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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Irish, Scottish

The earliest origins of the family name Masterson date back to the Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It was a name given to a son of a substantial landholder who employed laborers to work his lands. The surname Masterson is derived from the Old English word maister. This word comes from the Old French word maistre, which in turn is derived from the Latin word magister, which means master. The surname Masterson also features the common patronymic suffix -son, which was most popular in the north of England and superseded other patronymic suffixes during the 14th century.


The surname Masterson was first found in Cheshire where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Masterson include Masterson, Mesterson, Masterstone and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Masterson research. Another 121 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Masterson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


More information is included under the topic Early Masterson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Some of the Masterson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 95 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Masterson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Mary Masterson and her husband settled in Plymouth in 1629
  • Mary, Nathaniel, Richard, and Sarah Masterson settled in Plymouth 1629
  • Richard Masterson, who landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1629
  • Elizabeth Masterson, who arrived in Virginia in 1655
  • Eliz Masterson, who landed in Virginia in 1658

Masterson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Owen Masterson, who landed in New York in 1801
  • Edward Masterson, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • Ann Masterson, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • Hugh Masterson, who landed in New York, NY in 1815
  • Charles Masterson, who landed in New York, NY in 1816
  • ...

Masterson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Henry Masterson arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Empress" in 1865

  • Rodney Gregory "Rod" Masterson Jr., (1945-2013), American actor of film and television
  • Ed Masterson (1852-1878), Canadian-born, American lawman and the brother of Bat Masterson and James Masterson, killed by gunfire while trying to disarm a drunken cowboy
  • Peter Masterson (b. 1934), American Daytime Emmy Award nominated actor, director, producer and writer
  • Chase Masterson (b. 1963), born Christianne Carafano, an American actress, singer and voice actor, Best Feature Film Producer of 2008
  • James "Jim" Masterson (1855-1895), Canadian-born, American lawman of the American West, brother of Bat Masterson and Ed Masterson
  • Christopher Kennedy Masterson (b. 1980), American Young Star Award winning actor known best for his role as Francis on Malcolm in the Middle
  • Mary Stuart Masterson (b. 1966), American film, stage and television actor and director whose first film appearance was in The Stepford Wives (1975) at the age of eight
  • Daniel Peter "Danny" Masterson (b. 1976), American Young Artist Award nominated actor, best known for his role as Steven Hyde in That '70s Show
  • Robert Patrick "Bob" Masterson (1915-1994), American NFL football wide receiver
  • Bernard E. "Bernie" Masterson (1911-1963), American college football player and coach
  • ...

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: Pro Deo et rege
Motto Translation: For God and the king.


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    Other References

    1. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
    2. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
    3. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
    4. 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.
    5. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
    6. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
    7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    8. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
    9. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
    10. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
    11. ...

    The Masterson Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Masterson 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 19 October 2015 at 14:18.

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