- This interesting name is a variant of the surname Moss which is either topographical for someone who lived by a peat bog, from the Old English pre 7th Century 'mos' or a habitational name from a place named with this word, for example Mosedale in Cumbria or Moseley in West Yorkshire. There is also a possibility that it is from the given name Moses. During medieval times when migration was gaining popularity, people often adopted the name of their place of birth as a means of identification this resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. Amongst the sample recordings in London is the christening of Jeremie Mossman in 1638 at St. Botolph's-without-Aldgate, and Jane Mossman who married James Hastie on July 25th 1763 at St. James's, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Almer Mosse, which was dated 1186 - 1210, St. Benet of Holme, Norfolk, during the reign of King Henry 11, 'The Builder of Churches', 1154 - 1189. 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.
Surnames reference. 2013.