Mason Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Mason Family Coat of Arms

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Mason Coat of Arms Meaning

Mason Name Origin & History

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Mason Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Mason blazon are the fesse embattled, griffin’s head, lion and fleur-de-lis. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, or and gules .

The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli 1A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure. Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” 2The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36.

Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” 3The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35. Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun 4Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 5A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77.

Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”6The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 7Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52. Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).8A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154

The fesse is a broad horizontal band across the centre of the shield, in very ancient times it was said to occupy one third of the area height of the shield 9A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P117, however it soon became somewhat narrower. This created an opportunity to add decorative edging to the band, of many forms, and to very pleasing artisitic effect, at least close up – it must be admitted that at distance some of the forms are hard to distinguish! An edge which is decorated like the top of a castle wall is said to be embattled, or sometimes crenelle, from the original French. (In castle building terminology the parts of the wall that stick up are known as merlons, and the resulting gaps as crenels). A whole sub-section of heraldic terminology has sprung up to describe whether these crennellations appear on which edges, whether they line up or alternate, have additional steps or rounded tops. The interested reader is directed to the reference for the full set! 10A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Embattled For obvious reasons, use of this decoration is to be associated with castles and fortified towns, an early authority, Guillim suggest also some association with fire, but with out clear reason 11The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P41. In all, this is one of the more common, and most effective and appropriate of the decorative edges.

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? As heraldry developed a whole menagerie of imagined creatures 12Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P164 came into being, and their various representations became more or less standardised in form and appearance. The griffin is perhaps the most common of these creatures, being a chimera with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. 13A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Griffin. It is most often in the pose known as rampant segreant, on its hind legs with claws and wings extended. Vinycomb has much to say on the subject of the griffin, perhaps summarised in his belief that it represents “strength and vigilance”.]14Fictitious & Symbolic Creatures…in British Heraldry, J. Vinycomb, Chapman & Hall, London, 1906, P150

The art of heraldry would be significantly poorer if we were without the lion in all its forms. Most general works on Heraldry devote at least one chapter solely to this magnificent creature and its multifarious depictions 15A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P172 16Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 63 17Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P140. Some of the earliest known examples of heraldry, dating right back to the knighting of Geoffrey of Anjou in 1127, where he is shown with six such beasts upon his shield 18A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P45 .The great authority on heraldic symbology, Wade, points out the high place that the lion holds in heraldry, “as the emblem of deathless courage” 19The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P60, a sentiment echoed equally today.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Mason Name

Mason Origin:

France, England

Origins of Mason:

The surname of Mason comes from the medieval time period, and hails from the country of France. This surname of Mason is actually one of status, denoting that the original bearer of this surname was a very skilled stone mason, or someone who had served his time as an apprentice to a master mason craftsman. Since the surname of Mason is occupational, this means that the original bearer of the surname of Mason actually carried out this job. Occupational surnames were not originally hereditary surnames. They only became hereditary if the son followed in his father’s footsteps for a career; then the surname became hereditary and was used by the children and spouse of the son. It is believed that the actual derivation of the surname of Mason comes from the Old French word of “masson” which would have been introduced into the country of England following the Norman Invasion of 1066. During this time period, it was very unlikely that Britain had very many buildings that were constructed out of stone, so it is believed that not only did the French bring the word to the country, they also brought the skill of masonry following the Norman Invasion of 1066.

Variations:

More common variations are: Mawson, Masson, Mayson, Meason, Maison, Mauson, Masoni, Masona, Masone, Masoun

History:

England:

The first recorded spelling of the surname of Mason can be found within the country of England. One person who was named as Richard Machun was mentioned in the Charters of the Danelaw, which were for the County of Lincolnshire in the year of 1120. These documents were ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of one King Henry I of England, who was commonly referred to throughout the ages as one “The Lion of Justice.” King Henry I of England ruled from the year 1100 to the year 1135. Other mentions of the surname of Mason within the country of England include John Macun was was mentioned in the building accounts of King Henry I in the year of 1130, and one Ace le Mazun, who was mentioned in the Pipe Rolls of the County of Lincolnshire in the year of 1193. Those who bear the surname of Mason can be found throughout the country of England. The areas with the larger concentrations of those who bear the surname of Mason can be found within the county of Essex, and the areas in and around the city of London.

Scotland:

Those who bear the surname of Mason can be found within the country of Scotland. Those who carry this surname are seen in high concentrations in the areas of Midlothian and Lanarkshire counties.

United States of America:

Throughout the 17th Century, it was common for European citizens to migrate to the United States of America because of the state of their home countries. Disgruntled citizens were upset with the living conditions in their home countries, and moved to the New World, as America was called at this time. The large movement of people was referred to as The European Migration. Those who are known by the surname of Mason can be found in Virginia, Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Mason: United States 175,554; England 48,161; Australia 19,652; Canada 15,606; South Africa 7,598; Sierra Leone 7,355; Liberia 5,967; New Zealand 4,182; Scotland 3,767; Italy 3,706

Notable People:

Anthony George Douglas Mason (1966-2015) who was a Basketball player from America from the year 1988 to the year 2003

George Mason IV (1725-1792) who was a statesmen and patriot from America whose work as A delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention from Virginia gained the title of “Father of the Bill of Rights” and who is a “Founding Father of the United States

Private First Class Leonard Foster Mason (1920-1944) who was a Marine during of the Battle of Guam and was subsequently awarded the Congressional Metal of Honor for acts of Heroism in the year 1944

Daniel Gregory Mason (1873-1953) who was a composer from America

Willaim Mason (1873-1953) who was a musician from America

Frank Herbert Mason who is and educator and artist as well as an instructor of fine arts in New York City

Alpheus Thomas Mason (1899-1989) who was a Law professor at Princeton University from America as well as an author on American constitution and political thought

Nicholas “Nick” Berkeley Mason who was born in the year 1944 in England and Is the drummer for Pink Floyd

Mason Family Gift Ideas

Browse Mason family gift ideas and products below. If there are multiple coats of arms for this surname, you will see them at the top of this page and can click on the various coat of arms designs to apply them to the gift ideas below.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Grade, co. Cornwall). Az. a fesse embattled betw. three griffins’ heads erased or.
2) (Hemingford and Cuckney, co. Huntingdon). (Sion, co. Middlesex). Or, a lion ramp. az. Crest—A mermaid with comb and glass ppr.
3) (Aldenham Lodge, co. Hertford). (Greenwich, co. Kent; granted 1739). Per fesse erm. and az. a lion ramp. with two heads counterchanged. Crest—A mermaid per fesse wavy ar. and az. the upper part guttée de larmes, holding in her dexter hand a comb, and in the sinister a mirror, frame and hair sa.
4) (London, 1634). Ar. a fesse az. in chief two lions’ heads couped of the last. Crest—A lion's head az. betw. two wings ar. on the arms and crest a mullet for diff.
5) (Inner Temple, London, and Stratford-upon-Avon, co. Warwick). Az. on a point with three battlements ar. as many fleurs-de-lis gu. on the middle battlement a dove, wings displ. ppr.
6) (Didlebury and Minton, co. Salop). Vert two lions combatant or. Crest—A mermaid ppr.
7) (co. Warwick). Per fesse embattled az. and ar. on the embattlement a dove, wings expanded ar. beaked and legged gu. in base three fleurs-de-lis of the last, two and one. Crest—A talbot pass. reguard. ar. eared sa. holding in the mouth a hart’s horn or.
8) (co. York). Quarterly, 1st and 4th, per fesse or and gu. a lion ramp. counterchanged; 2nd, or, a lion ramp. with two heads az.; 3rd, ar. a chev. gu. betw. three snails sa.
9) (Beel House, near Amersham, co. Bucks). Az. a lion ramp. with two heads ar. holding betw. the paws a crescent or, quartering Pomeroy, viz., Ar. a lion ramp. sa. a bordure engr. gu. Crest—A demi lion ramp. ar. holding a crescent or.
10) Per pale ar. and sa. a chev. betw. three masons’ squares all counterchanged. Crest—A stag’s head erased sa. attired or, ducally gorged gold.
11) Ar. guttée de sang a lion ramp. with two heads az.
12) (Necton Hall, co. Norfolk; descended from Paul Miller Mason, citizen of London, who first built, and fixed his family at Necton, temp. Henry VII.; George Mason, Esq., second son of William Mason, Esq., of Necton, and grandson of William Mason, Esq. of Necton, by Elizabeth, his wife, dau. of Francis Blomefield, assumed the name of Blomefield, a. his eldest brother, William Mason, Esq., of Necton, 1865, and d. 1871, when the estates devolved on his eldest sister, Elizabeth Mason, of Necton). Motto—God my trust. Ar. a fesse az. two lions’ heads in chief of the second. Crest—A lion’s head winged az.
13) (Ireland). Ar. a lion ramp. with two heads az. Crest—Three Moors’ heads conjoined in one neck, wreathed round the temples vert.
14) (granted by Carney, Ulster, 1697, to Robert Mason, of the City of Dublin). Motto—Sola virtus munimentum. Quarterly, or and erm. a lion ramp. az. Crest—A tower triple-towered gu. within a chaplet or.
15) (Masonbrook, co. Galway; confirmed, 1711, to Robert Mason, Esq., of Masonbrook, son of Robert Mason, Esq., of same place, and grandson of Captain Christopher Mason, descended from Mason, of Sion, co. Middlesex; of this family were John Monck Mason, and his brothers William, Henry, and Thomas, sons of Lieut.-Col. Henry Monck Mason). Or, a lion ramp. with two heads gu. Crest—A mermaid with comb and mirror all ppr.
16) (Ayr and Rosebank, Scotland). Motto—Demeure par la vérité. Ar. a bend wavy az. betw. two spur-rowels in chief and a fleur-de-lis in base gu. Crest—A tower ppr. masoned sa.
17) (Mordun, co. Edinburgh, 1795). Motto—Arte firmus. Ar. a bend wavy betw. two mullets in chief az. and a fleur-de-lis in base gu. Crest—A fortified house ppr.
18) (Inveresk, co. Edinburgh). Motto—Dominus providebit. Ar. a bend wavy az. betw. two spur-rowels in chief and a fleur-de-lis in base gu. within a bordure engr. of the second. Crest—A house ppr. ensigned on the top with a crescent ar.

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References   [ + ]

1. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
2. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
3. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
4. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
5. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77
6. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
7. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52
8. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
9. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P117
10. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Embattled
11. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P41
12. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P164
13. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Griffin
14. Fictitious & Symbolic Creatures…in British Heraldry, J. Vinycomb, Chapman & Hall, London, 1906, P150
15. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P172
16. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 63
17. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P140
18. A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P45
19. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P60