MASSON surname
Scotland to Nepean Township, Ontario, Canada, Australia and New Zealand

August 9, 2005:

I ran across the Bytown or Bust site yesterday for the first time and must say 
I find it very interesting. Our family of Masson's settled in the Ottawa area 
in the early 1850's. However I didn't find anything to mention any one of them in 
what I looked at yesterday. My Grandfather the youngest of the family of ten went 
west to Manitoba in 1879 and took up a homestead near Pilot Mound. Were I was 
born and grew up. As my father died before I was a year old I know practically 
nothing of my Masson family. Its just what my Dad had told my Mother and she 
passed on to us. And I've found I did not always get the right info. I spend 
many fruitless searches looking for the family around Carleton Place when I should 
have been looking in Carleton County.  I know the oldest Donald was a builder and I 
believe a stone Mason. Andrew had a flour store in which he supplied the lumbermen  
with supplies. Hugh (my name sake and I'm sure is the one I'm named after) had a 
Blacksmith shop on the south side of Ottawa near I believe Billings Bridge. 
Janet married a Duncan Gordon and was a gardener. I belief he did the early work 
of landscaping the Parliament grounds. Also Hugh made the wrought Iron fences around 
them. Andrew was a city Councillor for many years from about 1880 till 1900 when 
he died. One of Donalds sons had a shoe store in Ottawa. A few years back I was 
getting a bit fed up without knowing anything about my fathers family. So I went 
to the library and got an Ottawa phone book and got the names and addresses of 
about thirty Masson's in Ottawa. I wrote them all a letter and I got two answers 
one was of no connection but the other was from a Bob  Masson and he had an interest 
in an insurance company. I believe the name was Kirby and Masson. Well he was up 
here and we got down there and we had looked at many things together. But he being 
the same age as me passed away a few years ago and now I have no one of the family 
to write in the area. 
As we can expect the Masson name has a distinct French connection but our family 
came from Scotland with no French connections at least nothing I've been able to 
find in tracing their family back in Scotland to the early 1700's. My grandfather 
being a Highlander married my grandmother a Lowlander and the Gaelic was soon gone. 
I know when Grampa settled in Manitoba he had a neighbor who was from the western Isles. 
They both spoke Gaelic but they could not talk to each other in Gaelic so had to 
talk in English. Well I'm really wandering all over the map. What I'd like to find 
out is someone of the family who would like to correspond with me and any other info 
I can find about the Masson family around Ottawa. Anyplace you can send me in the 
right direction is appreciated.
... Hugh Masson
Good morning, Mr. Masson:
Thanks for your e-mail regarding your Masson ancestors in the Ottawa area. 
I have located them in the 1881 census for Nepean township, several families, with 
the older family members being born in Scotland. They were Presbyterian and their 
occupations are listed as you stated -- flour dealer, contractor, blacksmith, etc.
Do you mind if I set up a new web page on my site for the Masson family in the 1800's? 
Please let me know. We then may hear from others who are researching the Massons.
... Al Lewis

Dear Al;
I don't mind if you set up a web page for the Masson's but please don't go to too 
much trouble. There were ten in the family but so far I've never been able to find 
William or Charles but believe Charles died as a young lad in Scotland. as he didn't 
appear in the 1841 census there. By your Email you must be up early for a Sunday 
morning. Having farmed all my life I still like to sleep in Sunday mornings. We can 
only hope that maybe someone else is looking in the same direction as I would wish. 
I've been able to trace the family fairly well back in Scotland but Canada has been 
a different thing.  Well we'll just have to wait and see.
... Hugh


Below are the 1881 census records for the Massons. As well, you might wish to
contact the Presbyterian Church Archives.
I think that the family would have attended either St. Andrew's Church at Kent and Wellington
Streets, Knox Presbyterian on Elgin Street or Erskine Presbyterian Church on Bronson Avenue, 
all in downtown Ottawa.
... Al

1881 Census Place:	Nepean, Carleton, Ontario, Canada
	Source:	FHL Film 1375867  NAC C-13231  Dist 108  SubDist A  Div 1  Page 136  Family 620
	Sex	Marr	Age	Origin	Birthplace
Donald MASSON	M	M	56	Scottish	Scotland
	Occ:	Contractor	Religion:	C. Presbyterian	
Elizabeth MASSON	F	M	49	Irish	Ontario
			Religion:	C. Presbyterian	
Charles MASSON	M		21	Irish	Ontario
			Religion:	C. Presbyterian	
Robert MASSON	M		19	Irish	Ontario
			Religion:	C. Presbyterian	
Elizabeth MASSON	F		17	Irish	Ontario
			Religion:	C. Presbyterian	

next family:
1881 Census Place:	Victoria Ward, Ottawa, Carleton, Ontario, Canada
	Source:	FHL Film 1375865  NAC C-13229  Dist 105  SubDist B  Div 1  Page 5  Family 21
	Sex	Marr	Age	Origin	Birthplace
Andrew MASSON	M	W	54	Scottish	Scotland
	Occ:	Flour Dealer	Religion:	Presbyterian	
Charles MASSON	M		34	Scottish	Scotland
	Occ:	Miller	Religion:	Presbyterian	
Jessie MASSON	F		26	Scottish	Ontario
			Religion:	Presbyterian	
John H. DEWAR	M	M	26	Scottish	Quebec
	Occ:	Engineer	Religion:	Presbyterian	
Catherine E. DEWAR	F	M	27	Scottish	Scotland
			Religion:	Presbyterian

	next family:
Census Place:	Nepean, Carleton, Ontario, Canada
	Source:	FHL Film 1375867  NAC C-13231  Dist 108  SubDist A  Div 1  Page 132  Family 602
	Sex	Marr	Age	Origin	Birthplace
Hugh MASSON	M	M	50	Scottish	Scotland
	Occ:	Blacksmith	Religion:	C. Presbyterian	
Christina MASSON	F	M	48	Scottish	Ontario
			Religion:	C. Presbyterian	
Catherine MASSON	F		24	Scottish	Ontario
			Religion:	C. Presbyterian	
Jolly MASSON	F		22	Scottish	Ontario
			Religion:	C. Presbyterian	
Margaret MASSON	F		20	Scottish	Ontario
			Religion:	C. Presbyterian	
Mary MASSON	F		19	Scottish	Ontario
			Religion:	C. Presbyterian	
Annie MASSON	F		11	Scottish	Ontario
			Religion:	C. Presbyterian	
Winey MASSON	F		9	Scottish	Ontario
			Religion:	C. Presbyterian	
July 17, 2006: I was doing a bit of research on my grandmother’s family and came across your correspondence. My grandmother was Marian Masson who married George Gordon Gale from Quebec City. She lived in Ottawa all her life and had a daughter and son. She had sister’s Bea (Elizabeth?) and Kaye. Her father was, I believe, one of Hugh Masson’s brothers (Donald?). I also have a copy of Bob Masson’s family history, but it is not near at hand, so I will have to follow up about my grandmother’s father’s name. I love the idea that I am connected in some way with the family of Hugh Masson if it is indeed true (and I have no reason to doubt it) that he is responsible for the fabulous iron work around the Parliament buildings, which I see almost every day. He is also known as the designer of the Masson plow, which was considered quite an advance in farm implements at the time. I won’t write more now, but if these e-mail addresses are still operational and you receive this short note, I would be happy to continue this correspondence. I believe there is a Masson section at Beechwood cemetery where many are buried, so I could try to follow up on any particular questions you may have. Janice MacAulay
October 27, 2006: Hugh, Janice and Al: We are also related to Hugh Tolmie Masson and Christina Kennedy (another prominent family in the history of Knox Presbyterian Church) - through their daughter, Catherine Isabella (1856-1936) who married Rev. James A. Anderson (born in Nepean 1854-died in Ottawa 1910) - through their son/my grandfather, Bruce Tolmie Anderson, (1890-1969). Hugh - You were wondering about the French sounding name Masson that you could only link back to Scotland. My Grandfather was very proud of his Huguenot ancestry - fleeing religious persecution to settle in Scotland. He also indicated that the Massons had fought at the Battle of Agincourt 1415... Here is a short reference: Huguenot and Scots Links, 1575-1775, by David Dobson Until its revocation in 1685, the Edict of Nantes had granted French Protestants a degree of religious freedom. After Louis XIV rescinded the Edict, Huguenots, fearing reprisals, fled to whichever of the Protestant countries would receive them. While most Huguenots took their skills and remaining capital to The Netherlands, Germany, Scandinavia, England, and America, some of them or their descendants made their way to Scotland, which officially had become a Protestant country in 1560. While a small number of refugees and emigrants from France settled in Scotland in the immediate aftermath of the revocation, the main influx occurred in the last quarter of the 17th century. Most of these emigrants (craftsmen, artisans, and merchants) settled in the Canongate, then a separate burgh but now a part of Edinburgh. The second largest occupational group of French Protestants joined Scottish regiments and fought against the armies of France or its Jacobite allies in Scotland and Ireland. Researchers will discover the identities of many of these Huguenot emigres or their descendants in a groundbreaking new work from David Dobson entitled, Huguenot and Scots Links, 1575-1775. Working from baptismal registers, burgess rolls, tax lists, marriage registers, and other primary sources, Mr. Dobson has unearthed information concerning over 1,000 Scottish Huguenots or their descendants. Janice and Hugh - I would very much appreciate a copy of Bob Masson's family history and any other info you could share. I would be pleased to forward a copy of the decendants files I have for Donald, Andrew and Hugh Masson. The Masson family - Donald, Andrew (and later Hugh), were instumental in establishing Knox Presbyterian Church in 1845 and their descendants appear to have been active throughout its history. Hugh's children - Catherine Isabella Masson (Anderson) was Knox' first organist, and her sister Mary Masson taught Sunday School for 50 years, etc. I have attached a couple of pictures you might enjoy. Please feel free to contact me at Cheers - Bruce
Mary Masson
March 23, 2007: Hello there. I have extensive information and a significant collection of photographs from my MASSON tree photos from the 1860’s.and detail well before My great great uncles William T MASSON born 1855 and Andrew A MASSON born 1845 emigrated from Scotland circa 1870 – 1890. Family records suggest William married Mary Doherty in Connecticut, USA, and died in the USA and Andrew returned to Scotland. I would be very interested to make contact should we be able to make a tie up. Two photos I have certainly were taken in Ottawa and Montreal. ... David J Masson ______________________ Sorry for the delay in replying. Thank you for being in touch. My great grandfather was a Masson in Ottawa. I have a typescript history of the Massons who came to settle in Ottawa mid 1800s which I would be happy to mail you. It might be possible to link the families. I know that Hugh Masson (whom you included in the e-mail) has Masson family information that goes further back to Scotland which would be more helpful perhaps. Janice MacAulay ____________________________ Hello there, I will check the comprehensive data I have on my tree and a few photographs of the Canadian emigrants and the likely dates thereof, in some cases we have the photographers’ names and addresses. This collated information has been sourced from confirmed distant relatives in Scotland and New Zealand, Our common link that started this line and has now gone further back and sideways is the name BORTHWICK which was my great great grandmothers’ maiden name. Eliza Borthwick Jamieson MASSON BN 1820 wife to James MASSON BN 1809. Sons of, include, Andrew A MASSON BN 1845 and younger brother William T MASSON BN 1855 almost certainly the A is for ANDERSON their fathers’ mothers’ maiden name and T is for TAIT very close family friends and cousins. Andrew A spent time in Canada before returning to Edinburgh, he died in 1896. William T also spent time in Canada and married Mary Doherty in Connecticut and he is believed to have died in the USA. Clearly they chose Canada for the family connection, other direct family members emigrated to Australia and New Zealand from 1880 onwards. We will see what link we can establish. I am happy for this information to be listed for other researchers to contact me. Regards, ... David J Masson
March 24, 2007: Borthwick is an important name in the early settlement of Ottawa. The Masson name is from my mother’s mother’s family, and Borthwick is my father’s grandmother’s name, so my family too has both influences. I remember reading about Taits somewhere too, and it stuck in my mind since my husband’s grandmother was a Tate. Isn’t this amazing! Dawn Norton in Ottawa has recently completed a family history about the Borthwicks. I haven’t obtained a copy yet, but plan to. This is the information she provided to me. Hi Janice, Just wanted to let you know the book on the Borthwicks is ready for sale ($40.00). You can e-mail me at Also of interest is Ann Carson, Australia, who has a one name study on the Borthwicks. Her e-mail address is & she would be happy to hear from anyone interested. ... Dawn I have included Dawn’s e-mail in the distribution, because she may be able to link your families through her own records. I’ll mail off what I have about the Masson’s to you this weekend. Janice MacAulay _____________________ Good morning, all: On our web page at , there is a link to a number of persons who were originally buried at the old cemeteries at MacDonald Park in Sandy Hill. If you click on the "scanned images" link, you will find the names of some of the original interrments whose remains were transferred to Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa. One of the names is a Borthwick and the inscription mentions a Jamieson connection. There may be other names which are familiar to you. ... Al Lewis _____________________ Al, Thanks for the tip on BORTHWICK JAMIESON. I am sure there is a connection that would also be of special interest to BORTHWICK JAMIESON researchers. James MASSON married Eliza BORTHWICK 1840 Queensferry, Scotland. Eliza was the daughter of John BORTHWICK and Elisabeth JAMIESON. I have a signed photograph taken in 1865 of this couple my Great Great Great Grandparents. Regards, David J Masson Australia
January 5, 2008: Good morning all, Yesterday I stumbled across your e-mails re: the Masson Family on the website. I am also a decendant of Hugh Masson and can maybe shed some light on the decendants of Hugh Masson specifically. My mother was the keeper of the family records and with her recent passing these records have come into my possession. My connection is through the Lyon and Williams families. The Williams family, I believe, owned extensive property on or near the present site of the Dominion Experimental farm and the Rideau Gardens. If anyone is interested in this branch of the family you can contact me at bruce.elworthy at and I'll see if I can help. Bruce Elworthy _________________________ How nice to hear from you Bruce! I wish I had more time to delve into family history - it's so interesting. I would love to confirm whether Hugh Masson did indeed have the contract to do the iron work at Parliament Hill, but I'm not sure how to go about that. I do have a print copy of a summary of the Masson family history that Bob Masson put together about 15 years ago. I remember that it mentions the farm at Baseline (now the Experimental Farm), so it would provide some details about your mother's family. I could mail you a copy if you wish to provide a mailing address. Janice MacAulay
January 28, 2008: From Bruce Hurley: I finally found a picture of the 1852 hockey medal and quotes from Hugh himself in a 1904 publication. The original medal was donated to the Bytown Museum along with other Masson [and Anderson] artefacts (but they are not on display and are held in the Museum's facilities at the "Diefenbunker"). And, thanks to Bruce for the following photographs: of Donald Masson who was an elder at Knox Presbyterian Church in 1875. Donald Masson in 1875 more from Bruce, a photo of Hugh Masson's plough used at Billings Bridge: Hugh Masson's Plough
January 23, 2015: Hello - I came across this site while researching my Graham / Kirby family. I have some Masson connection in my family tree which may be of interest. Some postings are a few years ago so this may all be known by now! Laura Kirby 1862-1931 married 1884 Charles James Masson b 1859, an accountant, s/o Donald and Mary Masson, in Ottawa. Laura was the older sister of my grt grandfather Richmond Hill Kirby. Their parents were Thomas Halder Kirby (grew up in Hawkesbury) & Mary Ann Graham (b 1835 Richmond, d/o Christopher Graham d 1836 & Isabella Hill) - all (not Laura) share grave memorial in Beechwood. Laura & Charles Masson had 4 children. A son Charles Kirby died after birth 1890. Marion Charleston b 1886 married George Gordon Gale. Elizabeth b 1891 married Philip Harvey Chrysler. Laura Kaye b 1894 married Elden Parker Wilson. Meanwhile I am continuing to seek out any Hill and Graham details from Richmond. I do know Christopher was a 1st settler in 1818, although he was civilian. Trying to establish the connection of Sgt Andrew Hill to Isabella Hill settling there at the same time. Any help appreciated. I am in Calgary and wish I could do some foot search. Thanks, Carol Johnson
New March 3, 2015: Here is a very detailed tree from Taylor Kennedy. Thanks again, Taylor!
Some Descendants of Donald Masson, Scotland to Ottawa, Canada
Generation No. 1 1. DONALD1 MASSON He married JANET EDIE. Child of DONALD MASSON and JANET EDIE is: 2. i. CHARLES2 MASSON, b. 11 February 1786, CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND; d. Unknown, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. Generation No. 2 2. CHARLES2 MASSON (DONALD1) was born 11 February 1786 in CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND, and died Unknown in Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. He married CATHERINE TOLMIE 23 December 1823 in Croy And Dalcross,Invern ess, Scotland, daughter of ANDREW TOLMIE and JANNET ?. She was born 26 March 1787 in CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND, and died Unknown in Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. Notes for CHARLES MASSON: ***** All the births and baptisms of Charles Masson and Catherine Tolmie are from the Church of The Latter Day Saints ***** Children of CHARLES MASSON and CATHERINE TOLMIE are: 3. i. DONALD3 MASSON, b. 1 December 1824, CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND; d. 25 October 1898, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. 4. ii. ANDREW MASSON MASSON, b. 31 May 1826, CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND; d. 1 January 1900, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. iii. JANET MASSON, b. 25 May 1828, CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND. More About JANET MASSON: Baptism: 28 May 1828, CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND 5. iv. HUGH MASSON, b. 17 August 1830, CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND; d. 27 December 1906, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. v. MARGARET MASSON, b. 3 February 1832, CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND. More About MARGARET MASSON: Baptism: 8 February 1832, CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND vi. CHARLES MASSON, b. 29 October 1834, CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND. More About CHARLES MASSON: Baptism: 5 November 1834, CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND vii. CATHERINE MASSON, b. 6 November 1835, CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND. More About CATHERINE MASSON: Baptism: 12 November 1835, CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND viii. WILLIAM MASSON, b. 29 July 1838, CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND. More About WILLIAM MASSON: Baptism: 5 August 1838, CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND ix. ISOBELLA MASSON, b. 9 December 1840, CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND. More About ISOBELLA MASSON: Baptism: 18 December 1840, CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND Generation No. 3 3. DONALD3 MASSON (CHARLES2, DONALD1) was born 1 December 1824 in CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND, and died 25 October 1898 in Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. He married ELIZABETH GREY. She was born 1832, and died 7 February 1897 in Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. More About DONALD MASSON: Baptism: 9 December 1824, CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND Children of DONALD MASSON and ELIZABETH GREY are: i. CATHERINE4 MASSON, b. 1856, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. ii. CHARLES JAMES MASSON, b. 1860, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. 6. iii. ROBERT MASSON, b. 9 July 1861, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario; d. 3 August 1925, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. iv. ELIZABETH MASSON, b. 1864, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. 4. ANDREW MASSON3 MASSON (CHARLES2, DONALD1) was born 31 May 1826 in CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND, and died 1 January 1900 in Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. He married ISABELLA LAWSON 4 December 1845 in Cawdor,Nairn,Scotland. She was born 1820 in CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND, and died 22 January 1880 in Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. More About ANDREW MASSON MASSON: Baptism: 4 June 1826, CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND Children of ANDREW MASSON and ISABELLA LAWSON are: i. DONALD4 MASSON, b. 9 August 1848, NAIRN,NAIRN,SCOTLAND. ii. CHARLES MASSON, b. 1846, NAIRN,NAIRN,SCOTLAND. iii. ISABELLA MASSON, b. 1851, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. iv. JESSIE MASSON, b. 1854, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. v. ANDREW MASSON, b. 1859, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. 5. HUGH3 MASSON (CHARLES2, DONALD1) was born 17 August 1830 in CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND, and died 27 December 1906 in Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. He married CHRISTINA KENNEDY 1865 in Carleton County. She was born 22 June 1831 in Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario, and died 24 October 1913 in Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. More About HUGH MASSON: Baptism: 26 August 1830, CROY AND DALCROSS,INVERNESS,SCOTLAND Children of HUGH MASSON and CHRISTINA KENNEDY are: i. CATHERINE ISABELLA4 MASSON, b. 1857, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. ii. CHRISTINA PTOLMY MASSON, b. 1858, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. iii. MARGARET MARJORIE MASSON, b. 1860, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. iv. MARY ELIZABETH MASSON, b. 1863, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. v. ANNIE MASSON, b. 1869, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. vi. HELEN WINNIFRED MASSON, b. 1872, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. Generation No. 4 6. ROBERT4 MASSON (DONALD3, CHARLES2, DONALD1) was born 9 July 1861 in Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario, and died 3 August 1925 in Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. He married (1) HARRIETT HOWE 9 January 1888 in Ottawa, Carleton County, daughter of WILLIAM HOWE and ELIZABETH CRIDIFORD. She was born 1862 in Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario, and died 7 August 1896 in Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. He married (2) HARRIET HATTIE MUTCHMOR 5 October 1899 in Ottawa, Carleton County, daughter of ALEXANDER MUTCHMOR and DORINDA BALL. She was born 10 April 1866 in Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario, and died 21 December 1938 in Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. Children of ROBERT MASSON and HARRIETT HOWE are: i. DONALD HOWE5 MASSON, b. 19 August 1889, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario; d. 19 April 1917, France. ii. WILLIAM GREY MASSON, b. 11 April 1891, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. iii. HELEN DOROTHY MASSON, b. 3 March 1893, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. iv. ROBERT GEOFFREY MASSON, b. 26 August 1895, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario; d. 24 May 1917, France. Child of ROBERT MASSON and HARRIET MUTCHMOR is: v. MURIEL LORRAINE5 MASSON, b. 7 August 1900, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario. prepared by Taylor Kennedy

E-mail Hugh Masson, Janice MacAulay, Bruce Hurley, David Masson, Bruce Elworthy, Carol Johnson, Taylor Kennedy and Al Lewis

Back to Bytown or Bust - History and Genealogy in the Ottawa area