Masten History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Masten date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from their residence in the settlements named Marsden in Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire. The surname Masten belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Masten family

The surname Masten was first found in Lancashire at Great Marsden or Little Marsden. "This place was anciently called Merclesden, and Merlesden. In the 35th of Henry III., Edmund de Lacy obtained a charter for free warren in "Great and Little Merlesden;" and in the 4th of Edward II., a fishery existed here, by grant from Henry de Lacy. Richard Merclesden was master forester of Blackburnshire to Isabella, dowager queen, in the reign of Edward III.; and in the same reign, Henry, Duke of Lancaster, granted a tract of land in Merclesden to Richard de Walton. " [1] Another reference lists the place name as Marchesden in the 12th century and probably meant "boundary water." [2] However, we believe that the former origin of the place name and surname is more likely. One of the earliest records of the name was Alan de Marchesden who was listed in the Assize Rolls of Lancashire in 1246. [3] The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1273 listed Robert de Marcheden, Nicholaus Mercheden and Johanna de Mersseden. [4]

Early History of the Masten family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Masten research. Another 79 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1738, 1625, 1688, 1680 and 1681 are included under the topic Early Masten History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Masten Spelling Variations

Masten has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Masten have been found, including Marsden, Marsdon and others.

Early Notables of the Masten family (pre 1700)

Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Masten Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Masten migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Mastens to arrive on North American shores:

Masten Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Masten, who arrived in Maryland in 1671 [5]
Masten Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johannes Masten, aged 68, who arrived in New York in 1745 [5]
Masten Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • N R Masten, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1849 [5]
  • Mary A. Masten, aged 30, who landed in America from Bolton, in 1893
  • R. Griff. Masten, aged 30, who immigrated to the United States, in 1894
  • Arthur H. Masten, aged 41, who immigrated to the United States, in 1896
  • Wm. Q. Masten, aged 55, who landed in America from Leeds, in 1899
Masten Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • A. H. Masten, who landed in America, in 1903
  • Edith Masten, aged 17, who immigrated to the United States, in 1904
  • Miss Masten, aged 18, who immigrated to America, in 1905
  • Mrs. Arthur Masten, aged 50, who landed in America, in 1905
  • Mary Masten, aged 30, who immigrated to the United States, in 1906
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Masten migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Masten Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • T.G. Masten, who settled in Montreal, Canada, in 1905
  • Corneilius Masten, aged 55, who settled in Toronto, Canada, in 1912
  • Jean Masten, aged 27, who settled in Toronto, Canada, in 1923

Australia Masten migration to Australia +

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

Masten Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John J Masten, (b. 1832), aged 51, Cornish labourer travelling aboard the ship "Gladstone" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 7th October 1883 [6]
  • Mrs. Mary Masten, (b. 1833), aged 50, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Gladstone" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 7th October 1883 [6]
  • Miss Sarah Masten, (b. 1862), aged 21, Cornish domestic servant travelling aboard the ship "Gladstone" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 7th October 1883 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Masten (post 1700) +

  • Joseph Griffiths Masten (1809-1871), American Mayor of the City of Buffalo, New York (1843 to 1844) and (1845 to 1846)
  • Wirt M. Masten, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Michigan State House of Representatives from Washtenaw County 1st District, 1944 [7]
  • William C. Masten, American politician, Mayor of Coffeyville, Kansas, 1875-76 [7]
  • Susan Masten, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1988 [7]
  • Joseph G. Masten, American politician, Mayor of Buffalo, New York, 1843-44, 1845-46 [7]
  • Joseph Masten, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Mayor of Yonkers, New York, 1880 [7]
  • John Masten, American politician, Member of North Carolina House of Commons from Forsyth County, 1856-59 [7]
  • Henry W. Masten, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from North Carolina, 1932 [7]
  • David C. Masten, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for Indiana, 1996 [7]
  • Chris Masten (b. 1989), Australian rules footballer


The Masten 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: Mars denique victor es
Motto Translation: Mars, though art the conqueror.


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 19). Emigrants to Australia NSW 1860 -88 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/nsw_passenger_lists_1860_88.pdf
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 22) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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