This interesting and long-established surname is of Anglo-Norman French origin, introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The surname derives from the Anglo-Norman French "machun", Old French "macon, masson", mason, and would have been an occupational name for a stonemason. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. Roger le Mason is listed in the Cartulary of Oseney Abbey, Oxfordshire (1200); Adam le Machon is listed in the 1279 Assize Court Rolls of Northumberland; and Richard Machen is listed in the 1284 Assize Court Rolls of Staffordshire. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Mason, Massen, Masson, Machen, Machent, Machin, Machon and Mochan. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Kinborne Machin and Edward Garland on July 12th 1562, at St. Dunstan's in the East, London; the christening of Mary, daughter of Matthew and Jane Mochan, in 1803, at West Gate Presbyterian, Wakefield, Yorkshire; and John Mochan married Ellen Carlton on Mary 28th 1848, at St. Nicholas', Liverpool, Lancashire. A Coat of Arms granted to the family depicts a fesse vair between three gold pelican's heads erased, vulning themselves proper, the Crest being a black lion's head erased, on the head a gold cap of maintenance. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Macun, which was dated 1130, in the "Ancient Charters of London", during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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