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

Origins Available: English, Welsh

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

The surname Mathews 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 Mathews 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 Mathews 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 Mathews History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the Mathews 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.


The Welsh migration to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries contributed greatly to its rapid development. These migrants were in search of land, work, and freedom. Those Welsh families that survived the long ocean journey were critical to the development of new industries and factories, and to the quick settlement of land. They also added to an ever-growing rich cultural heritage. A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Mathews:

Mathews Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Samuel Mathews, who landed in Virginia in 1623
  • James Mathews, who landed in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1634
  • Edward Mathews, who arrived in Maryland in 1635
  • Roger Mathews, aged 28, arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Anthony Mathews, who arrived in Virginia in 1638

Mathews Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Luke Mathews, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
  • Alexander Mathews, who landed in Virginia in 1713
  • Alice Mathews, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Alice Mathews, who settled in Virginia in 1714
  • Eleanor Mathews, who landed in Virginia in 1714

Mathews Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Stephen Mathews, aged 24, arrived in New York, NY in 1812
  • Michael Mathews, who landed in New York, NY in 1816
  • Emma Mathews, aged 2, arrived in New York, NY in 1842
  • Susan Mathews, aged 22, landed in New York, NY in 1842
  • Joseph Mathews, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1847


  • Ralph Mathews, American Management Consultant
  • Warren Mathews, American Physicist
  • Arthur F. Mathews (1860-1945), American Tonalist painter
  • Cornelius Mathews (1817-1889), American writer
  • David Mathews (1800-1776), American lawyer and politician, Mayor of New York (1776 to 1783), a Loyalist during the American Revolutionary War, he later moved to Nova Scotia
  • Eddie Mathews (1931-2001), American Major League Baseball third baseman, inductee into the Hall of Fame in (1978)
  • Harry Mathews (b. 1930), American author
  • Henry Mason Mathews (1834-1884), American politician, 5th Governor of West Virginia (1877 to 1881)
  • Jessica Tuchman Mathews (b. 1946), American President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Moses Mathews (1725-1806), American gunsmith who supplied the Continental Army in the American Revolution and was granted hundreds of acres by George Washington



  • 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. Evans, Gwynfor. Wales: A History: 2000 Years of Welsh History. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-120-2).
  2. Bradsley C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print.
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  5. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. 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).
  7. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  8. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Mathews Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Mathews 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 12 April 2014 at 11:29.

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