Some surnames have complex origins, some have various meanings, a few have both - this is one of them! It is our opinion that the origination is medieval French, and that the derivation is from 'Mo(s)nier', a locational or topographical word meaning 'the hard country'. The heraldry records refer to a family called Monier or Monyer of Provence in the 15th century, whose coat of arms was a blue field, charged with a gold dragon, between three silver crosses. Provence was a region prominent in the spread of protestantism in late medieval times, and it maybe that some of the original name bearers in England were of 'Huguenot' extraction. However this is not proven from the records, the implication being that several sources have some bearing on the name. These 'sources' include Mouser (German), Massier (French), Measure (Anglo-French). The early recordings are equally complex with transposed spellings creating a large range of similar forms such as Moser, Moyser, Mosier, Mosher, Masher, Mauzer, Mosyer, and Mozier, all recorded in London in the 17th century. Examples taken from the church registers include Edmund Mosyer, christened at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on April 28th 1573, Jane Moyser, who married Nicholas Kameys, at St James Church, Mayfair, on April 27th 1684, and Edward Moysier, who married Sarah Jones at St Katherines by the Tower, on February 15th 1718. Other recordings are those of Roger Moser, a witness at St Botolphs without Aldergate, on March 16th 1784, and Charlotte Mosher, who married Edmund Cook at St James, Westminster, on September 14th 1835. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aaron Mosier, which was dated August 8th 1567, christened at St Mary's Whitechapel, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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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