England, South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas
We have not been able to
identify the original immigrant for the family. There are
several possibilities. Most of these individuals seem to have
shipped from England and there are Machens found in a number of
locations in England including Gloucester, York and London. If
they came from Scotland it may have been even more distant and
difficult lineage to trace. Laura Cleveland Edwards has done a
great deal of research on the various lines of the family and
lays out the problem very completely in her recent book, "Three
Centuries in America: Thomas Machen of Middlesex County,
Virginia." She states, "It is a name found in Wales and various
parts of England, particularly in Yorkshire. There were also
Machens in Gloucestershire in 15th century. The name Machen is
not to be confused with the French name Machin, although Machin
is frequently a misspelling of the name in many records. In
fact, the name Machen may be one of the most misspelled names in
the U.S. with a British origin. Other misspellings include
Macken, Matchen, Micham, Macham, Mechem, Mechem, Meachum(which
is a surname in its own right), Mackham, and even
Other spellings of
the name I found in the US census records can be found as
Macen, McInne, Machin, Machan, Macken, Makin or Mackin
although the family has spelled it as Machen from the early
1700's. One early example of another distant relation spells
his name by another variation. A book published as The
Diary of Henry Machyn, Citizen and Merchant-Taylor of
London, from A. D. 1550 to A. D. 1563. edited by John
Gough Nichols is interesting not only for its name but also
for the status of the individual. This Henry Machyn was a
royal tailor and merchant in London and obviously had some
connection to the royal families. I have included a few
passage here to give an idea of the dialogue and spelling used
in this time period.
The XVIJ day of
July was a scresmys a Margyson be-twyn the Englysmen and
Frenchemen, and ther owre men had the beter and had good
bote of cattel; and ther wher slayne ix men of armes and
xviij taken presoners of Frenche-men, and of owrs iij takken
presoners and v hurtt, by the helpe of men of Gynes and
My own preference, although
unproved, is that our relative is one of the seven sons of
Thomas Machen of Gloucestershire, England. This Thomas was
quite well-to-do, having inherited an estate. He had been
sheriff of the region, was elected mayor of Gloucester three
times and to Parliament twice. He had seven sons and six
daughter. Only the two youngest of his sons were included
in his will. I propose that the other sons emigrated to the
colonies to land that their father had invested in. We are
missing the name of the connecting generation father but the
naming pattern is similar to the other known families.
The xxvy day of
July wa bered masteres Draper of Camurell, with ij whytt
branchys and xii stayff torchys, and iij grett tapurs, and
ij dosen of skochyons of armes.
The xxix day of
July was fechyd out of Westmynster by the constabyll of
the Towre of London, the wyche ya constabull, and browth
on (blank) Waxham, the wyche he brake out of the Towre,
and wa browth thrugh London.
The tomb of Thomas
Machen, Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucestershire, Great Britain.
sculpture included portraits of their seven sons and
created by Samuel Bladwin, photo courtesty of Julian P.
(b. 1541 d. 18 Oct 1614)
son of Henry Machen of Gloucester and Elizabeth Baugh
m. Christian Barston
(b.1546 d. 1615)
dau. of Walter Barston of Nether Swell, Glos.
although they had 13 children, none seem buried in the
From The History of
Parliament web site. extracted
Family and Education
1st s. of Henry Machen of Gloucester and Elizabeth, da.
of one Baugh. m. c.1564 (with £100), Christian
(d. 29 June 1615), da. of Walter Barston of
Nether Swell, Glos., 7s. (5 d.v.p.) 6da. (3 d.v.p.).
suc. fa. 1567.
d. 18 Oct. 1614.
sig. Tho[mas] Machen
councilman, Gloucester 1567, sheriff 1572-3, 1576-7,
alderman 1574-d., mayor 1579-80, 1588-9,
1601-2, dep. lt. 1587-at least 1612, master,
St. Mary Magdalene hosp. 1603-d. dep. mayor
the son of an alderman, inherited property at Gloucester
and Tewkesbury. A mercer, he also engaged in the wheat
and malt trade, and was able to purchase the manor of
Condicote, near his wife’s home. In 1604 he was one of
the candidates approved by the corporation but was
defeated by John Jones. In one of the Star Chamber
actions which followed he was accused of improperly
persuading his fellow-commissioners to reduce his
subsidy rating some six weeks after the election from
£20 in goods to £10 in lands. It was alleged he was ‘as
rich an alderman as any in Gloucester’, with a yearly
income of £400 and between £5,000 and £10,000 ‘in money
and other his personal goods and chattels’. He was
obliged to admit that one of his three colleagues was
his son-in-law and another his uncle, but refused to
give details of his estate, protesting only that he had
‘departed with a great part of his substance’ in
marrying four daughters.
Machen himself seems to have defeated a corporation
candidate. He left no mark on the records of the Addled
Parliament, and did not long survive it. He was already
ill when he made his will on 9 September 1614. He had
settled his farm of Crickley in Badgeworth on his wife,
with remainder to his eldest son and his grandson, but
he was able to provide other lands and £2,500 for his
two surviving younger sons. He left £100 to the
corporation, to be put out at interest every five years
to ‘four poor honest tradesmen that are mercers’,
largely for the benefit of 13 poor men and women ‘now
newly by me placed and hereafter to be placed in their
stead as poor almspeople in the hospital or house of St.
Mary Magdalene near the city of Gloucester’. He was
buried in the cathedral, and his widow bequeathed £100
for a monument. No later member of the family sat in
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: Alan Davidson
[Trush, Andrew ed.
and John P. Ferris. The
History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629.
The Machen family is connected with
Gloucester by the 10c. "About the year 967, in the
time of Morgan hen, it appears taht after a long contest
Owen ap Howel Dda obtained possession of Caerleon, Eddlogan,
and Machen, with the consent of the Saxon King Edgar,
leaving the remainder of the district, which is now called
the Lordship of Wentllywch, in the possession of
The Machen family seems to have been very established in
Gloucester from the 10c to the 17c. The 1700's brought change
and challenges to the family. This era had been difficult
for people involved in governmental change. The supporters
of royalty found themselves defending the abuses of power heaped
on the population. Gloucester, being one of the five
larger trade centers in England was urged to support the
At the election of M.P. s in
1597 it was alleged that the bench had deliberately excluded
from the poll numerous freemen who were supporters of
Atkyns. The corporation was divided between an
establishment group, led by Alderman Thomas Machen and his
son-in-law Thomas Rich, which was sympathetic towards puritan
ideas, and a more populist faction, led by Alderman Garnons
and Alderman John Jones, which endeavoured to mobilize the
freeman vote and had stronger ties with the cathedral close
(Jones was diocesan registrar under eight bishops). When
Rich became mayor in 1603 it was said he spent 'the greatest
part of his time and study that year to be revenged upon his
enemies and such as were not of his faction, to weaken,
charge, and defame them'. It was further alleged that he
tried to rig the council meetings. The elections to parliament
in December 1603 were particularly turbulent. Rich and his
allies on the corporation tried to delay the execution of the
election writ in order to prevent the return of Jones. In the
meantime Jones canvassed freeman support, promising to get
more fairs for the city and the redress of various popular
grievances. When Jones was eventually chosen Rich tried to
hold another poll, though without success. Disputes
continued through 1604, and in 1605 a series of cases
involving leading members of the corporation was heard in Star
Chamber and the Exchequer. Further outbreaks of
factionalism occurred in 1608 and the 1610s, but they
were on a lesser scale. During the second half of James I's
reign there are signs that the magistracy, by then dominated
by committed puritans, sought to curb internal conflict and
consolidate oligarchic power by restraining abuses in city
[Herbert, N.M. A History of the County of
Gloucester: Vol. 4: the City of Gloucester.]
1599, April 25 - Oliver Cromwell is born in Huntington.
1642 - 1646 The English Civil War - Oliver Cromwell and
1643 August 10th - Gloucester town's support for Oliver
Cromwell identified the town as dangerous to the Royalist.
The town, with a population of about 5,000, was put under
siege by Royalist troops. Even they had run out of
food and though were near expiring, they had got word out,
and 15,000 troops were sent on the way from London
for their relief. The Royalist troops stayed trying to
force the surrender of the city until the Parliamentary troops
arrived for the rescue. The reprieve for the town was brief.
Cromwell dies of malaria and the royalty is restored to power.
The Machens were banished to parts unknown. Some suggest
to the island of Madeira, and other say to the colonies.
Here are a few of his know children. All the listed
children here seems to have establish lives in England. There
have to be others.
|Known Children of Thomas
Machen and Christian Baston
|Henricus Machen de Creckley do com cicitatn
| d.prior to 1614
| m.Anna Walker de com Bucks
|Ricardus Machende Benckington in com Oxon Grantee of
|| 1m. Margareta Davenport de Daven port in Com
2m Maria "Mary" Tucker de Gravesend 1634 (d. 1677)
|Edward Machende Matherley and Donington
| m. Francesca Gaynsford de com Kent )(d. 1671)
|| 1m. Richard Parker 1585
2m. George Wyrall esq. to King James I
|| m. Robins
[Machen, H. A. The Machen Family,
Gloucestershire. 1943, Vol. 64, 96-112, from the Transactions
of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archeological
1688- the Monarchy is restored. In a complicated series of
events between the new parliament, James II, and Charles II and
William of Orange (France) the Civil War is ended and the
Monarchy is restored. Cromwell's supporters were convicted
of regicide which could be varied from execution to banishment.
Origin of the Machen Names and heraldry
"Machen - East back court and Whitemead
Park, co. Gloucester: descended from Thomas Machin, three times Mayor
of Gloucester, buried in that city in 1614, granted
to Richard Machen co. Gloucester, 1615, the present
representative is Rev. Edward Machen, of Eastback Court and
Whitement Park). Gu. a fesse vair betw. three pelicans' heads
erased or vulning themselves ppr. granted to Richard Machen,
of Gloucestershire, in 1615.
Machen, Machin, or Machon. Same arms
crest- a lion's head erased. sa. on the head a cap of
"pelican" - is always represented w/ her wings endorsed, neck
embowed and pecking her breast, from which issue drops of
"erased"- forcibly from the body; a head, limb, or other
object erased, has its severed parts jagged."
The symbol of the
pelican pecking at her breast seems to be used as a symbol of
self-sacrifice. One version has the pelican bleeding drops of
blood into the open mouths of her nestlings.
[Burke, Sir Bernard.
The General Armory of England, Scot, Ireland and Wales.
Harrison, 59 Pall Mall, London. 1878]
the Machen Names from Scotland
"There was a tenement of this name in the Vale of Clyde. Adam
Machan witnessed two
charters by Orabile, who died c.1203. Thomas, son of John of
Machan, was juror on a an inquest made by Sir Aleander Uviet,
sheriff of Lanark, 1262-63".
source: Black, George
T. The Surnames of Scotland, their Origin, Meaning, and
Hist. The N. Y. Pub. Lib., 1962 N.Y.
According to the clan
guide on the www this family is connected to the MacDonald clan
of Scotland. The Vale of Clyde is the valley of the Clyde River
which runs near Glasgow. The river also creates a bay known as
the Firth of Clyde.
Black, George T. The
of Scotland, their Origin, Meaning, and Hist. The N. Y.
Pub. Lib., 1962 N.Y.
Edwards, Laura Cleveland. Three Centuries in America:
Thomas Machen of Middlesex County, VA, 4101 South
Mountain Drive, Raleigh, NC 27603, 2014
Herbert, N.M. A History of the County of Gloucester: Vol. 4:
the City of Gloucester1988
Machen, H. A. The Machen Family, Gloucestershire.
1943, Vol. 64, 96-112, from the Transactions of the
Bristol and Gloucestershire Archeological Society.
Nichols, John Gough edited by. The Diary of Henry Machyn,
Citizen and Merchant-Taylor of London, from A. D. 1550 to A.
D. 1563. printed for the Camden Society, J. B. Nichols
and son, 35, Parliament Street. 1868
Trush, Andrew and John P. Ferris. The
History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629.
Cambridge University Press, 2010
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