Show ContentsMasson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Masson family

The surname Masson 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 Masson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Masson 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 Masson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Masson Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Mason, Masson and others.

Early Notables of the Masson 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 Masson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Masson World Ranking

In the United States, the name Masson is the 10,328th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5] However, in Quebec, Canada, the name Masson is ranked the 513rd most popular surname. [6] And in France, the name Masson is the 51st popular surname with an estimated 40,750 people with that name. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Masson family to Ireland

Some of the Masson 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 Masson migration to the United States +

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Masson or a variant listed above:

Masson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Masson, who landed in Maryland in 1660-1661 [8]
  • Richard Masson, who landed in Maryland in 1678 [8]
  • Jean Masson, who married Anne Greslon at Neuville, in 1699
Masson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary Masson, aged 20, who settled in Virginia in 1700
  • William Masson, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1705-1708 [8]
  • Pierre Masson, who arrived in Louisiana in 1719 [8]
  • Peter Masson, who landed in South Carolina in 1738 [8]
  • Mary Masson, who landed in South Carolina in 1738 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Masson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Lewis Masson, who landed in Ohio in 1812 [8]
  • J Masson, aged 50, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1847 [8]
  • A Masson, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [8]
  • Ed Masson, aged 25, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1852 [8]
  • Mathew Masson, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1860 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Masson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Masson Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Nicolas Masson, son of Nicolas and Marie, who married Marie Gendre, daughter of Moise and Jeanne, in Quebec on 12th November 1665 [9]
  • Gilles Masson, who settled in Québec, where he married Marie-Jeanne Gauthier in 1668
  • Gilles Masson, son of Pierre and Françoise, who married Jeanne-Marie Gautier, daughter of Honoré and Jacqueline, in Quebec on 17th Ocotber 1668 [9]
  • Jacques Masson, son of Louis and Marie, who married Jeanne Jousselot, daughter of Pierre and Ozanne, in Quebec on 25th November 1670 [9]
  • Jacques Masson, whose wedding to Jeanne Jousselot of Québec was in 1670
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Masson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Louis Masson, son of Gilles and Jeanne-Marie, who married Catherine Richard, daughter of Jean and Madeleine, in Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade, Quebec on 6th February 1703 [9]
  • Jean-François Masson, son of Jean and Anne, who married Louise Paré, daughter of François and Marguerite, in Saint-Augustin, Quebec on 19th March 1724 [9]
  • Pierre-Théodore Masson, who married Catherine Lemay at St-Laurent, Montreal in 1724
  • Théodore Masson, son of Théodore and Marguerite, who married Catherine Lemay, daughter of Joseph and Marie-Agnès, in Saint-Laurent, Quebec on 20th February 1724 [9]
  • Pierre Masson, son of Pierre and Catherine, who married Marie-Françoise Brouillet, daughter of Michel and Marie, in Quebec on 18th August 1727 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Masson migration to Australia +

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

Masson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Masson, who arrived in Glenelg Roads aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1838 [10]

New Zealand Masson 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:

Masson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Margaret Masson, (b. 1847), aged 26, Scottish dressmaker from Aberdeen travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Surat" going to Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand in 1873, the ship sunk at the Catlins River all the passengers were transported to Dunedin via various rescure vessels [11]

Contemporary Notables of the name Masson (post 1700) +

  • Paul Masson (1859-1940), American (Burgundy born), pioneer of California viticulture and wine-making
  • Charles Masson, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Maryland, 1956 [12]
  • Huguette Masson (1903-2018), French supercentenarian who lived to the age of 113
  • Jean Augustin Masson, French Brigadier General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 [13]
  • Henri Masson, French Olympian who won a silver medal for fencing at the 1900 games
  • Paul Masson (1874-1944), French three time gold Olympic medalist for cycling track at the 1896 games
  • André-Aimé-René Masson (1896-1987), French painter and graphic artist
  • Frédéric Masson (1847-1923), French historian
  • Louis-Rodrigue Masson (1833-1903), Canadian politician, Member of Parliament (1867-1882), a Senator, and Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec
  • David Masson (1822-1907), Scottish historian

SS Caribou
  • Mr. James Ronald Masson (b. 1923), British passenger who was Royal Navy from Shawville, Quebec was travelling aboard the railway ferry "SS Caribou" when it was struck by a German submarine torpedo on 14th October 1942, the most significant sinking in Canadian waters at that time, he died in the sinking

The Masson 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.

  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. "The first 1,000 family names by rank, Quebec (in French only)" Institut de la statistique du Quebec,
  8. 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)
  9. Internoscia, Arthur E., and Claire Chevrier. Dictionnaire National des Canadiens Français 1608-1760. Vol. 2, Institut Drouin, 1958.
  10. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The PESTONJEE BOMANJEE 1838. Retrieved from
  11. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  12. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 22) . Retrieved from
  13. Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, April 16) Jean Masson. Retrieved from on Facebook