Magister History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Following the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, the name Magister was first found in Britina. It was a name for a person who behaved in a masterful manner. This was also an occupational name for a person who was the master of his craft deriving from the Old French word maistre, and the Old English word maister.

"There are three places called 'Les Moutiers,' 'Monasteria,' in the department of Calvados in Normandy; but if he were a Breton, as seems probable, Moutiers near La Guerche may be the more likely place for him to have come from. Robert, however, was no doubt a near relation of 'Lisois de Monasteriis,' a brave knight in the Conqueror's army in the Northern campaign of 1069, who, when the river Aire had stopped their progress for three weeks, sought for a ford both above and below, and at last with great difficulty discovered one, by which he crossed over at the head of sixty bold men-at-arms, and though assailed by the enemy with great force stoutly held his ground." [1]

Early Origins of the Magister family

The surname Magister was first found in Yorkshire where "Robert 'de Mosters' was a tenant of Earl Alan's in Yorkshire 1086, and also held Truswell in Nottinghamshire, part of the great Richmond Fee." [1]

According to Thoroton, Truswell or Tireswell was held by seven generations of Robert's descendants. Lisiardus de Monasterio, and Gundra his sister, occur in the county 1194-99 (Rotuli Curiae Regis): and Robert, in 1279, held two fees " pro Warda Castri de Richmond." - Gale's Richmondshire.

Early History of the Magister family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Magister research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1600, 1662, 1627, 1624, 1680, 1660, 1637, 1680, 1627, 1684, 1610, 1691, 1639, 1640, 1653, 1661, 1679, 1687, 1663, 1710, 1685, 1690, 1675, 1720 and 1715 are included under the topic Early Magister History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Magister Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Magister are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Magister include Master, Masters, Mosters, Measter, DeMaster and many more.

Early Notables of the Magister family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Streynsham Master; Sir William Master (1600-1662) was an English politician, High Sheriff of Gloucestershire in 1627; his son Thomas Master (1624-1680), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1660; John Master (1637-c.1680), an English physician; William Master (1627-1684), an English divine and writer; Sir Edward Master(s) (1610-1691), an English politician...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Magister Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Magister family

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Magister, or a variant listed above: Andrew Master, who settled in Boston in 1763; Lambert Master, who settled in New England in 1709; Alice Masters, who settled in Barbados in 1675; Elizabeth Masters, who settled in Salem in 1630.



The Magister 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: Non minor est virtus quam quaerere parta tueri
Motto Translation: It is no less an achievement to keep possession than to acquire it.


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3


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