Show ContentsMussgrave History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

As a surname, Mussgrave 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 Mussgrave family

The surname Mussgrave 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 Mussgrave family

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

Mussgrave Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Mussgrave family

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 Mussgrave Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Mussgrave family to Ireland

Some of the Mussgrave 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.

Migration of the Mussgrave family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Joe Musgrave, who settled in Virginia in 1635; Andrew, and Francis Musgrave, who settled in Maryland in 1774; William Musgrave, who settled in Virginia in 1654.

The Mussgrave 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) on Facebook