General History of the Massey's of America
In 1674 a treaty was to be made with the Susquehanna tribes in Virginia and Maryland. Maryland militia was sent to aid the Virginia militia. In Virginia, governor Berkley assigned Col. John Washington (Great Grandfather of George Washington) and Major Isaac Allerton to represent Virginia. These men attacked and killed the peace party of Indians. John Washington and Isaac Allerton were to face Court martial. A Robert Massey of Virginia told that the two men were not at fault and Colonel and the Major were freed of the charges.
The Coat of Arms The original Hamon de Massey coat of Arms was a plain shield divided in quadrants with a lion in the upper left quadrant.
The de Pontington Massey coat of arms came into existence when the de Pontington Massey and Sir John De Tatton branches could not agree as to which could use the original coat of arms. Litigation was instituted and the dispute had to be settled by King Richard II in 1379. The original was officially retired.
[Original draft had a drawing at this point which was unreadable]
The De Tatton branch was awarded the three clam shells denoting that an ancestor went on the crusades and died in Palestine.
Our Branch, The de Pontington, received the shield divided in four parts; upper and lower parts showing the fleur de lis. This meant the family had fought for the French Kings. A Pegasus Horse is at top.
This coat of arms was brought on parchment to America in 1636 by John Massey and handed down to the present owner Lt. Commander Marschal Massey , now in Riverside Calif. A Frank A. Massey of Fort Worth, Texas is seriously thinking of having it copied in color.
In 1399 the arms had a second silver square added and it is the Coddington Massey Arms that has stood to this day and is the one belonging to John of 1636 and Nicolas of 1658. ------------------------------------------ This document was recompiled and simplified by Virginia Massey Lee daughter of Henry Bedford Massey. March 1981
The Massey Heritage Copy of information sent to Nancy Massey Fritts (Record # 5) Sent by Virginia Massey Lee here in Calif. Copied by Darrel E. Fritts (9/22/1991)
Part 1 - History of the Massey Family
A Judge Frank A. Massey of Fort Worth Texas has compiled the history of the Massey Family in Three volumes published 1974 and 1979. After many years of research using the following sources in England and France, the record is complete. Sources of Information:
Records in Abbey (In Latin) Battle Rolls found in Abbeys Doomsday records - Records started by William the Conqueror to denote who owed him fees and taxes Marriage Bans Wills Lists kept by the Royal Courts Coat of Arms Records Land Descriptions and Ownership Baptismal Records Histories
I have simplified the information, tracing the history of our branch, the eastern Maryland group, back to 950 in France, then to England in 1066. From the first Hamon de Massey, the line can be traced to the present day.
The Origin of the name Massey came from Ferte de Macei in France near Mont St. Michel. The name has several spellings: De Mace', de Macei, de Mascy or de Massy. Gradually the name became de Massey and the plain Massey by 1250 or so.
A Norman from Ferte de Mace', France married Margaret de Sacie, daughter of Lord Sacie. This was our Hamon de Macei the First. He died in 1101.
Going back, the ancestor of this Hamon was Osmund de Cenevilles whose son was given lordships southeast of Paris. This Hamon de Corbeil (of Ferte de Mace) helped to complete a cathedral in Corbeil in 950. He died in 957 and is buried in this cathedral. His great-grandson, Hamon Denatus ("Rattlejaw") died in 1047 fighting against Duke William who later became William the Conqueror.
There are conflicting reports on the Abbey rolls that Hamon de Mace or de Macei the first fought in the battle of Hastings in 1066, commanding a force of sixty archers. other rolls list other de Macei names. Some historians think Hamon deMacei's father was the one mentioned. A Mathieu de Mace was in the battle of Hastings and commanded eighty knights. Mathieu and Hamon were closely associated in 1192 and were no doubt relatives.
After the battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror gave an earldom in the Chester area of conquered England to his nephew Hugh Lupus, "The Wolf". Lupus in turn had the power to create baronies. he created eight and one became a baron , Hamon de Macei the First and was called Denham-Massey after the village of Denham. A Saxon names Elured formerly held the lands which were considerable in area.
Later, King Rufus in 1087, who was the son of William the Conqueror, gave Hamon I a good deal more land because he was a "proficient archer".
Hamon I was listed in the domeday book of 1089. He built a castle Denham-Massey which was partially destroyed by King Richard the III. Now only the mound site remains.
Hamon II Married Eleanor de Beaumont and died in 1140. Hamon III married Agatha de Theray. He founded Abbey Berkett in Chesire, England. He and his son Robert took the side of King John when the nobles forced King John to sign the Magna Carta in 1215. Later the King was beheaded.
Hamon III rebelled against King Henry II and lost some of his lands. Years later lands were returned to the Massey's. Hamon IV (born approximately 1181) gave a church of Bowdon to the Priory of Berkenhead. as a marriage present he gave the entire town of Stretford, England to his daughter in 1250.
Hamon V, known as "Ould sir Hamon", was born in 1210, died in 1273. He married Ciceley Gernet who gave land for a leper colony.
Hamon VI was born in 1256, died in 1342. His daughter Alice married William Standley who became Chancellor of England in 1353 during the reign of Edward III. For three generations the Massey-Standley families were prominent at court and even hyphenated the names during this time. A woman Massey, lady in waiting to the Queen, had charge of the royal children under Henry VII and a Massey was royal chambermaid to Henry VII. Hamon VI led an army of 4,000 foot soldiers against William Wallace a Scot, who was leading a Scottish rebellion. His third wife, Joan Clinton, was very extravagant forcing him to sell land. Leaving no heirs, the land passed out of the Massey Family. The reign of the barons lasted 260 years.
The family continued however, from William, the younger brother of Hamon V to a Richard in 1322 to a Hamon de Pontington (Estate Name) He was knighted by the crown in 1347. The next important Massey was Sr John de Pontington, knighted in 1380. He was commissioned by Richard II to quell the Irish uprising. His son, Hammond, was knighted in 1389. His son, Sir Hugh married Ann bold in 1389. She was heir to Coddington Estates.
In the early 1300's a de Tatton branch of the Massey family was founded. Our branch was the de Pontington Coddington. A son, William Coddington Massey was knighted in 1435 and married Alice Wooton. His grandson, Nicholas Massey moved to Ely England. It is now Cambridge.
Henry VIII founded the Anglican Church and took large estates away from the Catholics. The Masseys, being connected to the court, chose to follow Henry VIII and so came into lands in Ely (Cambridge) given by Henry VIII. Nicholas Masey and his brother went to Ely in 1536.
A great-great grandson, John Massey, married Sarah Birde in 1614. Their son, John Massey, went to Fort Henry, Virginia in 1636. Fort Henry is now Petersburg, Virginia. He was sponsored by Walter Ashton. A first cousin of this John of 1636, Nicholas, came from Ely in 1658 to Dorchester , Maryland. We can be traced directly to this Nicholas.
Through history from William the Conqueror, 1066, to Queen Elizabeth I 1604, members of the Massey family were accorded honors of knighthood, lands and position. When the Stuarts replaced the Tudors on the English throne the Massey family lost influence.
Part II - Branches of the Masseys in America
There are many branches of Masseys in America. all from a common ancestor, the Hamon de Massey Barons of Cheshire, England. some of the branches are:
New England Line (Actor Raymond Massey) Nantucket line Delaware line Aquilla line Phillips Massey -England Alexander of Virginia line Nancemond line Potomac line Eastern Maryline line (Ours)
Sources of Information on the Massey Family in America's are as follows: Wills Land grant records Ship Passenger lists Baptismal records Marriage records Land sales Census Records from 1790 Poll taxes Slave taxes
A Nicholas Massey of Cambridge (Ely) came to America in 1658. His great Uncles were Thomas, Alexander and Nicholas. He was a first or second cousin of John of 1636. This Nicholas was born 1630. He settled in Dorchester, Maryland. He left a will in 1688 and the will was approved in 1693. He left two estates, "Headringe" and Cedar Point".
From now on I will not attempt to record relatives other than the direct line back to this Nicholas. Most of this line settled in Queen Anne or Kent County, Maryland. Massey (town) was thus founded
INicolas Massey 1630-1688
IINicolas Massey Jr. died 1724. Will proved in 1762 in Queen Anne County Maryland
IIIJames Massey 1690-1755, Forge Hill, Maryland. Founded "Friendship farm"
IVPeter Massey 1714-1759. Married Hannah Parsons. became a church warden in 1723, inherited Friendship farm.
VElijah Massey 1740-1812. Married Hannah _____?_____ in Kent County, 10 slaves.
VIBenjamine Massey 1767-1835. Married Elizabeth Massey 19 Slaves.
VIIEbenezar Thomas Massey 1798-1853. Married Emily Ann Massey Census shows him worth $30,000.00 in 1850.
VIIIThomas Hamden Massey 1831-1891 First Marriage - Mary Nivin 1850 Second Marriage - Rosalie Rice Taylor (our grandmother) 1863
Ten children between the two marriages. left Friendship Farm (first mentioned in will
of 1714) to son, Robert Bruce Massey and turned it over to him before moving to Colonial
Beach, Westmoreland county, Virginia. Thomas Haden Massey owned nine slaves and
gave them the surname "Featherstone" upon giving them their freedom.
IX(Charles) Henry Bedford Massey Born 1884, Colonial Beach, Virginia on Springfield Farm Died 1961, Lynwood Calif.Moved to Huntington Park, Calif. in 1906, opened grocery store, married Jean Belle King Gibson who was born in 1888 at Redondo Beach, Calif. Shortly thereafter he returned to Colonial Beach to manage Springfield until 1923. After deciding to return to California he sold Springfield at auction in 20 acre pieces, 500 acres in all. Springfield was located 60 miles south of Washington on the Potomac.
Some interesting sidelights of the Eastern Branch
A few tax rolls were listed James Massey 1743 William Clark Massey 1776 Eleaser Massey 1778
Revolutionary War Soldiers (some of them) Hezekiah Massey Jesse Massey Henry Massey Elijah Eleaser Massey James Massey III
1790 Census Daniel Massey 8 Slaves Elisha Massey14 Slaves Joseph Massey 9 Slaves
1800 Census Elijah Massey10 Slaves Hemsley Massey 10 Slaves Joseph Massey 5 Slaves
1810 Census Elijah Massey14 Slaves
1820 Census Benjamine Massey 19 Slaves Josias Massey 4 Slaves
1850 Census Ebenezer Thomas Massey had real estate or $30,000.00 Elijah Massey owned "Massey's Venture" and had 20,000 acres in 1743. Thomas Hamden had 9 slaves
1839 A grandson of Elijah Massey married Mary Withers who was a grand daughter of Richard Lee, the founder of the Robert E. Lee family.
Richard came to America in 1641.
A great uncle of ours, Benjamine, bother of Ebenezer Massey was secretary of state of the state of Missouri during the confederacy.
1816Benjamine Massey was a presidential elector
1813James Massey was elected to the Maryland Legislature
1827Captain Joshua Massey was commissioner of the public schools in Maryland
1838James Massey became a delegate to the Whig party and was vice-president running mate of Henry Clay
Other Masseys of interest- Although not certain they are from the Maryland group.
A Massey was on the boat with George Washington while crossing the Delaware. George Washington offered to give him an official commendation. he refused. (Modest or disgusted?)
The Massey Family of England Genealogy by Judge Frank A. Massey