Show ContentsMessam History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Welsh Messam 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.' [1]

Early Origins of the Messam family

The surname Messam 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. [2]

Early History of the Messam family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Messam research. Another 65 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1541, 1600, 1614 and 1675 are included under the topic Early Messam History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Messam Spelling Variations

Although there are comparatively few Welsh surnames, they have a great many spelling variations. Variations of Welsh names began almost immediately after their acceptance within Welsh society. In the Middle Ages, it was up to priests and the few other people that recorded names in official documents to decide how to spell the names that they heard. Variations that occurred because of improper recording increased dramatically as the names were later transliterated into English. The Brythonic Celtic language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, featured many highly inflected sounds that could not be properly captured by the English language. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were all indicated by the particular variation of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Messam have included Machen, Machin, Machon, Mackon, Makin, Makins, MacMacken and many more.

Early Notables of the Messam family

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 Messam Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Messam family to Ireland

Some of the Messam 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.


Australia Messam migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Messam Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Henry Messam, English convict who was convicted in Oakham, (Rutland), East Midlands, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Barossa" on 27th August 1841, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]


  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barossa


Houseofnames.com on Facebook