Missen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 added many new elements to an already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The Missen family lived in Yorkshire. Their name is thought to be derived from the place-name, Moucon, in Normandy, although another account suggests that it is a variation of the French name Musset. Both theories are considered valid, but historians disagree on which applies to individual cases.

Early Origins of the Missen family

The surname Missen was first found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat in the large village of Muston in the East Riding of that County shown at the taking of the Domesday Book in 1068 to be held by Gilbert de Ghent (Flanders) from the King. Gilbert held the Manor at that time and, conjecturally, the family are believed to be descended from this Norman noble. The village name Muston or Musson is also believed to be related to a Norman family name of Moucon, and may have been the surname of Gilbert of Ghent (Flanders) or Gand, or a member of his family. Gilbert was one of the most highly honored Barons who assisted Duke William at Hastings in 1066. He became Baron Folkingham, possibly a nephew of Queen Matilda, and held no less than 172 English manors.

Early History of the Missen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Missen research. Another 184 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1207, 1373, 1094, 1207, 1326, 1473 and 1509 are included under the topic Early Missen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Missen Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Muston, Musson, Moucon, Mussen, Mustons, Mussin, Musin, Muson, Musten, Moussen, Mousson, Mussons, Mustain, Mustin and many more.

Early Notables of the Missen family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Missen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Missen migration to the United States +

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Missen or a variant listed above:

Missen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Anna Maria Missen, aged 24, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1806 [1]
  • George Missen, aged 33, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1806 [1]
  • John George Missen, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1806 [1]

Australia Missen migration to Australia +

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

Missen Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • George Missen, aged 45, a farmer, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Olivia" [2]
  • Joseph Missen, aged 23, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Star Queen" [3]

New Zealand Missen migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Missen Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Alfred Missen, (b. 1841), aged 20, English labourer, from Surrey travelling from London aboard the ship "Royal Stuart" arriving in Lyttlelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 8th October 1861 [4]
  • Mr. Edwin Missen, (b. 1843), aged 18, English shoemaker, from Surrey travelling from London aboard the ship "Royal Stuart" arriving in Lyttlelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 8th October 1861 [4]
  • Mr. James Missen, (b. 1835), aged 27, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Echunga" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 24th December 1862 [5]
  • Mrs. Harriett Missen, (b. 1837), aged 25, British needlewoman travelling from London aboard the ship "Echunga" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 24th December 1862 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Missen (post 1700) +

  • Edward Missen (1875-1927), English cricketer in the early 1900s
  • R. Missen, Australian weather technician on the ANARE (Thala Dan) cruise in 1962, eponym of Missen Ridge, Antarctica
  • Alan Joseph Missen (1925-1986), Australian politician, Senator for Victoria (1974-1986)


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 15 November 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Olivia 1857. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/olivia1853.shtml.
  3. ^ South Australian Register Monday 1st January 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Star Queen 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/starqueen1854.shtml
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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