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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


An ancient Pictish-Scottish family was the first to use the name Maw. It is a name for someone who lived in a place called Mar, which was in the county of Aberdeen. It may come from the Old Norse word marr, which was an extremely rare word, that was usually associated with the sea, but sometimes referred to a marsh or a fen. In this sense, Maw would be a habitational name.

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The surname Maw was first found in Yorkshire, 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.

During the Middle Ages, there was no basic set of rules and scribes wrote according to sound. The correct spelling of Scottish names were further compromised after many haphazard translations from Gaelic to English and back. Spelling variations of the name Maw include Marr, Mar, Marre, Mare and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Maw research. Another 394 words (28 lines of text) covering the years 1120, 1296, and 1353 are included under the topic Early Maw History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Scots left their country by the thousands to travel to Australia and North America. Desperate for freedom and an opportunity to fend for themselves, many paid huge fees and suffered under terrible conditions on long voyages. Still, for those who made the trip, freedom and opportunity awaited. In North America, many fought their old English oppressors in the American War of Independence. In recent years, Scottish heritage has been an increasingly important topic, as Clan societies and other organizations have renewed people's interest in their history. An examination of passenger and immigration lists shows many early settlers bearing the name of Maw:

Maw Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Thomas Maw, who landed in Virginia in 1651
  • Martin Maw, who landed in Maryland in 1663

Maw Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Robert John Maw, who arrived in New York, NY in 1844

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  • Herbert Brown Maw (1893-1990), American Democrat politician, Governor of Utah, 1941-49; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Utah, 1948, 1952
  • Herbert Brown Maw (1893-1990), American politician and the eighth Governor of Utah
  • William Henry Maw (1838-1924), British civil engineer and astronomer
  • John Nicholas Maw (1935-2009), British composer


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  1. Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3).
  2. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  7. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  8. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  9. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  11. ...

The Maw Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Maw 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 7 October 2015 at 15:32.

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