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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, Scottish, Welsh

Where did the Welsh Matthews family come from? What is the Welsh Matthews family crest and coat of arms? When did the Matthews family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Matthews family history?

The surname Matthews is a patronymic surname created from the personal name Matthew.


Although there are not an extremely large number Welsh surnames, there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations of those surnames. This variety of spellings began almost immediately after the acceptance of surnames within Welsh society. As time progressed, these old Brythonic names were eventually were recorded in English. This process was problematic in that many of the highly inflected sounds of the native language of Wales could not be properly captured in English. Some families, however, did decide to modify their own names to indicate a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even a patriotic affiliation. The name Matthews has seen various spelling variations: Mathews, Mathew, Matthew, Matthews, Mathewes and others.

First found in Glamorganshire (Welsh: Sir Forgannwg), a region of South Wales, anciently part of the Welsh kingdom of Glywysing, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Matthews research. Another 217 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1484, 1378, 1408, 1546, 1628, 1577, 1655, 1600, 1660, 1656, 1676, 1751, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Matthews History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 215 words(15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Matthews Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Matthews family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 171 words(12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


In the 1800s and 1900s, many Welsh families left for North America, in search of land, work, and freedom. Those who made the trip successfully helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Matthews

Matthews Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Samuel Matthews, who came to Virginia from London in about 1618 and established a plantation at the mouth of the Warwick River
  • Francis Matthews, who landed in New England in 1631
  • James Matthews, who landed in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1634
  • Edward Matthews, who arrived in Maryland in 1635
  • Marmaduke Matthews, who arrived in New England in 1638

Matthews Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Elizabeth Matthews, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Elander Matthews, who settled in Virginia in 1719
  • Elander Matthews, who arrived in Virginia in 1719
  • Maria Crete Matthews, aged 24, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733
  • Jacob Matthews, who arrived in Georgia in 1739

Matthews Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • George Matthews, who arrived in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1805
  • Gilley Matthews, aged 21, arrived in Delaware in 1812
  • Samuel Matthews, aged 20, arrived in Connecticut in 1812
  • Richard Matthews, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1819
  • Vincent I Matthews, who landed in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1824


  • Joseph W Matthews (1812-1862), American politician, Governor of Mississippi from 1848 to 1850
  • James Brander Matthews (1852-1929), American writer
  • Herbert Matthews (1900-1977), foreign correspondent and editorialist for the New York Times
  • Christopher John "Chris" Matthews (b. 1945), American news anchor and political commentator, known for his show, Hardball with Chris Matthews
  • Clay Matthews III (b. 1986), American NFL football linebacker for the Green Bay Packers, NFC Defensive Player of the Year (2010), Butkus Award (2010)
  • Don Matthews (b. 1939), a.k.a. "The Don", American retired head coach of several teams in the CFL, won 231 games, inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in September 2011
  • Charles Ray Matthews (b. 1939), American businessman, former member and chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission
  • Michael Shane Matthews (b. 1970), former American college and professional football quarterback
  • Cerys Matthews (b. 1969), Welsh singer
  • Adam James Matthews (b. 1992), Welsh footballer



  • The Mat(t)hews Family by John R. Boots.
  • A Matthews (also Mathews) Trail from Wales to West Virginia by Nelson Elbert Matthews.
  • Mathews Family History by Nathan Mathews.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Y fyn Duw a fydd
Motto Translation: What God wills, will be.


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  1. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  2. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Rowlands, John, John Rowlands and Sheila Rowlands. Welsh Family History: A Guide to Research. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1999. Print. (ISBN 080631620).
  4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  5. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  6. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  9. Bradsley C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print.
  10. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  11. ...

The Matthews Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Matthews Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 29 September 2014 at 10:19.

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