Mesham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Welsh Mesham surname is thought to derived from name of the village of Machen, located near Caerphilly, in the county of Monmouthshire.
Alternatively, the name could have been derived from the name of an ancestor as in 'the son of Matthew.' 
Early Origins of the Mesham family
The surname Mesham was first found in Monmouthshire (Welsh: Sir Fynwy), at Machen, a parish, in the union of Newport, partly in the hundred of Wentlloog, South Wales. 
Early History of the Mesham family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mesham research. Another 65 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1541, 1614, 1614, 1600 and 1675 are included under the topic Early Mesham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Mesham Spelling Variations
There are relatively few surnames native to Wales, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. Early variations of Welsh surnames can be explained by the fact that very few people in the early Middle Ages were literate. Priests and the few other literate people were responsible for recording names in official documents. And because most people could not specific how to properly record their names it was up to the individual recorder of that time to determine how a spoken name should be recorded. Variations due to the imprecise or improper recording of a name continued later in history when names originally composed in the Brythonic Celtic, language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, were transliterated into English. Welsh names that were documented in English often changed dramatically since the native language of Wales, which was highly inflected, did not copy well. Occasionally, however, spelling variations were carried out according to an individual's specific design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by minor variations. The spelling variations of the name Mesham have included Machen, Machin, Machon, Mackon, Makin, Makins, MacMacken and many more.
Early Notables of the Mesham family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Thomas Machen (c. 1541-1614), an English mercer who was mayor of Gloucester three times, Member of Parliament for Gloucester in 1614; Bathsua Reginald Makin (c.1600-c.1675) English middle-class proto-feminist who...
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mesham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Mesham family to Ireland
Some of the Mesham family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Mesham family
North America in the 1800s and 1900s saw the arrival of many Welsh people hoping to share in the wealth of land, work, and freedom that they felt North America held. Those who made the journey often attained those expectations, but only through an enormous amount of hard work, perseverance, and often a bout of good luck. These immigrants helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and culture of both Canada and the United States. Discovered in the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Mesham: Bernard, Charles, Hugh, James, John, Michael, Patrick, Steven and Thomas Mackin all arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1860; Hugh, Michael, Patrick, Thomas and William Macken also arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.
- Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.