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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2017

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Multiple Origins for the Surname Major



The name Major came to England with the ancestors of the Major family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the Norman given name Mauger. The name indicates one who is the son of Maugier, an Old French personal name, which is derived from the Old Germanic name Malger, which means council spear. [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


Major Early Origins



The surname Major was first found in Normandy where Mauguer was the third son of Richard I, Duke of Normandy and his second wife, Gunnora. He ruled as Count of Corbeil through his wife Germaine de Corbeil.

Mauger (or Malger) was the youngest son of Richard II and his second wife, Papia of Envermeu. He rose to become Archbishop of Rouen in 1037. However, as he opposed the marriage of Duke William and Matilda of Flanders in 1049, he was banished from Rouen to the Isle of Guernsey. There he married Gisella or Guille "without sanction of the Church, he formed an intimacy that resulted in numerous progeny, some of whom took their father's, others their mother's name. 'Hence,' observes a correspondent 'Guilles and Maugers are as plentiful as blackberries on the Channel Islands'"[2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
. The Norman poet Wace (c.1110-1174), related stories of his life on the Channel Islands some 100 years later.

Another Mauger was royal clerk and physician before he was elected to the see of Worcester in 1199, a position held until his death in 1212. Sir Mathias Mayer (Mayor), originally a Jerseyman was ancestor of the Majors of Hampshire.

Over in England, "the font-name was fairly popular in the 13th century. Mauger is found as a single personal name in the Hundred Rolls." [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
However, the Hundred Rolls (Hundredorum Rolls) of 1273 had listings as a surname too: Thomas filius Mager in Lincolnshire; Walter Mauger in Cambridgeshire; and Richard Malgor in Buckinghamshire. [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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Major Spelling Variations


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Major Spelling Variations



Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Major, Mauger, Magor, Maior, Mayer, Mayor, Mager and others.

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Major Early History


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Major Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Major research. Another 171 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1469, 1550, 1615, 1655 and are included under the topic Early Major History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Major Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Major Early Notables (pre 1700)



Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Major Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Major In Ireland


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Major In Ireland



Some of the Major family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 136 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Major name or one of its variants:

Major Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Edward Major, who arrived in Virginia in 1637
  • Phi Major, who landed in Virginia in 1637
  • Tho Major, who arrived in Virginia in 1645
  • John Major and Thomas Major who both settled in Virginia in 1645
  • Eliza Major, who landed in Virginia in 1645
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Major Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Math Major, who landed in Virginia in 1705
  • Mary Major, who landed in Virginia in 1706
  • James Major settled in Virginia in 1773
  • James Major, who landed in New York in 1795
  • Frederick William Major, who landed in America in 1798

Major Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Henry Major, who arrived in New York, NY in 1803
  • John Rudolph Major, aged 30, landed in Maryland in 1812
  • Joseph Major, aged 30, arrived in America in 1822
  • Mary Major settled in Boston with her husband and three children in 1822
  • Bartholomaus Major, who arrived in North America in 1837
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Major Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mr. Edward Major U.E. who settled in Parr Town, Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [4]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X

Major Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Samuel Major, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on November 13, 1832, settling in New South Wales, Australia [5]CITATION[CLOSE]
    State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 27) Andromeda voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1832 with 186 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/andromeda/1832
  • Samuel Major arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Mary Dugdale" in 1840 [6]CITATION[CLOSE]
    State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MARY DUGDALE 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840MaryDugdale.gif
  • William Major arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Himalaya" in 1849
  • William Major, aged 21, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Himalaya"
  • George Major, aged 18, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Omega"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Major Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Ellen Major, aged 21, a housemaid, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waitangi" in 1874
  • Charles Major, aged 28, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballochmyle" in 1874
  • Harriett Major, aged 28, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballochmyle" in 1874
  • George Major, aged 5, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballochmyle" in 1874
  • Albert Major, aged 3, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballochmyle" in 1874
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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Contemporary Notables of the name Major (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Major (post 1700)



  • Elliot Woolfolk Major (1864-1949), American lawyer and Democratic politician, 33rd Governor of Missouri (1913-1917), Attorney General of Missouri (1909-1913)
  • Clarence Major (b. 1936), American poet, novelist and painter
  • Sir John Major KG, CH, PC (b. 1943), Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 19901997
  • Dame Malvina Lorraine Major GNZM, DBE (b. 1943), award-winning New Zealand opera singer
  • William James Major (1881-1953), Canadian politician and jurist

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Major Historic Events


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Major Historic Events




HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. Michael John Herbert Major, British Lieutenant, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died during the sinking

HMS Repulse

  • Mr. W S Major, British Surgeon Lieutenant "D", who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking

RMS Titanic

  • Mr. Thomas Edgar Major (d. 1912), aged 35, English Bath Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mr. William James Major, aged 32, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 13

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Major Family Crest Products


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Major Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 27) Andromeda voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1832 with 186 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/andromeda/1832
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MARY DUGDALE 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840MaryDugdale.gif

Other References

  1. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  5. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  6. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  7. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  9. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  11. ...

The Major Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Major Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 13 January 2017 at 07:35.

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