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

Origins Available: English, French, German, Jewish

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

The name Mayer reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is based on the Norman given name Mauger. The name indicates one who is the son of Maugier, an Old French personal name, which is derived from the Old Germanic name Malger, which means council spear.


The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Mayer has been recorded under many different variations, including Major, Mauger, Magor, Maior, Mayer, Mayor, Mager and others.

First found in on the Isle of Guernsey where Mauger, Archbishop of Rouen and uncle of William the Conqueror settled after abdicating his see. There he married Gisella or Guille "without sanction of the Church, he formed an intimacy that resulted in numerous progeny, some of whom took their father's, others their mother's name. 'Hence,' observes a correspondent 'Guilles and Maugers are as plentiful as blackberries on the Channel Islands'"[1]. Sir Mathias Mayer (Mayor), originally a Jerseyman was ancestor of the Majors of Hampshire.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mayer research. Another 109 words(8 lines of text) covering the years 1469, 1550, 1615, 1655 and are included under the topic Early Mayer History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 43 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mayer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Mayer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 133 words(10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Mayers were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Mayer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Anna Mayer, who arrived in America in 1681

Mayer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Hans Mayer, who was the first bearer of this name to arrive in the New World. He came to Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1709
  • Caspar Mayer, aged 30, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1739
  • Egidi Mayer, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1739
  • Jacob Mayer, aged 47, landed in Pennsylvania in 1739
  • Barbara Mayer, who arrived in Carolina in 1740

Mayer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Franz Jakob Mayer, who landed in Brazil in 1825
  • Babette Mayer, who landed in North America in 1832-1849
  • Morris Mayer, who landed in New York in 1840
  • Abraham Mayer, who arrived in Mississippi in 1847
  • John Mayer, who arrived in Mississippi in 1847

Mayer Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Aloise Mayer, aged 4, landed in New York, NY in 1901
  • Emanuel Mayer, who arrived in Arkansas in 1905
  • Alex Mayer, who arrived in Mississippi in 1907

Mayer Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Pierre-Louis Mayer, originally of Lyon, who married Marie-Charlotte Chevreuil in Montreal in 1740
  • Benjamin Mayer, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749

Mayer Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Gottlieb Mayer, aged 9, arrived in Quebec in 1893

Mayer Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Daniel Mayer, aged 28, arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1902

Mayer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Edward Mayer arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Caleb Angas" in 1840
  • Heinrich Mayer, aged 51, arrived in South Australia in 1847 aboard the ship "Hermann von Beckerath"
  • Margaret Mayer arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Hyde" in 1850

Mayer Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Reuben Mayer, aged 22, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballochmyle" in 1874


  • George Mayer, American bronze medalist for gymnastics at the 1904 Olympics
  • Charles Mayer, American gold and sliver Olympic medalist for boxing at the 1904 Summer Games
  • Francis Blackwell Mayer (1827-1899), American genre painter from Maryland
  • James "Jacob" Erskine Mayer (1889-1957), American Major League Baseball player
  • Edwin Justus Mayer (1896-1960), American screenwriter who co-wrote the screenplays for 47 films
  • Constant Mayer (1829-1911), French-born, American painter, best known for his life-sized genre paintings
  • Christopher "Chip" Mayer (1954-2011), American film and television actor, best known for his role in The Dukes of Hazzard (1982-1983)
  • John Clayton Mayer (b. 1977), American Grammy Award winning pop and blues rock musician, singer-songwriter, recording artist, and music producer
  • Peter Mayer (b. 1936), Chief Executive of Penguin Books Ltd., London from 1978 to 1996
  • Louis Burt Mayer (1885-1957), co-founder American of the Hollywood film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer



  • John Nicholas Mayer and all Known Descendants by Sallyann Jean Seaman.


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Other References

  1. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  2. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  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. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  6. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  7. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  8. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Mayer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Mayer 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 16 April 2015 at 12:53.

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