Madison History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Madison is an ancient Anglo-Saxon name that is derived from the baptismal name Matilda, a popular woman's name in the 11th century.

Early Origins of the Madison family

The surname Madison was first found in Durham where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Early History of the Madison family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Madison research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Madison History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Madison Spelling Variations

Madison has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Madison have been found, including Madison, Maddison, Maddeson and others.

Early Notables of the Madison family (pre 1700)

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

Madison Ranking

In the United States, the name Madison is the 1,094th most popular surname with an estimated 27,357 people with that name. [1]

United States Madison migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Madisons to arrive on North American shores:

Madison Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mary Madison, who landed in Virginia in 1618 [2]
  • Edward Madison, who settled in Virginia in 1650
  • Edward Madison, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [2]
Madison Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Madison, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1817 [2]
  • R A Madison, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [2]
  • James Madison, who arrived in Arkansas in 1876 [2]
  • Ferdinand Madison, who arrived in Hancock County, Miss in 1882 [2]
  • Andres Nelson Madison, who landed in Mississippi in 1883 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Madison 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:

Madison Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Madison, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Weymouth" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 3rd July 1866 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Madison (post 1700) +

  • James Madison Jr. (1751-1836), American statesman and political theorist, instrumental in the drafting the United States Constitution, “Father of the Constitution,” 4th President of the United States
  • President James Jonas Madison (1884-1922), American officer in the United States Navy and a recipient of the Medal of Honor
  • George Madison (1763-1816), American politician, sixth Governor of Kentucky
  • Guy Madison (1922-1996), American film and television actor
  • Dorothea Dolley Payne Todd Madison (1768-1849), American First Lady, wife of President Madison
  • John Madison Cooper (1939-2022), American philosopher from Memphis, Tennessee, Emeritus Henry Putnam University Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University
  • James Madison Hughes (1809-1861), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Missouri State House of Representatives, 1839; U.S. Representative from Missouri at-large, 1843-45
  • James Madison Leach (1815-1891), American politician, Member of North Carolina State Legislature, 1848-58; U.S. Representative from North Carolina, 1859-61, 1871-75; Member of North Carolina State Senate, 1865 [4]
  • Charles Madison Sarratt (1888-1978), American academic and administrator, Chair of the Department of Mathematics at Vanderbilt University from 1924 to 1946, Dean of Students from 1939 to 1945, Vice-Chancellor from 1946 to 1958, and Dean of Alumni from 1958 to 1978, son of Robert Clifton Sarratt
  • James Madison Tarleton (1808-1880), American politician, U.S. Consul in Melbourne, 1852-58; U.S. Collector of Customs, 1868-69 [5]

The Madison 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: Vae timido
Motto Translation: Woe to the timid.

Suggested Readings for the name Madison +

  • A Branch of the Madison Tree by Ruth Gadbury.

  1. ^
  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)
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 28) . Retrieved from
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 27) . Retrieved from on Facebook