Show ContentsMaskell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

A family in the Pictish tribe of ancient Scotland was the first to use the name Maskell. They lived in the lands of Keith in the county of East Lothian. Traditionally the Keiths were descended from Robert, an early Chieftain of the Catti tribe, and possibly one of the earliest settlers in Scotland. Robert joined King Malcolm II at the battle of Panbridge, in 1006, against Camus, leader of the Danes.

Robert slew Camus for which King Malcolm granted Robert the hereditary title of Marshall of Scotland, with a barony in Lothian and the island of Inskeith in the gulf of Edinburgh. It is for this title that the Keiths are sometimes known as the Marshalls, and many Clansmen adopted that name.

Early Origins of the Maskell family

The surname Maskell was first found in Haddingtonshire where Harvey Keith, successor of the aforementioned Robert Keith (d. 1346) inherited the office of Marshal late in the 13th century, but was imprisoned by the English until 1304. "Reported to [King] Edward as 'one of his worst enemies,' and 'of bad repute,' he was ordered to be removed to Nottingham Castle; but, on reaching York on his way thither, was sent to Bristol Castle. In 1302 he was admitted to the king's peace, and returning to Scotland, is mentioned as dining with the Prince of Wales at Perth in February 1304." [1]

He became one of four Deputy Wardens of Scotland. He joined the cause of King Robert the Bruce, and for their assistance to the Scottish crown, the Clan was granted the royal forest of Kintore. Harvey Keith commanded the Scots Cavalry at Bannockburn and was probably more instrumental in the annihilation of the English army than any other single person. He was again granted lands for his deeds, this time at the expense of the Clan Cumming (Comyn), whose estates at Buchan were acquired by the Keith Clan.

His great grandson, Sir William Keith, (d. 1336) founded the tower of Dunottar Castle. He brought the bones and heart of James Douglas, as well as King Robert I of Scotland's heart, back to Scotland after Douglas was killed on crusade in Spain. Through marriage with an heiress of the Cheynes of Axkergill, the Keiths acquired lands in Caithrless, and began a never-ending succession of feuds with their new neighbors, the Gunns and others.

Early History of the Maskell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Maskell research. Another 359 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1438, 1464, 1475, 1540, 1588, 1581, 1553, 1623, 1585, 1635, 1610, 1670, 1714, 1718, 1699, 1758, 1694, 1664, 1712, 1638, 1716 and are included under the topic Early Maskell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Maskell Spelling Variations

In medieval Scotland, names were more often spelled according to sound than any regular set of rules. An enormous number of spelling variations were the result. Over the years, the name Maskell has been spelled Keith, Keath, Ceiteach (Gaelic) and others.

Early Notables of the Maskell family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was William Keith (d. 1475), 1st Earl Marischal of Scotland; Agnes Keith, Countess of Moray (c.1540-1588), a Scottish noblewoman; William Keith, 4th Earl Marischal (d. 1581), a Scottish nobleman and politician; George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal (c.1553-1623), a Scottish nobleman; William Keith, 6th Earl Marischal (c.1585-1635), a Scottish lord, Earl Marischal and naval official; William...
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Maskell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Maskell Ranking

In the United States, the name Maskell is the 15,751st most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the Maskell family to Ireland

Some of the Maskell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Maskell migration to the United States +

In such difficult times, Ireland, Australia, and North America looked like better homes for many Scots. The trips were expensive and grueling, but also rewarding, as the colonies were havens for those unwelcome in the old country. That legacy did not die easily, though, and many were forced to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. The Scottish legacy has resurface in more recent times, though, through Clan societies, highland games, and other organizations. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the old Scottish name of Maskell:

Maskell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Maskell, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872 [3]
  • Pat Maskell, aged 6, who immigrated to the United States from County Clare, Ireland, in 1892
  • M. Maskell, aged 35, who immigrated to America from County Clare, Ireland, in 1892
  • George Maskell, aged 28, who settled in America, in 1894
  • Alfd. Maskell, aged 15, who immigrated to the United States from England, in 1894
Maskell Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • W. E. Maskell, aged 32, who settled in America from England, in 1903
  • Mary Maskell, aged 35, who landed in America from Bradford, England, in 1907
  • John R. Maskell, aged 18, who landed in America from Newcastle on Tyne, England, in 1909
  • Bertram Maskell, aged 19, who settled in America, in 1909
  • Lucy Annie Maskell, aged 45, who landed in America from Weymouth, England, in 1912
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Maskell migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Maskell Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Joseph F. Maskell, aged 31, who settled in Vancouver, Canada, in 1911
  • Frank H. Maskell, aged 29, who settled in Halifax, Canada, in 1918
  • Elsie Irene Maskell, aged 3, who settled in Winnipeg, Canada, in 1922
  • Lilian Irene Maskell, aged 34, who immigrated to Winnipeg, Canada, in 1922

Australia Maskell migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Maskell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Maskell, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Slains Castle" arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 25th January 1851 [4]
  • Mrs. Maskell, British settler with 5 children travelling from London aboard the ship "Slains Castle" arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 25th January 1851 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Maskell (post 1700) +

  • John W. Maskell, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Salem County, 1837, 1842 [5]
  • Robert "Bob" Maskell (1940-2021), Canadian teacher and politician from Alberta, MLA for Edmonton-Meadowlark (2001-2004)
  • Virginia Elizabeth Maskell (1936-1968), Lady Shakerley, an English actress
  • Neil Maskell (b. 1976), English actor, writer and director
  • Daniel "Dan" Maskell (1908-1992), English tennis player
  • Craig Dell Maskell (b. 1968), English football Centre Forward
  • William Miles Maskell (1839-1898), New Zealand farmer, politician and entomologist

HMS Hood
  • Mr. John N Maskell (b. 1921), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking [6]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Leopold Adolphus Maskell (d. 1912), aged 25, English Trimmer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [7]

The Maskell 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: Veritas vincit
Motto Translation: Truth Conquers.

  1. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. 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)
  4. The Argus News Paper 27th January 1852 Page 2 (Retrieved 26th April 2019). Retrieved from
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 6) . Retrieved from
  6. H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from
  7. Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook