Surname Saturday – Musgrove

Today I want to tell you about the Musgrove family name.  Both my maternal grandparents were called Musgrove – Fred Musgrove and Florrie Musgrove.   

According to the website surnamedb ( Musgrove is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and a locational name deriving from a pair of villages near Kirkby Stephen in Westmorland, called Great and Little Musgrave.  The early settlement is recorded as “Musegrave” around 1215, and as “Magna” and “Parva Musegrave” (Great and Little) in the “Records of Pleas” of 1292.

The placename is said to derive from the old English pre 7th century elements “mus”, mouse, or the old Norse byname “Musi”, with “graf”, grove – so “grove frequented by mice”, or “Musi’s grove”.

A number of English placenames have “Mus” as a first part, including Musbury (Lancashire), “mouse burrow”, and Muscoates (Yorkshire), “mouse infested huts”.

Some early examples of the surname include Roger de Mussegrave (1277, London); Thomas de Musgraue (1362, Yorkshire) and John Mosgrove, listed in the University of Oxford’s Register for 1581.  The first recorded spelling of the name is believed to be that of Alan de Musegrave, which was dated 1228, in the “Curia Rolls of Northumberland”, during the reign of King Henry III, known as “The Frenchman”, 1216-1272.

My post last week (St Catherine’s House) explained about my early difficulty finding the birth certificate for Florrie Musgrove which was in fact recorded as Mosgrove.

I have traced my two Musgrove lines back to Kendal in Westmorland.  On my granfather’s side I can go back to my 3xgreat grandfather, Joseph Musgrove who was born c1791 in Kendal. He was a blacksmith and at some point moved south to the Clitheroe / Whalley area of Lancashire where he met and married Jane Dewhurst.

On my grandmother’s side I go back to my 3xgreat grandfather, William Musgrove who was born about 1795 and married Harriot Francis on 30 October 1815 in Kendal.  My 2xgreat grandfather, Harrison Musgrove (1834-1868) and my great grandfather, Joseph Musgrove (1866-1933) were also born in the Kendal / Kirkland area of Westmorland.  This Joseph moved south to Clitheroe via Settle and Horton in Ribblesdale.

Other people researching my grandmother’s line have gone back three further generations to my 6xgreat grandfather, Joseph Musgreave born about 1703 in Hawkshead (Lancashire).  I haven’t yet checked this information – it’s on my list of things to do (which is growing longer every week!!)



  1. This morning on Geneabloggers I saw your blogspot introduced. I liked what I read and was interested to “tune” in. I am not rich either, by the way, but I do have some Musgroves in the old family tree. So I am even more eager to keep an eye on your blog. Thanks for sharing!


    1. Thanks for your comment Debbie glad to have you on board. The Musgroves will be popping up regularly. Your own blog looks really interesting and I will link it in my blog list.


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