Massey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

From the historical and enchanting region of France emerged a multitude of notable family names, including that of the distinguished Massey family. Originally, the people in this region went by one (personal) name. Surnames evolved during the Middle Ages when people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. These names then began to become "fixed" or hereditary between the generations. The Massey surname derives from the Old French word "masse," which refers to the heavy metal tipped war club called a mace; and as such was thought to have been an occupational name for a soldier who carried a mace. The surname may also have been taken on from any of several places with names such as Masse, LaMasse, Massé.

Early Origins of the Massey family

The surname Massey was first found in Savoy (French: Savoie) in the Rhône-Alpes region of the French Alps, where this celebrated family has held a family seat from ancient times.

Throughout the centuries, this family prospered and branched to several regions where members became prominent citizens of their respective areas. As a result of their prominence in society, the family members formed many alliances with other powerful families of the times and in this way, property and titles were exchanged according to the pacts.

From Lombardie, the family branched to Provence and by 1667 they were granted the titles of Lords of Rustrel, of Chauvet, of Serluc and of La Rouvière.

François Masse, born in 1722, son of Richard and Jeanne (née Jordan), travelled from Normandy to New France in the 18th century. After arriving in Quebec he married Marthe Paradis, born in 1718, at Rivière-Ouelle on 12th January 1745. They settled together in Rivière-Ouelle until his death on 27th May 1782. [1]

Early History of the Massey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Massey research. Another 48 words (3 lines of text) covering the year 1667 is included under the topic Early Massey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Massey Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Masse, Masses, Massey, Massait, Massaie, Massaies, Massé, Masser, Massée and many more.

Early Notables of the Massey family (pre 1700)

Notable in the family name at this time was Énemond Massé (1574-1646), French Jesuit missionary from Lyon who arrived in Acadia with Pierre Biard in 1608, but later had to move to Bar Harbor, Maine; and Henri de Massue, 2nd Marquis de Ruvigny, afterward Earl of Galway PC (1648-1720), a French Huguenot soldier...
Another 52 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Massey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Massey Ranking

In the United States, the name Massey is the 469th most popular surname with an estimated 59,688 people with that name. [2] However, in the United Kingdom, the name Massey is ranked the 577th most popular surname with an estimated 11,333 people with that name. [3]


United States Massey migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name 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, who settled in Salem in 1630
  • Jeffrey Massey, who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1634 [4]
  • Edward Massey, who settled in Virginia in 1634
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Massey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Massey, who arrived in Virginia in 1701 [4]
  • Sarah Massey, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1710-1711 [4]
  • Anne Massey, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [4]
  • Leigh Massey, who landed in Maryland in 1722 [4]
  • Lee Massey, who arrived in Virginia in 1766 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Massey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mathew Massey, aged 23, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812 [4]
  • John Massey, who arrived in Texas in 1830 [4]
  • James Massey, aged 22, who landed in New York in 1854 [4]

Canada Massey migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Massey Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Jonathan Massey U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway, [Shelbourne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 271 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 28, 1783 at Staten Island, New York, USA [5]
  • Mrs. Ann Massey U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway, [Shelbourne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 318 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 28, 1783 at Staten Island, New York, USA [5]
  • Mr. William Massey U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway, [Shelbourne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 280 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 28, 1783 at Staten Island, New York, USA [5]
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
  • Ms. Ann Massey who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Ninian" departing 13th April 1847 from Limerick, Ireland; the ship arrived on 12th June 1847 but she died on board [6]
  • Mr. William Massey, aged 2 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Ninian" departing 13th April 1847 from Limerick, Ireland; the ship arrived on 12th June 1847 but he died on board [6]

Australia Massey migration to Australia +

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

Massey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Mary Massey, (b. 1770), aged 48, Irish convict who was convicted in Kildare, Ireland for 7 years for house robbery, transported aboard the "Elizabeth" on 26th July 1818, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. George Massey, (b. 1799), aged 32, English farmer who was convicted in West Riding, Yorkshire, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Exmouth" on 3rd March 1831, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1836 [8]
  • Mr. John Massey, British Convict who was convicted in Shropshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Asia" on 5th November 1835, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land)1836 [9]
  • Mr. John Massey, (b. 1812), aged 25, English convict who was convicted in London, England for life, transported aboard the "Emma Eugenia" on 2nd November 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Mr. James Massey, English convict who was convicted in Stafford, Staffordshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Augusta Jessie" on 10th August 1838, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Massey 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:

Massey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Massey, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "Earl of Lonsdale" arriving in Bay of Islands, North Island, New Zealand on 11th April 1841 [12]
  • Mr. James Massey, (b. 1802), aged 45, British settler born in England arriving as Detachment of the Royal New Zealand Fencibles travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Sir George Symour" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th November 1847 [13]
  • Mrs. Mary Ann Massey née Washington, (b. 1805), aged 42, British settler born in England travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Sir George Symour" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th November 1847 [13]
  • Miss Mary Ann Massey, (b. 1830), aged 17, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Sir George Symour" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th November 1847 [13]
  • Miss Rebecca Massey, (b. 1832), aged 15, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Sir George Symour" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th November 1847 [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Massey 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. [14]
Massey Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Massey, who settled in Barbados in 1668

Contemporary Notables of the name Massey (post 1700) +

  • Jimmy Massey (1929-2015), American NASCAR Grand National driver who competed in 51 races from 1955 to 1964
  • Lawrence "Lew" Massey (1956-2014), American professional NBA basketball player
  • Brigadier-General Clyde Massey (1902-1990), American Chief Quartermaster, Army Forces Western Pacific (1945-1946) [15]
  • Edith Massey (1918-1984), American actress and singer
  • James Lee Massey (1934-2013), American information theorist and cryptographer, Professor Emeritus of Digital Technology at ETH Zurich
  • Ilona Massey (1910-1974), American film, stage and radio performer
  • Athena Massey (b. 1971), American television and film actress [16]
  • David Massey, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Kentucky State House of Representatives 83rd District, 1975 [17]
  • C. E. Massey, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Tennessee, 1924 [17]
  • Benjamin Franklin Massey (1811-1879), American politician, Delegate to Missouri State Constitutional Convention 22nd District, 1845-46; Secretary of State of Missouri, 1857-61 [17]
  • ... (Another 36 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


Suggested Readings for the name Massey +

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

  1. ^ Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print
  2. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  3. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 85)
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd March 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/elizabeth
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th May 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/exmouth
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1835
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 29th March 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/emma-eugenia
  11. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 23rd August 2020, Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/augusta-jessie)
  12. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  13. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  14. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  15. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2013, February 12) Clyde Massey. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Massey/Clyde/USA.html
  16. ^ Athena Massey. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Athena Massey. Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0003182/
  17. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 22) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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