The western coast of Scotland
and the desolate Hebrides
islands are the ancient home of the Mats family. Their name is derived from the son of Matthew.
In Gaelic, the name was spelled M'Mhathain
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.
Early Origins of the Mats family
The surname Mats 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.
Early History of the Mats family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mats research.Another 835 words (60 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 Mats History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Mats Spelling Variations
were extremely common in medieval names, since scribes from that era recorded names according to sound rather than a standard set of rules. Mats has appeared in various documents spelled Mathieson, MacMaghan, MacMathan MacMaken, Mathie, Mann and many more.
Early Notables of the Mats 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
in 1851. His... Another 70 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mats Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Mats family to Ireland
Some of the Mats family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 49 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Mats family to the New World and Oceana
The descendants of the Dalriadan families who made the great crossing of the Atlantic still dot communities along the east coast of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence
, many of the settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Clan
societies and highland games have allowed Canadian and American families of Scottish descent to recover much of their lost heritage. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name Mats or a variant listed above include: Alexander Matheson, who arrived in Boston in 1736; Charles Matheson, who came to Nova Scotia in 1773; John Matheson, who settled in Pictou, N.S. in 1773.
The Mats 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.