Mathewson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland are the ancestral home of the Mathewson family. Their name comes from the son of Matthew. [1] In Gaelic, the name was spelled M'Mhathain or Mathanach. The latter names in Gaelic were probably derived from Mac Mhathghamhuin which means son of the bear. Indeed, early references of the name have reference to the Scottish bear. [2] [3]

Today, early legal records provide a plethora of information about the family with various early spellings. Some of the first records include, "Robertus filius Mathei [who] witnessed a charter by Walter filius Alani, a. 1177. John Mathyson and Michael Mathowson were outlawed as part guilty of the slaughter of Walter de Ogilvy, Sheriff of Angus, in 1392." [3]

Early Origins of the Mathewson family

The surname Mathewson was first found in the Scottish Highlands were they could be found in Lochalsh, Lochcarron and Kintail. They are said to descend from Gilleoin of the ancient and royal house of Lorne. They gave their allegiance to the Clan MacDonald, the Lord of the Isles. Kenneth MacMathan (Cormac Mac Mathian) was the constable of Eilean Donan castle and is recorded in most accounts of the invasion of King Haakon IV of Norway against Scotland in the 13th century. One accounts suggests that McMathan and his clansmen fought under the Earl of Ross, defeating Haaken at Largs in 1263.

There is a record of Kermac Macmaghan in Inverness, receiving 20 cows from the Earl of Ross in 1264. "In the Norse Saga he is called Kjarmak son of Makamal = Corniac Macmathan. The Siol Mhathain, a sept of Matheson, in an old Gaelic song appears as Siol Mhothan. Matheson has been adopted as the English form of the name simply on account of the similarity of sound." [3]

Early History of the Mathewson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mathewson research. Another 418 words (30 lines of text) covering the years 1263, 1400, 1411, 1427, 1498, 1514, 1427, 1600, 1539, 1570, 1631, 1688, 1715, 1719, 1820, 1851, 1683, 1796, 1878, 1851 and 1963 are included under the topic Early Mathewson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mathewson Spelling Variations

Medieval translation of Gaelic names could not be referred to as an accurate process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and names in documents from that era are riddled with spelling variations. Mathewson has been written as Mathieson, MacMaghan, MacMathan MacMaken, Mathie, Mann and many more.

Early Notables of the Mathewson family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Margaret Matson, one of two women tried in Philadelphia for witchcraft in 1683; Sir James Nicolas Sutherland Matheson (1796-1878), born in Shiness, Lairg, who made a great fortune in the opium trade, and was created the 1st Baronet of Lewis in 1851. His family proceeded to buy the former Clan territories: James Matheson...
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mathewson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mathewson Ranking

In the United States, the name Mathewson is the 7,393rd most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Mathewson family to Ireland

Some of the Mathewson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Mathewson migration to the United States +

Ancestors of many of the Dalriadan families who crossed the Atlantic still live along the east coast of the United States and Canada. Some Scottish settlers arrived in Canada during the American War of Independence as United Empire Loyalists, while others stayed south to fight for a new nation. The descendants of Scottish settlers in both countries began to rediscover their heritage in the 19th and 20th centuries through Clan societies and highland games. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Mathewson or a variant listed above:

Mathewson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • James Mathewson, who arrived in Virginia in 1655 [5]
Mathewson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Mathewson, who settled in Georgia in 1733
  • Roderick Mathewson, aged 18, who landed in Wilmington, N C in 1774 [5]
Mathewson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mathew Mathewson, who arrived in America in 1801 [5]
  • Clark Mathewson, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [5]
  • Eliza Mathewson, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1855 [5]
Mathewson Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • David Mathewson, who landed in Mississippi in 1918 [5]

Canada Mathewson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Mathewson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mary Mathewson, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1773
  • William Mathewson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1773
  • Mr. Charles Mathewson U.E., (Matheson) who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [6]
Mathewson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Mathewson, aged 21, who arrived in Pictou, Nova Scotia in 1815-1816
  • Alexander Mathewson, aged 34, who landed in Canada in 1815
  • Angus Mathewson, aged 6, who arrived in Canada in 1815
  • Ann Mathewson, aged 34, who landed in Canada in 1815
  • Catherine Mathewson, aged 2, who arrived in Canada in 1815
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Mathewson (post 1700) +

  • James L. "Jim" Mathewson (1938-2021), American Democratic politician who served in the Missouri Senate and the Missouri House of Representatives
  • Major-General Lemuel Mathewson (1889-1970), American Commanding General 6th Army (1957-1958) [7]
  • Henry Mathewson (1886-1917), American Major League Baseball pitcher for the New York Giants
  • Lemuel Mathewson (1899-1970), United States Army lieutenant general
  • Courtney Mathewson (b. 1986), American gold medalist water polo player at the 2010 FINA World Cup, recipient of the 2008 Peter J. Cutino Award
  • Christopher "Christy" Mathewson (1880-1925), nicknamed "Big Six", "The Christian Gentleman", or "Matty", an American Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher
  • Ron Mathewson (1944-2020), Scottish jazz double bassist and bass guitarist, known f or his work with Stan Getz, Joe Henderson, Joan Armatrading, Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans
  • James Arthur Mathewson (1890-1963), Canadian politician, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec for Montréal-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (1939-1948), Treasurer of Quebec from 1939 to 1944
  • James Mathewson (d. 1843), Irish-born miller, lumberman and politician in Upper Canada; he represented Frontenac in the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada from 1836 to 1841
  • Sir George Mathewson (b. 1940), British businessman, convener of Scotland's Council of Economic Advisers

RMS Lusitania
  • Mrs. Maud E. S. Mathewson, American 2nd Class passenger from Springfield, Massachusetts, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and died in the sinking [8]
  • Master Joseph Mathewson, American 2nd Class passenger from Springfield, Massachusetts, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and died in the sinking [8]

The Mathewson Motto +

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: Fac et Spera
Motto Translation: Do and hope.

  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  4. ^
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  7. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2013, February 12) Lemuel Mathewson. Retrieved from
  8. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from on Facebook