Show ContentsMossman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the bearers of the Mossman family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found near a peat bog. The name comes from the Old English word mos, which denoted a peat bog. The name may have been taken on as a hereditary surname by someone who lived near a peat bog. However, there are also place names that have come from this word, and the surname may have come from a pre-existing name for a town, village, or parish. Other instances of this surname may also have evolved from the personal name, Moses; and there was also an Ashkenazic Jewish name of uncertain origins that has evolved into Mossman. Alternatively, the name could have an ancient Norman surname derived from "Godefridus de la Mosce, Normandy, [who] held a fief from Philip Augustus of the honour or Malherbe." [1]

Early Origins of the Mossman family

The surname Mossman was first found in Lancashire at Chat Moss, a large area of peat bog near the City of Salford, in Greater Manchester. [2]

Alternatively, the name could have derived from Moss, a village and civil parish in the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster in South Yorkshire. One of the earliest records of the name was Ailmerus filius Mosse or Almer Mosse who was listed in Norfolk 1153-1168. [3]

Later, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Henry Mosse, as holding lands in Lincolnshire at that time. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Robertus de Mos and Johannes del Mosse. [4]

At about the same time, further north in Scotland, Gregory de Moss was tenant of the Earl of Douglas in Louchurde, 1376. [5]

Early History of the Mossman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mossman research. Another 107 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1286, 1327, 1327, 1405, 1567, 1662, 1608, 1628, 1641, 1666 and are included under the topic Early Mossman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mossman 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 Mossman include Moss, Mos, Mosse and others.

Early Notables of the Mossman family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Richard Moss. "In 1608 the capital messuage of Richard Moss, a recusant, of Skelmersdale [Lancashire], was granted on lease by the king to Edward Thurstan and Robert Webb. Richard Moss was still living in 1628 when, as a convicted recusant, he paid double to...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mossman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mossman Ranking

In the United States, the name Mossman is the 10,448th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Mossman family to Ireland

Some of the Mossman family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Mossman 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 Mossman or a variant listed above:

Mossman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Mossman, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1799 [7]

Australia Mossman migration to Australia +

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

Mossman Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Mossman, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Branken Moor" in 1840 [8]
  • Robert Mossman, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Camoena" in 1843 [9]

New Zealand Mossman 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:

Mossman Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James D. Mossman, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1863 [10]
  • Mr. James D. Mossman, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Gertrude" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 9th February 1863 [11]

Contemporary Notables of the name Mossman (post 1700) +

  • Douglas "Doug" Mossman (d. 2021), American actor known for his recurring role as Detective Frank Kamana on the original Hawaii Five-O from 1974 to 1976
  • Dow Mossman (b. 1943), American writer from Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Karolyn Mossman, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Hawaii, 2004 [12]
  • H. C. Mossman, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Hawaii Territory, 1924 [12]
  • Fred T. Mossman (b. 1878), American politician, Member of Minnesota State House of Representatives 51st District, 1917-18 [12]
  • Bina Mossman, American Republican politician, Member of Republican National Committee from Hawaii Territory, 1940 [12]
  • Belle Mossman, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Nebraska, 1924 [12]
  • George Mossman (b. 1908), English founder of the Mossman Carriage Collection in Stockwood Park, Luton, Bedfordshire in 1954
  • William Mossman (1793-1851), English sculptor, pupil of Sir Francis Chantrey
  • John G. Mossman (1817-1890), English sculptor, son of William Mossman
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Mossman 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: En la rose je fleurie
Motto Translation: I flourish in the rose.

  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. 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)
  8. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BRANKEN MOOR 1840. Retrieved from
  9. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CAMOENA 1843. Retrieved from
  10. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 12th December 2018). Retrieved from
  11. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  12. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 8) . Retrieved from on Facebook