Mastaw History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Norman culture that was established in England after the Conquest of 1066 produced the name of Mastaw. It was given to a person who behaved in a masterful manner. This was also an occupational name for a person who was the master of his craft deriving from the Old French word maistre, and the Old English word maister.

"There are three places called 'Les Moutiers,' 'Monasteria,' in the department of Calvados in Normandy; but if he were a Breton, as seems probable, Moutiers near La Guerche may be the more likely place for him to have come from. Robert, however, was no doubt a near relation of 'Lisois de Monasteriis,' a brave knight in the Conqueror's army in the Northern campaign of 1069, who, when the river Aire had stopped their progress for three weeks, sought for a ford both above and below, and at last with great difficulty discovered one, by which he crossed over at the head of sixty bold men-at-arms, and though assailed by the enemy with great force stoutly held his ground." [1]

Early Origins of the Mastaw family

The surname Mastaw was first found in Yorkshire where "Robert 'de Mosters' was a tenant of Earl Alan's in Yorkshire 1086, and also held Truswell in Nottinghamshire, part of the great Richmond Fee." [1]

According to Thoroton, Truswell or Tireswell was held by seven generations of Robert's descendants. Lisiardus de Monasterio, and Gundra his sister, occur in the county 1194-99 (Rotuli Curiae Regis): and Robert, in 1279, held two fees " pro Warda Castri de Richmond." - Gale's Richmondshire.

Early History of the Mastaw family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mastaw research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1600, 1662, 1627, 1624, 1680, 1660, 1637, 1680, 1627, 1684, 1610, 1691, 1639, 1640, 1653, 1661, 1679, 1687, 1663, 1710, 1685, 1690, 1675, 1720 and 1715 are included under the topic Early Mastaw History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mastaw Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Master, Masters, Mosters, Measter, DeMaster and many more.

Early Notables of the Mastaw family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Streynsham Master; Sir William Master (1600-1662) was an English politician, High Sheriff of Gloucestershire in 1627; his son Thomas Master (1624-1680), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1660; John Master (1637-c.1680), an English physician; William Master (1627-1684), an English divine and writer; Sir Edward Master(s) (1610-1691), an English politician...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mastaw Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Mastaw family

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Mastaw or a variant listed above: Andrew Master, who settled in Boston in 1763; Lambert Master, who settled in New England in 1709; Alice Masters, who settled in Barbados in 1675; Elizabeth Masters, who settled in Salem in 1630.



The Mastaw 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: Non minor est virtus quam quaerere parta tueri
Motto Translation: It is no less an achievement to keep possession than to acquire it.


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3


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