Mist History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought many new words to England from which surnames were formed. Mist was one of these new Norman names. It was specifically tailored to its first bearer, who was a person who behaved in a masterful manner. This was also an occupational name for a person who was the master of his craft deriving from the Old French word maistre, and the Old English word maister.

"There are three places called 'Les Moutiers,' 'Monasteria,' in the department of Calvados in Normandy; but if he were a Breton, as seems probable, Moutiers near La Guerche may be the more likely place for him to have come from. Robert, however, was no doubt a near relation of 'Lisois de Monasteriis,' a brave knight in the Conqueror's army in the Northern campaign of 1069, who, when the river Aire had stopped their progress for three weeks, sought for a ford both above and below, and at last with great difficulty discovered one, by which he crossed over at the head of sixty bold men-at-arms, and though assailed by the enemy with great force stoutly held his ground." [1]

Early Origins of the Mist family

The surname Mist was first found in Yorkshire where "Robert 'de Mosters' was a tenant of Earl Alan's in Yorkshire 1086, and also held Truswell in Nottinghamshire, part of the great Richmond Fee." [1]

According to Thoroton, Truswell or Tireswell was held by seven generations of Robert's descendants. Lisiardus de Monasterio, and Gundra his sister, occur in the county 1194-99 (Rotuli Curiae Regis): and Robert, in 1279, held two fees " pro Warda Castri de Richmond." - Gale's Richmondshire.

Early History of the Mist family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mist research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1600, 1662, 1627, 1624, 1680, 1660, 1637, 1680, 1627, 1684, 1610, 1691, 1639, 1640, 1653, 1661, 1679, 1687, 1663, 1710, 1685, 1690, 1675, 1720 and 1715 are included under the topic Early Mist History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mist Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Master, Masters, Mosters, Measter, DeMaster and many more.

Early Notables of the Mist family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Streynsham Master; Sir William Master (1600-1662) was an English politician, High Sheriff of Gloucestershire in 1627; his son Thomas Master (1624-1680), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1660; John Master (1637-c.1680), an English physician; William Master (1627-1684), an English divine and writer; Sir Edward Master(s) (1610-1691), an English politician...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mist Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


New Zealand Mist 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:

Mist Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Vince Mist, aged 34, a farm labourer, who arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Renfrewshire" in 1878
  • Mary A. Mist, aged 33, who arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Renfrewshire" in 1878
  • Emily Mist, aged 9, who arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Renfrewshire" in 1878
  • Mary A. Mist, aged 1, who arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Renfrewshire" in 1878


The Mist Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Non minor est virtus quam quaerere parta tueri
Motto Translation: It is no less an achievement to keep possession than to acquire it.


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3


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