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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, French

Where did the English Massey family come from? What is the English Massey family crest and coat of arms? When did the Massey family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Massey family history?

The name Massey arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Massey family lived in Cheshire. Their name, however, is a reference to their place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Macey in Manche, Normandy.


Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Massey, Massie, Macy, Macey and others.

First found in Cheshire where the one of the first records of the name was "Hugh Massie, who married Agnes, daughter and heir of Nicholas Bold, of Coddington. Their son William purchased the manor of Coddington in the eighteenth of Henry VI." [1]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Massey research. Another 311 words(22 lines of text) covering the years 1602, 1619, 1674, 1646, 1674, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Massey History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 107 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Massey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Massey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 165 words(12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Massey or a variant listed above were:

Massey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Jeffrey Massey who settled in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1620
  • Jeffrey Massey who settled in Plymouth in 1629
  • Jeffrey Massey settled in Salem in 1630
  • Jeffrey Massey, who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1634
  • Edward Massey settled in Virginia in 1634

Massey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Wm Massey, who arrived in Virginia in 1701
  • Sarah Massey, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1710-1711
  • Anne Massey, who landed in Virginia in 1714
  • Leigh Massey, who landed in Maryland in 1722
  • Lee Massey, who arrived in Virginia in 1766

Massey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Mathew Massey, aged 23, arrived in New York, NY in 1812
  • John Massey, who arrived in Texas in 1830
  • James Massey, aged 22, landed in New York in 1854

Massey Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Daniel Massey, who arrived in Canada in 1836
  • Isaiah Frederic Massey, who arrived in Canada in 1840

Massey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Leah Massey arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Delhi" in 1839
  • James Massey, English Convict from Liverpool, who was transported aboard the "Aboukir" on December 24, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia

Massey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • James Massey arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aloe" in 1863
  • Rachel Massey arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aloe" in 1863
  • Fred Massey arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aloe" in 1863
  • John Massey arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Portland" in 1864
  • Catherine Massey arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Portland" in 1864


  • James Lee Massey (1934-2013), American information theorist and cryptographer, Professor Emeritus of Digital Technology at ETH Zurich
  • Athena Massey (b. 1971), American television and film actress
  • Ilona Massey (1910-1974), American film, stage and radio performer
  • Edith Massey (1918-1984), American actress and singer
  • Brigadier-General Clyde Massey (1902-1990), American Chief Quartermaster, Army Forces Western Pacific (1945-1946)
  • Lawrence "Lew" Massey (1956-2014), American professional NBA basketball player
  • Gerald Massey (1828-1907), English mystic and poet
  • Sir Harrie Stewart Wilson Massey (1908-1983), Australian mathematical physicist knighted in 1960
  • Denton Massey Jr. (1900-1984), Canadian engineer, Anglican priest and politician
  • Raymond Hart Massey (1896-1983), Canadian born actor and brother of Vincent Massey



  • Descendants of Arthur Massey, Cheraws District, South Carolina by Carmae Massey Smith.
  • The Masseys of Grenadier Island by Elizabeth C. Meilahn.

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  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.

Other References

  1. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  2. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  3. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  4. 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).
  5. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  6. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  7. 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.
  8. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  10. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  11. ...

The Massey Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Massey 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 21 February 2015 at 18:20.

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