This surname MASER was a locational name 'of Masay'. A Norman surname that came over with William the Conqueror in 1066. Mathiu and Maci were both listed as tenants in chief of County Gloucestershire in the Domesday Book of 1086. Many of the early names recorded in medieval documents denote noble families but many also indicate migration from the continent during, and in the wake of, the Norman invasion of 1066. There was a constant stream of merchants, workmen and others arriving in England during this time. In 1086 the Record of Great Inquisition of lands of England, their extent, value, ownership and liabilities was made by order of William The Conqueror. It is known as the Domesday Book. The name is also spelt MASAY, MASSEY, MACI, MACEY, MASSER and MASSER. Other records of the name mention Hamon Massie who acquired Durham in County Cheshire and the patronymic spread rapidly. Robert de Masay of Tatton, County Cheshire was documented in 1353. James Massiye of the County of Lancashire, was registered at Oxford University in 1583. John Massey of Shocklach, was listed in the Wills at Chester in the year 1592. Alice Massey of Manchester, Wills at Chester in 1609. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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