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About the study

Bernard Dudley James MUSSON. Born in Leicester, Leicestershire, England, on 21.02.1948. Retired teacher, currently living in Leicester, Leicestershire, England.

 St.Mary de Castro, Leicester, where I was christened in 1948 :

I have always been fascinated by history, but for the last ten years this fascination has focused on family history, mainly the genealogy of the family name MUSSON.

I am a member of the Leicestershire & Rutland Family History Society. I have profiles on both Ancestry & FindMyPast. 

Leicestershire county, the main focus of my one name study:


Variant names

Among the variants of MUSSON I have come across, though I think some are transcription errors more than variants are : MASSON, MASSEN, MISSON, MISSEN, MOSSON, MOSSEN, MUSSEN, MUPSON, MUFSON and of coarse MUSTON.

The MUSTON family name, although often found in the same vicinity as the MUSSON family name, may be an habitational name from the villages of Muston, found in Leicestershire and Yorkshire. 

Name origin

There appear to be two theories about the origin of the family name MUSSON :

  • One, that it originated as an habitational name in the village of Muston, in north-east Leicestershire, England and or the village of Muston, in Yorkshire, England. Possibly Scandinavian in origin.
  • Two, that it originated as a nickname, from the Anglo-Norman French muisson, meaning sparrow, or possibly an habitational name from Mousson in Meuse-et-Moselle, France. Presumably arriving in England with the Norman conquest of England in 1066 AD.

Historical occurrences of the name

The family name MUSSON appears in Leicestershire Parish Records from the 1550s on. e.g. Beeby parish records, Erasmus MUSSON, baptized December 1590. (Possibly a 10x great,great grandfather or 10x great, great uncle)

In my study of the family name MUSSON in Leicestershire, England. There appear to be two main clusters, one around the villages and towns of north-east Leicestershire and one around the villages and towns of south-west Leicestershire.

This could fit with both theories of the MUSSON name origin. One of the clusters is certainly around the village of Muston in north-east Leicestershire. However both clusters can be associated with the Norman occupation of Leicestershire. One cluster in the area of the Norman castle and manors of Belvoir, in north-east Leicestershire and the other cluster in the area of the Norman castle and manors of Hinckley, in south-west Leicestershire. The later being founded by Hugh de Grantmesnil (1032 - 1098) companion of William the Conqueror. Hugh fought at the Battle of Hastings, 1066 and was given by William the Conqueror, 65 manors in Leicestershire.

The family name MUSSON is found today in France and would love to hear from any French MUSSONs who have any information on the family name. 

Distribution of the name

From my research I have noted a migration of MUSSON out of Leicestershire, north and east into Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. South and west into Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Oxfordshire. The name MUSSON from both Leicestershire clusters also migrated to London and South-east England. This is not to suggest that the name MUSSON was not already established in these areas, just that I have found MUSSONs moving to these areas from Leicestershire, in the 19th and 20th centuries.

There appears to have been a two way flow of MUSSON, Leicestershire - Northamptonshire - Rutland, in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

Also noted migration of the MUSSON from rural to urban areas in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Found evidence of movement to the cities of : Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Peterborough, Birmingham, Manchester and London.

Also evidence of overseas migration of MUSSON name to USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in the 19th and 20th centuries.



Western Europe = 30%

England = 29%

Ireland-Scotland-Wales = 24%

Scandinavia = 13%

Others (minor traces) = 2%

Finland-Northwest Russia = 1%

Southern Europe = 1%