Mason History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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]

Early Origins of the Mason family

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]

Early History of the Mason family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mason research. Another 76 words (5 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 and printed products wherever possible.

Mason Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Mason family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Mason (1586-1635), born in King's Lynn, became Governor of Newfoundland in 1615, and was one of the founders of New Hampshire; George Mason I (1629-1686) from Pershore, Worcestershire, who arrived at Norfolk, Virginia on the ship Assurance in 1652, he was great-grandfather of George Mason IV, a Founding Father of the United States; and his son, George Mason II (1660-1716), an early American planter and statesman; and his son...
Another 78 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mason Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mason World Ranking

In the United States, the name Mason is the 135th most popular surname with an estimated 169,116 people with that name. [5] However, in Canada, the name Mason is ranked the 237th most popular surname with an estimated 16,898 people with that name. [6] And in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Mason is the 486th popular surname with an estimated 97 people with that name. [7] Australia ranks Mason as 105th with 25,284 people. [8] New Zealand ranks Mason as 89th with 4,259 people. [9] The United Kingdom ranks Mason as 79th with 56,811 people. [10]

Ireland Migration of the Mason family to Ireland

Some of the Mason family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 84 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Mason migration to the United States +

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 [11]
  • Jon Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1618 [11]
  • Ann Mason, who landed in Virginia in 1621 [11]
  • Alice Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1622 [11]
  • Robert Homer Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1622 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Mason Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Elinor Mason, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [11]
  • Fra Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1704 [11]
  • Geo Mason, who landed in Virginia in 1704 [11]
  • Eliz Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1705 [11]
  • Cha Mason, who arrived in Virginia in 1705 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Mason Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Mason, who landed in America in 1801-1802 [11]
  • Maria Mason, who landed in New York, NY in 1812 [11]
  • Daniel Mason, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815 [11]
  • Mad Mason, who arrived in North America in 1832-1849 [11]
  • Redding Mason, who landed in Texas in 1835 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Mason migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Mason Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Nathaniel Mason, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • Isaac Mason, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Robert Mason, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Aaron Mason, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Charles Mason, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Mason Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Mason, who arrived in Canada in 1831
  • Betty Mason, aged 46, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Salus" in 1833
  • Thomas Mason, aged 25, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1837 aboard the barque "Robert Watt" from Cork, Ireland
  • James Mason, aged 23, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1837 aboard the barque "Robert Watt" from Cork, Ireland
  • Catherine Mason, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1843
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Mason migration to Australia +

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

Mason Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Mr. William Mason, Irish farmer who was convicted in Armagh, Ireland for 7 years for burglary, transported aboard the "Boddingtons" on 15th February 1793, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1839 [12]
Mason Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Mason, British Convict who was convicted in Devon, England for life, transported aboard the "Earl Cornwallis" in August 1800, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • Mr. Alexander Mason, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 4th December 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • Miss Margaret Mason, (Moore), British Convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for life, transported aboard the "Experiment" on 4th December 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • Miss Mary Mason, British Convict who was convicted in Bristol, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Experiment" on 4th December 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • Mr. Samuel Mason, British Convict who was convicted in Bedford, Bedfordshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 4th December 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Mason 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:

Mason Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Mason, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship " Dublin Packet" arriving in Cloudy Bay, South Island, New Zealand in 1838 [15]
  • Mr. Edward Thomas Mason, (b. 1818), aged 21, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Oriental" arriving in Port Nicholson, Wellington, New Zealand on 31st January 1840 [16]
  • Mrs. Mason, (b. 1820), aged 19, British settler travelling from London with a child aboard the ship "Oriental" arriving in Port Nicholson, Wellington, New Zealand on 31st January 1840 [16]
  • Mrs. Mason, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "Earl of Lonsdale" arriving in Bay of Islands, North Island, New Zealand in 1840 [15]
  • Mr. Mason, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "Earl of Lonsdale" arriving in Bay of Islands, North Island, New Zealand in 1840 [15]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Mason migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [17]
Mason Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Benjamin Mason, aged 23, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [11]
  • Jo Mason, aged 19, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [11]
  • Mr. John Mason, (b. 1615), aged 20, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Anne and Elizabeth" arriving in Barbados in 1635 [18]
  • Benjamin Mason, aged 23, who arrived in Barbados in 1635
  • Mr. Beniamin Mason, (b. 1612), aged 23, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Alexander" arriving in Barbados in 1635 [19]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Mason (post 1700) +

  • Jackie Mason (1928-2021), born Yacov Moshe Maza, an American stand-up comedian and film and television actor
  • Emily Mason (1932-2019), American abstract painter, daughter of Alice Mason
  • Marilyn May Mason (1925-2019), American concert organist, recording artist, and professor, from Alva, Oklahoma
  • Gina Marie Mason (1959-2017), née Crafts, an American politician, Member of the Maine House of Representatives (since 2017)
  • Anthony George Douglas Mason (1966-2015), American professional basketball player who played from 1988 to 2003
  • 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
  • ... (Another 25 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Mr. Robert Mason (d. 1979), New Zealander passenger, from, Auckland, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; he died in the crash [20]
Bradford City stadium fire
  • Roy Mason (1911-1985), from Silsden who attended the Bradford City and Lincoln City Third Division match on 11th May 1985 when the Bradford City stadium fire occurred and he died in the fire
Empress of Ireland
  • Master Howard Mason, English Third Class Passenger from Manchester, England, United Kingdom who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [21]
  • Mrs. J. Mason, English Third Class Passenger from Manchester, England, United Kingdom who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [21]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Vernon R A Mason (b. 1923), English Boy 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Malvern, Worcestershire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [22]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Hubert Mason, British Ordnance Artificer 4th Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [23]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Joseph Howard Mason, American 3rd Class passenger from Detroit, Michigan, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [24]
  • Mrs. Leslie Hawthorne Mason, 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 [24]
  • Mr. Stewart Southam Mason, 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 [24]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Frank Archibald Robert Mason, aged 32, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on collapsible B [25]
  • Mr. James Mason (d. 1912), aged 39, English Leading Fireman from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [25]
SS Southern Cross
  • Mr. Elias Mason (b. 1914), Newfoundlander from Catalina who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Byron Dalley Mason, American Seaman Second Class from Idaho, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [26]


The Mason 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: Dum spiro spero
Motto Translation: While I have breath I have hope.


Suggested Readings for the name Mason +

  • 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.

  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)
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  7. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  8. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  9. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  10. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  11. ^ 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)
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/boddingtons
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-cornwallis
  14. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 22nd March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/coromandel-and-experiment
  15. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  16. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  17. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  18. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 23rd September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  19. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 28th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  20. ^ Mount Erebus, Memorial, Roll of Remembrance (Retrieved 2018, February 21st). Retrieved from http://www.erebus.co.nz/memorialandawards/rollofremembrance.aspx
  21. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  22. ^ 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 http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  23. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  24. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  25. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  26. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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