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


The ancient Dalriadan people were the ancestors of the first to use the name Matier. It was a name for a carpenter or wright. The Gaelic form Mac an t-saoir means son of the carpenter. Most historians agree that their earliest habitations were on MacDonald territories on Kintyre. Most legends about their beginnings point to an origin in the Hebrides. From this point on, opinions differ. One legend has the Clan-an-t-Saor (Children of the Carpenter) arriving in Lorne in a galley with a white cow, another says that the galley, set adrift, developed a leak below the water line and the MacDonald Chieftain placed his thumb in the hole to keep the boat afloat. Spotting help at a distance, he cut off his thumb so that he could wave. He was ironically named the Carpenter or MacIntyre. Some claim that the family derived its name from a member of the MacDonalds who was called Cean-tire because of his ownership of lands on the peninsula of Kintyre.

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Spelling variations are a very common occurrence in records of early Scottish names. They result from the repeated and inaccurate translations that many names went through in the course of various English occupations of Scotland. Matier has been spelled MacIntyre, MacIntire, MacIntre and many more.

First found in Argyllshire (Gaelic erra Ghaidheal), the region of western Scotland corresponding roughly with the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, in the Strathclyde region of Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute, where according legend, Maurice or Murdock, The Wright, (c.1150) became the first MacIntyre chief as a reward for helping his uncle, Somerled, King of Argyll and the Western Isles.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Matier research. Another 361 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1955 and 1991 are included under the topic Early Matier History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Matier Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Matier family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Matier Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Henry Matier arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dunedin" in 1875

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  • Mr. Alexander Matier (1880-1914), American Second Class Passenger from Indianapolis, Indiana, United States who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Danny Matier, contemporary American director, actor and writer


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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: Per ardua
Motto Translation: Through difficulties.

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  1. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  2. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  3. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  4. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  6. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  9. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  10. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  11. ...

The Matier Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Matier 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 13 November 2014 at 16:21.

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