]

Early History of the Machen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Machen research. Another 65 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1541, 1614, 1614, 1600 and 1675 are included under the topic Early Machen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Machen Spelling Variations

Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname Machen has occasionally been spelled Machen, Machin, Machon, Mackon, Makin, Makins, MacMacken and many more.

Early Notables of the Machen family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Thomas Machen (c. 1541-1614), an English mercer who was mayor of Gloucester three times, Member of Parliament for Gloucester in 1614; Bathsua Reginald Makin (c.1600-c.1675) English middle-class proto-feminist who...
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Machen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Machen Ranking

In the United States, the name Machen is the 12,010th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Machen family to Ireland

Some of the Machen family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Machen migration to the United States +

The Welsh migration to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries contributed greatly to its rapid development. These migrants were in search of land, work, and freedom. Those Welsh families that survived the long ocean journey were critical to the development of new industries and factories, and to the quick settlement of land. They also added to an ever-growing rich cultural heritage. A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Machen:

Machen Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Machen, who landed in Virginia in 1664 [4]
Machen Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Alan Machen, who arrived in Maryland in 1716
Machen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • A Machen, aged 22, who arrived in New York, NY in 1847 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Machen (post 1700) +

  • Willis Benson Machen (1810-1893), American politician, United States Senator from Kentucky (1872-1873)
  • Hervey Gilbert Machen (1916-1994), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland (1965-1969)
  • James Bernard "Bernie" Machen (b. 1944), American university professor and administrator, 11th President of the University of Florida (2004-)
  • John Gresham Machen (1881-1937), American Presbyterian theologian, Professor of New Testament at Princeton Seminary between 1906 and 1929
  • Willis Benson Machen (1810-1893), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Kentucky State Senate, 1854; Member of Kentucky State House of Representatives, 1856, 1860; U.S. Senator from Kentucky, 1872-73 [5]
  • L. H. Machen, American politician, Member of Virginia State Senate 14th District, 1904-07 [5]
  • Hervey Gilbert Machen (1916-1994), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Maryland State House of Delegates, 1955-65; U.S. Representative from Maryland 5th District, 1965-69; defeated, 1968, 1970 [5]
  • Arthur Machen (1863-1947), born Arthur Llewelyn Jones, a Welsh author and mystic, best known for his novella "The Great God Pan"

  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. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. 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)
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from on Facebook