Show ContentsMusgrave History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

As a surname, Musgrave was derived from a place name in Cumberland. It comes from the Old English words "mus" meaning "mouse" and "graf" or "grove." [1]

"This name, so largely represented in England, is repeated further on its modernized from of Musgrave; and the heralds, ignoring its origin, labour to affiliate it to the German Graf. They declare that, like Land-grave, Burg-grave, Mar-grave, &c., it is 'a name of office:' and as Mews in old days meant the cage of place where hawks were kept while mewing (moulting), and in after time came to signify either the keeper of the King's hawks of the King's equerry."

"In support of this etymological vagary, they tell us that once upon a time an Emperor of Germany or Archduke of Austria (we will accept either) had a beautiful daughter who was courted by two valiant nobles. Each of them hail done him such 'singular good service that he did not care to prefer one to the other.' At last it was agreed that they should ride at the ring for the princess; and whichever succeeded in carrying it off should marry her. Musgrave triumphantly drove his spear through the ring, became the Emperor's son-in-law, and in memory of his exploit, had the six golden annulets now borne by the Musgraves of Westmorland granted him for his coat of arms. " [2]

Early Origins of the Musgrave family

The surname Musgrave was first found in Herefordshire where "Robert de Mucelgros is mentioned about 1080 and Roger de Mucelgros, in 1086, was a tenant-in-chief [3] where he has left his name to Lude Muchgros. His descendants spread far and wide. Charlton Musgrove in Somersetshire was, with other manors, held by Richard de Mucegros in the time of King John; and he was also farmer of the county of Gloucester." [2]

"Robert de Mucegros married Helewise, one of the coheirs of the Barony of Malet and though Charlton passed away through an heiress in the beginning of Edward I.'s reign, the name, as Musgrave continued in the county. John Musgrave was Sheriff of Wiltshire, where he had 2 Ric. III. Another John had been during five years Sheriff of Devon under Henry III."[2]

Great Musgrave and Little Musgrave in Cumberland became home to a branch of the family. The family "originally seated at Musgrave in Westmerland, [Westmorland] and traced to the time of King John, about the year 1204. " [4]

Early feudal rolls provided the king of the time a method of cataloguing holdings for taxation, but today they provide a glimpse into the wide surname spellings in use at that time. Alan de Musegrave was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls for Northumberland in 1228, Thomas de Musgraue listed in the Assize Rolls for Yorkshire in 1362; and Robert Musgrave was found in Yorkshire in 1413. [5] Another early record was that of Roger de Mussegrave who was listed in the Writs of Parliament in 1277. [6]

Charlton Musgrove is a village and civil parish in Somerset that dates back to the Domesday Book where it was listed as Cerletone; later in 1225, it was listed as Cherleton Mucegros [7] relating to the Mucegros family who had a manor there at that time.

Today there are numerous locations named Musgrave: Musgrave, Belfast; Musgrave Park, Brisbane Australia; and Mount Musgrave, Newfoundland and New Zealand.

Early History of the Musgrave family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Musgrave research. Another 197 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1346, 1313, 1316, 1350, 1553, 1631, 1704, 1664, 1718, 1688, 1736, 1655, 1721, 1684, 1607, 1678, 1640 and 1643 are included under the topic Early Musgrave History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Musgrave Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Musgrave, Musgrove and others.

Early Notables of the Musgrave family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Sir Thomas Musgrave, who was a member of the British parliament for Westmorland in 1350; Christopher Musgrave (born c.1553), MP for Carlisle; Sir Christopher Musgrave, 4th Baronet (1631-1704), Tory politician and MP, teller of the Exchequer; Christopher Musgrave (1664-1718), British Ordnance officer and son of the 4th Baronet, MP...
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Musgrave Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Musgrave Ranking

In the United States, the name Musgrave is the 7,314th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [8]

Ireland Migration of the Musgrave family to Ireland

Some of the Musgrave family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Musgrave migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Musgrave Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Joe Musgrave, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • William Musgrave, who arrived in Virginia in 1638 [9]
  • William Musgrave, who settled in Virginia in 1654
  • Edward Musgrave, who arrived in West Indies in 1680 [9]
  • Michael Musgrave, who arrived in Virginia in 1698 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Musgrave Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Dawson Musgrave, who landed in Virginia in 1747 [9]
  • Andrew, and Francis Musgrave, who, who settled in Maryland in 1774
Musgrave Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Musgrave, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844 [9]
  • Frederick Musgrave, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1860 [9]
  • Simpson Musgrave, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1870 [9]
  • James Musgrave, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1871 [9]
  • Joseph Musgrave, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1878 [9]

Canada Musgrave migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Musgrave Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Bartholomew Musgrave U.E. who settled in Nova Scotia c. 1784 [10]

Australia Musgrave migration to Australia +

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

Musgrave Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Musgrave, British Convict who was convicted in Cumbria (Cumberland), England for 15 years, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 25th June 1838, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [11]

New Zealand Musgrave 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:

Musgrave Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Musgrave, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Whitby" in 1841

Contemporary Notables of the name Musgrave (post 1700) +

  • Amanda Marie "Mandy" Musgrave (b. 1986), American actress and singer, best known for her roles on Days of Our Lives (1965) and South of Nowhere (2005)
  • Thomas Cebern Musgrave Jr. (1913-2005), Major General in the United States Air Force, recipient of the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters
  • William Scott "Bill" Musgrave (b. 1967), American NFL football coach and former NFL quarterback
  • Richard Abel Musgrave (1910-2007), German-born, American economist
  • Theodore "Ted" Musgrave (b. 1955), retired American race car driver from Waukegan, Illinois
  • Franklin Story Musgrave M.D. (b. 1935), American doctor and a retired NASA astronaut with over 1,281 hours in space [12]
  • Marilyn N Musgrave (b. 1949), American Republican politician, member of Colorado House of Representatives (1994-1998), member of Colorado Senate (1998-2002), Representative from Colorado (2003-) [13]
  • Marilyn N. Musgrave (b. 1949), American Republican politician, Member of Colorado State House of Representatives, 1994-98; Member of Colorado State Senate, 1998-2002; U.S. Representative from Colorado 4th District, 2003- [14]
  • John J. Musgrave, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Massachusetts, 1920 [14]
  • John C. Musgrave, American Republican politician, Chair of Mason County Republican Party, 1973; Mayor of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, 1977-80 [14]
  • ... (Another 14 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Musgrave 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: Sans changer
Motto Translation: Without changing.

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. 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
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, 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. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  8. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  9. 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)
  10. 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
  11. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th March 2021). Retrieved from
  12. NASA Astronauts Homepage. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Franklin Musgrave. Retrieved from
  13. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) . Retrieved from
  14. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 17) . Retrieved from on Facebook