Matthews Family History
The family history of the ancient name Matthews
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. Matthews is a baptismal name meaning 'the son of Matthew' or 'Gift of Yahweh', from the Hebrew personal name, 'Mattithyah'.
Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.
Variants of the name Matthews
include Mathew, Mathewson, Matthewson, Mathewes and Mathias. This name is of Anglo-Norman descent spreading to Ireland, Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts in these countries. Examples of such are a Robert Matheu who was recorded in the 'Poll Tax of the West Riding of Yorkshire' in the year 1379. A Robert Mathewson was married in London in 1559. In Scotland A Patrick Mathew was Late Town officer in Edinburgh, in the year 1721. A Robert Mathow was Burgess Freeman of Glasgow, in the year 1661.
In Ireland this name and its variants were introduced into Ulster Province by settlers who arrived from England and Scotland, especially during the seventeenth century. During the 'Plantations of Ireland' in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Ireland was colonized by the English Crown with this period marking the end of Gaelic supremacy in Ireland. This period brought an influx of settlers into the country but, unlike the earlier Anglo-Norman invasion of the twelfth century that resulted in a full integration into Irish society of the new arrivals, the same never occurred with the Ulster Planters who maintained their own distinct identity.
Matthews is also an occasional variant of the Gaelic name MacMahon which is derived from the Gaelic MacMathghamhna septs of Counteis Clare and Monaghan. The Matthews
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Matthews