Reason History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Reason surname comes from the Middle English, Old French word "raison," meaning "the power of reason;" as such it was most likely originally a nickname for an intelligent person.

Early Origins of the Reason family

The surname Reason was first found in Lincolnshire where they held a family seat at Market, Middle and West Rasen which were held by Bishop Odo of Bayeux. The under tenant holding from the Bishop was Alfred of Lincoln, a Norman noble and, conjecturally, the Reason family are descended from him. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the year 1202 when Robert de Rasene held estates in Lincolnshire.

Early History of the Reason family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Reason research. Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1455, and 1487 are included under the topic Early Reason History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Reason Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Reason family name include Reason, Rasen, Rason, Rayson, Reson, Reasons, Resons, Reeson, Resen, Resun, Raysun, Rasne and many more.

Early Notables of the Reason family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Reason Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Reason Ranking

In the United States, the name Reason is the 8,996th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]


United States Reason migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Reason family to immigrate North America:

Reason Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • James Reason, who arrived in Bermuda 1635
  • Henry Reason, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Hen Reason, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [2]
  • James Reason, aged 27, who arrived in Bermuda in 1635 [2]
  • John Reason, who landed in Virginia in 1649 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Reason Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Diana Reason, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [2]
  • Diana Reason, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
  • Amey Reason, who arrived in Virginia in 1741

Australia Reason migration to Australia +

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

Reason Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Ann Reason, (b. 1805), aged 18, English servant who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life for stealing, transported aboard the "Brothers" on 20th November 1823, arriving in New South Wales, Australia and Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), she died in 1858 [3]
  • Miss Ann Reason, (b. 1812), aged 24, English house servant who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Elizabeth" on 20th June 1836, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, 1 child on board with her [4]
  • Mr. Reason, (b. 1834), aged 2, English settler traveling with convict mother Miss Ann Reason, transported aboard the "Elizabeth" on 20th June 1836, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]

West Indies Reason migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [5]
Reason Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Ralph Reason, who settled in St. Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635
  • Barbarie Reason, who arrived in Barbados in 1635
  • Barbarie Reason, aged 20, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [2]
  • Ralph Reason, aged 23, who arrived in St Christopher in 1635 [2]
  • Miss Barbarie Reason, (b. 1615), aged 20, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Alexander" arriving in Barbados in 1635 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Reason (post 1700) +

  • Rhodes Reason (1930-2014), American actor who appeared in over 230 roles in television, movies, and stage works, brother of Rex Reason
  • Rex Reason (1928-2015), German-born, American actor, brother of Rhodes Reason
  • Patrick Henry Reason (1816-1898), born Patrice Rison, one of the earliest African-American engravers and lithographer in the United States
  • Joseph Paul Reason (b. 1941), American Commander in Chief, United States Atlantic Fleet from 1996 to 1999, the first African-American four star Admiral
  • Joseph Henry Reason (1905-1997), American librarian, Director of the Howard University, father of Joseph Paul Reason
  • Charles Lewis Reason (1818-1893), American mathematician, linguist, and educator
  • Colonel Clifton Reason, American officer DSO and OBE
  • Norman Reason, American politician, Supervisor of Putnam Township, Michigan, 1938 [7]
  • M. J. Reason, American politician, Village President of Pinckney, Michigan, 1916 [7]
  • James W. Reason, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1932 [7]
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/brothers
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 11th March 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/elizabeth
  5. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  6. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 28th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 17) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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