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


Massie is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Massie 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.

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Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. 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] A branch of the family held a family seat at Backford since early times. "During a great part of the 13th and 14th centuries, the manor [of Backford] was held by the Masseys, of Timperley; about the year 1580 it was sold to Thomas Aldersey." [2] Birkenhead in Cheshire was another ancient family seat. "A priory for sixteen Benedictine monks was founded [in Birkenhead] about 1150, in honour of St. Mary and St. James, by Hamon de Massey, third Baron of Dunham-Massey." [2] Little is known of Hamon de Massey other than he held manors of Agden, Baguley, Bowdon, Dunham, Hale and Little Bollington. He is thought to have born in La Ferté-Macé, in the Orne department in north-western France.


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

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

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Some of the Massie 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.

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To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Massie or a variant listed above:

Massie Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Andrew Massie settled in New York, NY 1775
  • Andrew Massie, aged 32, arrived in New York in 1775

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  • Suzanne Massie, American author
  • Nathaniel Massie (1763-1813), frontier surveyor in the Ohio Country
  • Elizabeth Massie, American author
  • Brandon Massie (b. 1987), American soccer player
  • Robert Kinloch "Bob" Massie (b. 1956), American Episcopal priest, politician, author, and social activist
  • Robert Kinloch Massie III (b. 1929), American historian, writer, winner of a Pulitzer Prize, and a Rhodes Scholar
  • Grace L. Massie, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Mexico, 1932
  • Glen Massie, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Iowa, 2008
  • G. Edmond Massie, American Democrat politician, Member of Virginia State House of Delegates, 1950
  • David Meade Massie (b. 1859), American Republican politician, Member of Ohio State Senate, 1887-89; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1896, 1916

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  • The Family of John Massie, 1743-c.1830, Revolutionary Patriot of Louisa County, Virginia by Mavis Parrott Kelsey.
  • A Massie Family History by Evelyn Hepworth Massie.
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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.
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  3. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  4. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  6. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  7. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  8. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  9. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The Massie Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Massie 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 17 March 2016 at 11:48.

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