Masters History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Masters family name dates back to 1066 when the Norman Conquest of England introduced a plethora of new names and words into Britain. It comes from an early member of the family who was 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.

Early Origins of the Masters family

The surname Masters was first found in Kent where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Masters family

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

Masters Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Master, Masters, Mosters, Measter, DeMaster and many more.

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


United States Masters migration to the United States +

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Masters or a variant listed above:

Masters Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Masters, aged 21, who arrived in Barbados in 1634 [1]
  • Jo Masters, aged 23, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [1]
  • Michaell Masters, aged 21, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [1]
  • Nathaniel Masters, who arrived in New England in 1659 [1]
  • Rich Masters, who landed in Virginia in 1664 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Masters Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Stephen Bunnet Masters, who landed in New York in 1828 [1]

Canada Masters migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Masters Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Miss. Margaret Masters, aged 10 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Tamarac" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in July 1847 [2]

Australia Masters migration to Australia +

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

Masters Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Masters, a cooper, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Mr. Ben Masters, British convict who was convicted in Bermuda for life, transported aboard the "Augusta Jessie" on 27 September 1834, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [3]
  • James Masters, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Africaine" in 1836 [4]
  • Elizabeth Masters, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Africaine" in 1836 [4]
  • Thomas Masters, who arrived in Kangaroo Bay aboard the ship "Tam O'Shanter" in 1836 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Masters 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:

Masters Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Arthur Masters, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Joseph Masters, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841
  • Arthur Masters, aged 32, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842
  • Charlotte Masters, aged 31, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842
  • Ann Masters, aged 10, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Masters (post 1700) +

  • Lisa Lynn Masters (1963-2016), American actress, known for her roles on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,[2] Ugly Betty and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Gerald Masters (1955-2007), American musician, solo artist and songwriter
  • William Howell Masters (1915-2001), American gynecologist, best known as the senior member of the Masters and Johnson research team
  • Edgar Lee Masters (1868-1950), American poet and novelist, probably best known for "Spoon River Anthology"
  • George L. Masters, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Boonville, Indiana, 1878-85 [6]
  • Frank Masters, American Democrat politician, Chair of McDonald County Democratic Party, 1949 [6]
  • Elmond B. Masters, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1996 [6]
  • Edward Eugene Masters (b. 1924), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh, 1976-77; Indonesia, 1977 [6]
  • Earle W. Masters, American Republican politician, Mayor of Maumee, Ohio; Elected 1927; Defeated in primary, 1931, 1933 [6]
  • E. H. Masters, American politician, Mayor of Beaverton, Oregon, 1943-45 [6]
  • ... (Another 28 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Gordon H T Masters (b. 1924), English Boy 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Shoreham, Sussex, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [7]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. William Frederick Charles Masters, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [8]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Dennis W. Masters, British Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [9]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Dayton Monroe Masters, American Gunner's Mate Third Class from Texas, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [10]


The Masters 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. ^ 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)
  2. ^ 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. 41)
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/augusta-jessie
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) AFRICAINE 1836. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1836Africaine.htm
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) TAM O'SHANTER - 1836. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1836TamOShanter.htm
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 13) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  7. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  8. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  9. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  10. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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