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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, German, Scottish


The surname Matheson is a patronymic name derived from the well known first name Matthew. This name is ultimately derived from the Hebrew personal name "Mattathaigh," meaning "gift of Jehovah;" it was Latinized as Matthaeus and Mathaeus. It was introduced to England by the Normans, and quickly became quite a popular name.

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A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Matthew, Matthews, Matthewson, Matheson, Mathew, Mathews and many more.

First found in the Domesday Book in 1086, listed as Mathiu and Matheus. They family came to England following the invasion of William the Conquerer in 1066.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Matheson research. Another 147 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1260, 1273, 1273, 1395, 1546, 1628, 1577, 1655, 1790, 1856, 1863, 1941, 1824, 1889, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Matheson History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 121 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Matheson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Matheson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 203 words (14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Matheson or a variant listed above:

Matheson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Alexander Matheson, who arrived in Boston in 1736
  • Farquhar Matheson, who arrived in America in 1774
  • Hugh Matheson, who settled in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1774
  • Hugh and Kathrine Matheson came to Wilmington, North Carolina in 1774
  • Hugh Matheson, aged 32, arrived in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1774


Matheson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Rodk Matheson, who landed in South Carolina in 1811
  • Duncan Matheson, who landed in Georgia in 1811
  • Murdoch Matheson, aged 22, arrived in Georgia in 1812
  • William Matheson, who arrived in Georgia in 1850
  • Donald Matheson, who arrived in Mississippi in 1892


Matheson Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Alexander Carmichael Matheson, aged 38, who emigrated to the United States from London, England, in 1907
  • Alexander Matheson, aged 44, who settled in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1911
  • Alexandrina Matheson, aged 21, who landed in America from Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1912
  • Adam George Matheson, aged 22, who settled in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1918
  • Aeneas Matheson, aged 19, who landed in America from Lockinvar, Scotland, in 1923

Matheson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Charles Matheson, who came to Nova Scotia in 1773
  • John Matheson, who settled in Pictou, NS in 1773
  • William Matheson, who settled in Pictou, NS in 1773
  • Ann Matheson, who landed in Pictou, Nova Scotia in 1773
  • Charles Matheson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1773

Matheson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Dugald Matheson, who settled in Canada in 1809
  • Alexander Matheson, who landed in Churchill Factory, Canada in 1813
  • John Matheson, who landed in Churchill Factory, Canada in 1813
  • Angus Matheson, aged 30, arrived in Canada in 1815
  • Helen Matheson, aged 21, landed in Canada in 1815


Matheson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Maxwell Matheson arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Competitor" in 1848
  • Henry Matheson arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Cromwell" in 1849
  • James Matheson, aged 22, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Anglia"
  • John Matheson, aged 23, a ploughman, arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Macedon"
  • James Matheson, aged 27, arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Shackamaxon"


Matheson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Norman Matheson arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ellen Lewis" in 1860
  • Kenneth Matheson arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ellen Lewis" in 1860
  • Flora Matheson arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ellen Lewis" in 1860
  • Anne Matheson arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ellen Lewis" in 1860
  • Annabella Matheson arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ellen Lewis" in 1860


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  • Ivan Mack Matheson (1926-2016), American politician and farmer, Member of the Utah Senate (1977-1988)
  • Roderick Nicol Matheson (1824-1862), American commanding officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War
  • Mac C. Matheson, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Arizona 2nd District, 1960
  • L. Keith Matheson, American Republican politician, Elected New Hampshire State House of Representatives from Center Harbor 1956
  • John Hubbard Matheson (b. 1908), American Republican politician, Rock County District Attorney, 1935-40
  • James David Matheson (b. 1960), American Democrat politician, U.S. Representative from Utah 2nd District, 2001-; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Utah, 2004, 2008
  • J. H. Matheson, American politician, Candidate for Governor of Montana, 1924; Candidate for U.S. Representative from Montana 2nd District, 1932
  • Francis F. Matheson (b. 1863), American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Campbellton, 1908-14
  • Norma Matheson, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Utah, 1996
  • R. Robert Matheson, American politician, Delegate to New Hampshire State Constitutional Convention from Goffstown, 1948

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  1. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  2. 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).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  4. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  5. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  6. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  9. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  10. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Matheson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Matheson 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 1 March 2016 at 10:29.

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