Show ContentsMuse History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The first people to use the distinguished Muse family name in England were found in the settlement of Meaux (Meux) in the East Riding of Yorkshire and accordingly, most sources agree that the name is a Yorkshire name.

Looking back further, Meaux is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne department in the Île-de-France region in France and it is here that it is thought that the family originated. Roger Muse was listed in the "Norman Exchequer Rolls of 1198-1203 and Godfridus de la Mosca held a fief from Philip Augustus of the honour of Malherbe. " 1

Alternatively the name could have been derived from the Old English word Meaw which meant "a gull" or a "sea-mew." To complicate matters more, Meaw was also an Old English personal name and mue, derived from an Old French word was a cage for hawks that was used while they were mewing or moulting. 2 3

We believe that the name is more likely to have been a local name originating in Normandy, as opposed to an occupational name.

Early Origins of the Muse family

The surname Muse was first found in Yorkshire at Meux or Maeux, (pronouced 'mews') a township, in the parish of Waghen, union of Beverley, Middle division of the wapentake of Holderness in the East Riding. 4

And it is here that the first record of the name, Algarus filius Meawes was listed in 1016 as an Old English byname. Over one hundred years later, John de Mehus was listed in the Feet of Fines in 1196. A few years later, Hugo de Mues was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1201. Thomas de Meuse was listed in the Feet of Fines in 1282. 5

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Isabel Mus and John de Muse in Essex. John le Mouse or Mows was found in Wiltshire in the Palgraves's Parliamentary Writs (1307-1325.) 1

Again in Yorkshire, "in 1309, Thomas Mus de Arkilgarth,chaplain, was, with several others, prosecuted by Eve de Kaggardgill of Arkilgarth in Richmondshiro, for the murder of her husband. William Peverel of Dover's Charter to Shrewsbury Abbey is witnessed by William de Musca and another William de Musca (or the same?) held half a knight's fee of William de Ros in Northamptonshire." 1

"One of the persecuted [Knights] Templars in 1309 was Brother Philip de Mewes, who, 'being advised and earnestly exhorted to abandon his religious profession, replied that he would rather die than do so.' " 1

Later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 had two listings of the family (both in the East Riding): William de Mewse; and John de Mewhes. Bother held land there at that time. 6

Early History of the Muse family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Muse research. Another 177 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1619, 1637, 1640, 1641, 1642, 1644, 1645, 1657, 1672, 1706, 1829 and 1831 are included under the topic Early Muse History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Muse Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Muse have been found, including Mew, Mews, Mewes, Meux, Mewis, Muse, Mewsse, Mowse, Meaux and many more.

Early Notables of the Muse family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Peter Mews (1619-1706), an English Royalist theologian and Bishop of Bath and Wells in 1672, from Caundle Purse, Dorset. Born at Purse Candle, near Sherborne, Dorset, on 25 March 1619, he was sent to Merchant Taylors' School at the charge of his uncle, Dr. Winniffe, then dean of St. Paul's. He was elected scholar of St. John's College, Oxford, 11 June 1637, and...
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Muse Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Muse Ranking

In the United States, the name Muse is the 2,950th most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. 7

United States Muse migration to the United States +

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Muse were among those contributors:

Muse Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johan Jacob Muse, who arrived in New York in 1709 8
  • Samuel Muse, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1765 8
Muse Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Wm. Muse, aged 18, German who arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1848 aboard the ship "Canapus"
  • George Muse, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1856 8
  • Elizabeth Muse, aged 23, who landed in America, in 1893
  • Eva S. Muse, aged 40, who immigrated to America, in 1894
Muse Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Joseph Muse, aged 48, who settled in America from Liverpool, in 1903
  • Blanche Muse, aged 30, who immigrated to the United States, in 1906
  • John W. Muse, aged 33, who immigrated to the United States from New Castle on Tyne, England, in 1908
  • Annie G. Muse, aged 44, who landed in America, in 1910
  • Martha Muse, aged 3, who immigrated to the United States from Andreasberg, Germany, in 1913
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Muse migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Muse Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Peter Muse, aged 62, who settled in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, in 1921

Contemporary Notables of the name Muse (post 1700) +

  • David Muse (1949-2022), American singer, songwriter, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist who appeared on more than 25 recordings and was awarded three Gold and two Platinum albums
  • John Muse (b. 1988), American ice hockey goaltender
  • Clarence Muse (1889-1979), American actor, screenwriter, director, composer, and lawyer
  • Kenneth Lee Muse (1910-1987), American animator best known for his work on the Tom and Jerry series at MGM
  • William Van Muse (b. 1939), President of the University of Akron from 1984 to 1992
  • Vance Muse, American politician, Representative from Texas 8th District, 1942 9
  • M. W. Muse, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1928 9
  • Kindred H. Muse, American politician, Member of Texas Republic Senate from District of Nacogdoches and Houston, 1840-43 9
  • Joe Muse, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Tennessee, 1936, 1940 (alternate) 9
  • Frank Dravo Muse (d. 1947), American politician, Prohibition Candidate for U.S. Representative from Indiana 8th District, 1906 9
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  2. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  8. 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)
  9. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 17) . Retrieved from on Facebook