Show ContentsMosley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient history of the Mosley name begins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the family resided 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 Mosley family

The surname Mosley 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 Mosley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mosley 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 Mosley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mosley Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Mosley include Moseley, Mosely, Mosley, Mossley and others.

Early Notables of the Mosley 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 Mosley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mosley Ranking

In the United States, the name Mosley is the 568th most popular surname with an estimated 52,227 people with that name. [4]

United States Mosley migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled 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 ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Mosley or a variant listed above:

Mosley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Joseph and Robert Mosley, who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Joseph Mosley, who landed in Virginia in 1623 [5]
  • Robert Mosley, who landed in Virginia in 1652 [5]
  • James Mosley, who arrived in Maryland in 1669 [5]
  • Thomas Mosley, who arrived in Maryland in 1673 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Mosley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • A Mosley, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1855 [5]

Canada Mosley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Mosley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Mosley, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mr. George Mosley U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [6]

Australia Mosley migration to Australia +

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

Mosley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Sampson Mosley (Johnson, Samuel, Mozely), British Convict who was convicted in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England for 7 years for robbery, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 4th December 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he was executed in 1807 [7]
  • Mr. William Mosley, English convict who was convicted in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Fairlie" on 14th October 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. John Mosley, British Ploughman who was convicted in Derby, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 25th April 1840, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1840 [9]
  • Miss Elizabeth Mosley, English convict who was convicted in Manchester, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Elizabeth and Henry" on 11th February 1848, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Mosley (post 1700) +

  • Roger Earl Mosley (1938-2022), American actor, director, and writer best known for his role as the helicopter pilot Theodore "T.C." Calvin in the CBS television series Magnum, P.I. (1980-1988)
  • Wayne Mosley (1947-2017), American restaurateur, founder of the Rocky Rococo restaurant chain in 1974, now with 40 locations
  • Charles Henry "Chuck" Mosley III (1959-2017), American singer-songwriter, best known as the frontman for Faith No More from 1984 to 1988
  • Michael Mosley (b. 1978), American television and film actor, best known for his role as Jerry Tyson on Castle
  • Charles Philip "Bubs" Mosley (1888-1968), American football, basketball, and baseball player and coach
  • Edward Mosley, American frontier trader in the United States in the 1850s
  • Walter Mosley (b. 1952), American crime fiction writer
  • Shane Mosley (b. 1971), American boxing champion
  • Lacey Mosley (b. 1981), American vocalist for the band Flyleaf
  • Ella K. Mosley, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 1932 [11]
  • ... (Another 19 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Royal Oak
  • James Herbert Mosley (1921-1939), British Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [12]

Suggested Readings for the name Mosley +

  • Epitome of the History of the Moseley Family by R.L. Moseley.
  • Mosley Families of Montgomery and Emanuel Counties by John E. Mosley.

  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 22nd March 2021). Retrieved from
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 21st September 2022).
  9. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th January 2020). Retrieved from
  10. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th March 2022). Retrieved from
  11. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 24) . Retrieved from
  12. Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from on Facebook