Mosely History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Mosely surname lived in one of the places called Moseley in Staffordshire and Worcestershire (both in the West Midlands region), in Moseley in West Dean in Gloucestershire, or in Mowsley in Leicestershire. There is also a Mossley in Greater Manchester.

Early Origins of the Mosely family

The surname Mosely was first found in Moseley, now a suburb of Birmingham in the West Midlands or in Moseley in Herefordshire and Worcestershire or in Mowsley, a small village in Lancashire. All four locations are listed in the Domesday Book. [1]

The West Midlands village was originally called Moleshi and literally meant "woodland clearing of a man called Moll," from the Old English personal name + leah. The latter three locations were listed as Museleie and in these cases, the place names literally meant "woodland clearing infested with mice." [2]

Mossely, a small town and civil parish in Greater Manchester was first listed as Moselegh in 1319 and literally meant "woodland clearing by a swamp or bog." [2]

The first record of the family was found in London where Robert de Molseleye was listed in 1325. A few years later in Staffordshire, John de Mollesley was found in the Subsidy Rolls for 1332, and later gain, Thomas Mollesseley was listed in Cambridgeshire in 1340. [3]

Early History of the Mosely family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mosely research. Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1527, 1612, 1599, 1609, 1610, 1661, 1647, 1639, 1665, 1660, 1661, 1720, 1674, 1751, 1705, 1757 and 1779 are included under the topic Early Mosely History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mosely Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Mosely are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Mosely include: Moseley, Mosely, Mosley, Mossley and others.

Early Notables of the Mosely family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Sir Nicholas Moseley; Humphrey Moseley (died 1661), a prominent London publisher and bookseller, best known for the first Beaumont and Fletcher folio of 1647; Sir Edward Mosley, 1st Baronet of Rolleston; and Sir Edward Mosley, 2nd Baronet (1639-1665), an English politician, Sheriff of Lancashire in 1660, Member of Parliament...
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mosely Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mosely Ranking

In the United States, the name Mosely is the 6,209th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [4]


United States Mosely migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Mosely or a variant listed above:

Mosely Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Mosely, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Geo Mosely, aged 20, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [5]
  • John Mosely, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1638 [5]
  • Robert Mosely, who landed in Virginia in 1640 [5]
  • William Mosely, who arrived in Virginia in 1642 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Mosely Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Lewis Mosely, who arrived in Virginia in 1784 [5]
Mosely Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Philip Mosely, who arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1844 [5]
  • J Mosely, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]

Canada Mosely migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Mosely Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. John Mosely U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 became a Freeman in 1785 was a Shipwright [6]

Australia Mosely migration to Australia +

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

Mosely Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Mosely, who arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Tam O'Shanter" in 1836 [7]
  • Mr. Samuel Mosely, English convict who was convicted in Bedford, Bedfordshire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Augusta Jessie" on 10th August 1838, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [8]

New Zealand Mosely 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:

Mosely Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Mosely, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "John Wickliffe" arriving in Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand on 23rd March 1848 [9]
  • Mrs. Mosely, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "John Wickliffe" arriving in Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand on 23rd March 1848 [9]
  • Mr. Mosely, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "John Wickliffe" arriving in Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand on 23rd March 1848 [9]
  • Miss Mosely, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "John Wickliffe" arriving in Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand on 23rd March 1848 [9]
  • John Mosely, aged 19, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Howrah" in 1874

West Indies Mosely migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [10]
Mosely Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Henry Mosely, who settled in Barbados in 1680

Contemporary Notables of the name Mosely (post 1700) +

  • Windolyn D. Mosely, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 2008 [11]
  • S. A. Mosely, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Arkansas, 1888 [11]
  • Joshua Mosely, American politician, Member of North Carolina House of Commons from Lenoir County, 1817 [11]
  • John Mosely, American politician, Member of North Carolina House of Commons from Lenoir County, 1816 [11]
  • D. C. Mosely, American politician, Delegate to Alabama convention to ratify 21st amendment from Marengo County, 1933 [11]
  • Alexander Mosely, American politician, Member of North Carolina House of Commons from Lenoir County, 1810-11 [11]
  • Alexander Mosely Pennock (1813-1876), officer of the United States Navy during the American Civil War

RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. George Gordon Mosely, English 1st Class Passenger from England, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and survived the sinking [12]


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) TAM O'SHANTER - 1836. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1836TamOShanter.htm
  8. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 23rd August 2020, Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/augusta-jessie)
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 1) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  12. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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