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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, Irish, Scottish

Where did the English Masterson family come from? What is the English Masterson family crest and coat of arms? When did the Masterson family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Masterson family history?

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surname Masterson also features the common patronymic suffix -son, which was most popular in the north of England and superseded other patronymic suffixes during the 14th century.

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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.

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.


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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.

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

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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.

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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

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  • William Barclay "Bat" Masterson (1853-1921), Canadian-born, American buffalo hunter, U.S. Army scout, avid fisherman, gambler, frontier lawman, U.S. Marshal, and sports editor and columnist for a New York newspaper
  • Justin Daniel Masterson (b. 1985), American Major League Baseball right-handed starting pitcher
  • Walter Edward 'Walt" Masterson III (1920-2008), American Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher
  • Bernard E. "Bernie" Masterson (1911-1963), American college football player and coach
  • Robert Patrick "Bob" Masterson (1915-1994), American NFL football wide receiver
  • Daniel Peter "Danny" Masterson (b. 1976), American Young Artist Award nominated actor, best known for his role as Steven Hyde in That '70s Show
  • 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
  • Christopher Kennedy Masterson (b. 1980), American Young Star Award winning actor known best for his role as Francis on Malcolm in the Middle
  • James "Jim" Masterson (1855-1895), Canadian-born, American lawman of the American West, brother of Bat Masterson and Ed Masterson
  • Chase Masterson (b. 1963), born Christianne Carafano, an American actress, singer and voice actor, Best Feature Film Producer of 2008

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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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  1. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  5. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  6. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  8. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Masterson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com 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 December 2014 at 18:25.

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