Show ContentsMadsen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the name Madsen are with the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from the baptismal name Matilda, a popular woman's name in the 11th century.

Early Origins of the Madsen family

The surname Madsen 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 Madsen family

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

Madsen Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Madsen has been spelled many different ways, including Madison, Maddison, Maddeson and others.

Early Notables of the Madsen family

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

Madsen Ranking

In the United States, the name Madsen is the 2,041st most popular surname with an estimated 14,922 people with that name. 1

United States Madsen migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Madsens to arrive in North America:

Madsen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Hans Peter Madsen, who landed in Mississippi in 1886 2
  • Adolf Madsen, aged 16, who landed in America, in 1892
  • Agnes Cinlya Madsen, aged 26, who landed in America, in 1895
  • Adolfine R. Madsen, aged 20, who immigrated to the United States, in 1896
Madsen Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Ole C Madsen, who arrived in Colorado in 1906 2
  • Madsen, aged 11, who immigrated to America, in 1906
  • Albert M. Madsen, aged 26, who settled in America, in 1906
  • Alfhild Madsen, aged 26, who landed in America, in 1907

New Zealand Madsen 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:

Madsen Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Kate Madsen, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Rajah" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 6th October 1853 3

Contemporary Notables of the name Madsen (post 1700) +

  • John Christopher Madsen (b. 1983), former American NFL football tight end
  • Eric Madsen, American college baseball coach, currently serving as head coach of the Utah Valley Wolverines baseball team
  • Christian Lucas Madsen (b. 1990), American actor, best known for his roles in the films Divergent (2014) and Palo Alto (2013)
  • Charles D. Madsen (1906-1975), American politician, Member of the Wisconsin Senate
  • Barbara Madsen (b. 1952), American jurist, Chief Justice of the Washington Supreme Court (2010-2017)
  • Arch L. Madsen (1913-1997), American founder of Bonneville International, recipient of the Peabody Award and the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Broadcasters
  • Angela Madsen (1960-2020), American three-time gold medalist Paralympian sportswoman in both rowing and track and field
  • Chris Madsen (1851-1944), Danish-born, American lawman of the Old West, one of The Three Guardsmen
  • Virginia Madsen (b. 1961), American Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated actress and film producer from Chicago, Illinois, who has received over 29 awards for her work
  • Michael Madsen (b. 1958), American actor, poet, and photographer 4
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mrs. Signe Madsen (1867-1914), née Ostgaard German Third Class Passenger from Hamburg, Germany who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking 5
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Fridtjof Arne Madsen, aged 24, Norwegian Third Class passenger from Trondheim who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived in the sinking in life boat 13 6

The Madsen 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 Madsen +

  • Yesterday, a History of Norwegian Ancestry by Evelyn Hoff.

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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. Michael Madsen. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Michael Madsen. Retrieved from
  5. Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from
  6. Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook