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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

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The name Mason was brought to England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Mason is for a stone-mason. The name was originally derived from the Old English or Old French word masson. [1]

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The surname Mason was first found in various counties and shires throughout Britain but one of the oldest was found in Kent on the Isle of Thanet. One of the earliest records on the name was found in London c. 1130 when John Macun was listed there at that time. A few years later, Ace le mazun was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Herefordshire in 1193 and Roger le Mason was listed in Oxfordshire in 1200. The Feet of Fines of Essex lists Godrey le Mascun in 1203 and Adam le Machon was listed in the Assize Roles of Northumberland in 1279. [2] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Gotte le Mazoun in Huntingdonshire; and Nicholas le Macun in Buckinghamshire. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list Willelmus Mason, mason. [3] About this time and perhaps before, Scotland had early listings of the name. They include: Richard the Mason, burgess of Aberdeen in 1271; John le Massum of Gascony who had claim against the bishop of St. Andrews in 1288; and William dictus Masceon who had a charter of land in the burgh of Berwick in 1307. [4]

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Mason, Masson and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mason research. Another 151 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1586, 1635, 1615, 1629, 1686, 1652, 1660, 1716, 1690, 1735, 1650, 1676, 1633, 1685, 1673, 1646, 1694, 1683 and 1770 are included under the topic Early Mason History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 295 words (21 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mason Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Mason family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 155 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Mason or a variant listed above:

Mason Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Francis Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1613
  • Jon Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1618
  • Ann Mason, who landed in Virginia in 1621
  • Alice Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1622
  • Robert Homer Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1622


Mason Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Elinor Mason, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Fra Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • Geo Mason, who landed in Virginia in 1704
  • Eliz Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
  • Cha Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1705


Mason Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Robert Mason, who landed in America in 1801-1802
  • Maria Mason, who landed in New York, NY in 1812
  • Daniel Mason, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815
  • Mad Mason, who arrived in North America in 1832-1849
  • Redding Mason, who landed in Texas in 1835


Mason Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Nathaniel Mason, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • Aaron Mason, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Charles Mason, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Isaac Mason, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Masia Mason, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1757


Mason Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Mason, who arrived in Canada in 1831
  • Betty Mason, aged 46, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Salus" in 1833
  • Thomas Mason, aged 25, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1837 aboard the barque "Robert Watt" from Cork
  • James Mason, aged 23, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1837 aboard the barque "Robert Watt" from Cork
  • Catherine Mason, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1843

Mason Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John Mason, a comb-maker, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Richard Mason, English convict from Warwick, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on November 13, 1832, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Henry Mason a seaman, arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Lady Mary Pelham" in 1836
  • George Mason arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince George" in 1838
  • George Mason arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Ganges" in 1839


Mason Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Frederick Mason landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Henry Mason landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Samuel Mason landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Sydney Mason landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Thomas Mason landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Martha Ridgway


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  • Anthony George Douglas Mason (1966-2015), American professional basketball player who played from 1988 to 2003
  • Mr. Joseph Howard Mason (d. 1915), American 3rd Class passenger from Detroit, Michigan, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Mrs. Leslie Hawthorne Mason (d. 1915), American 1st Class Passenger from Boston, Massachusetts, USA moving to Woodbridge, Suffolk, England, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered
  • George Mason IV (1725-1792), American Patriot, statesman and a delegate from Virginia to the U.S. Constitutional Convention, called the "Father of the Bill of Rights" and one of the "Founding Fathers" of the United States
  • Private First Class Leonard Foster Mason (1920-1944), American Marine awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944 for heroism during the Battle of Guam
  • Daniel Gregory Mason (1873-1953), American composer
  • William Mason (1829-1908), American musician
  • Frank Herbert Mason (b. 1921), Artist and Educator, Instructor in Fine Arts, New York City
  • Alpheus Thomas Mason (1899-1989), American Law Professor at Princeton University, author on American political thought and constitutional law
  • Mr. Stewart Southam Mason (d. 1915), English 1st Class Passenger from Ipswich, England returning to Woodbridge, Suffolk, England, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered

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  • Yesterday, a History of Norwegian Ancestry by Evelyn Hoff.
  • The Five George Masons by Pamela C. Copeland.
  • John Mason and Mary Ann Miller by Floyd R. Mason.
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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: Dum spiro spero
Motto Translation: While I have breath I have hope.

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  1. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  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. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)

Other References

  1. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  2. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  3. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  4. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  5. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  9. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  10. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  11. ...

The Mason Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Mason 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 19 April 2016 at 17:21.

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