Matson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

On the Scottish west coast, the Matson family was born among the ancient Dalriadan clans. Their name comes from the son of Matthew. 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.

Early Origins of the Matson family

The surname Matson 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 Matson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Matson 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 Matson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Matson Spelling Variations

In various documents Matson has been spelled Since medieval scribes still spelled according to sound, records from that era contain an enormous number of spelling variations. Mathieson, MacMaghan, MacMathan MacMaken, Mathie, Mann and many more.

Early Notables of the Matson 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 Matson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Matson Ranking

In the United States, the name Matson is the 2,224th most popular surname with an estimated 14,922 people with that name. [1]

Ireland Migration of the Matson family to Ireland

Some of the Matson 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 Matson migration to the United States +

Significant portions of the populations of both the United States and Canada are still made up of the ancestors of Dalriadan families. Some of those in Canada originally settled the United States, but went north as United Empire Loyalists in the American War of Independence. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the ancestors of many Scots on both sides of the border begin to recover their collective national heritage through Clan societies and highland games. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Matson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Matson, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1633 [2]
  • William Matson, who arrived in Virginia in 1642 [2]
  • Andrew Matson, who arrived in Maryland in 1666-1750 [2]
  • Thomas Matson, who landed in New England in 1666 [2]
  • Peter Matson, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1693 [2]

Australia Matson migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Matson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Andrew Matson, aged 22, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Sultana" [3]
  • Andrew Matson, aged 22, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Sultana" in 1851 [3]
  • Lily Matson, aged 24, a dairy maid, who arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "David McIvor"

New Zealand Matson migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Matson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Henry Matson, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • Mr. Peter Matson, British settler travelling from Liverpool aboard the ship "Tornado" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th September 1859 [4]
  • Fairy Matson, aged 22, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865
  • Robert Matson, aged 25, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874
  • Hannah Matson, aged 23, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Matson (post 1700) +

  • Leroy E. Matson (1896-1960), American jurist who served on the Minnesota Supreme Court from 1945 until 1960
  • Courtland Cushing Matson (1841-1915), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana (1881-1889)
  • Boyd Matson, American former anchor of National Geographic Explorer
  • William Matson (1849-1917), American shipping executive, founder of the Matson Navigation Company
  • Harold Matson (1898-1988), American literary agent, founder of the Harold Matson Company
  • Aaron Matson (1770-1855), American politician, United States Representative from New Hampshire (1821-1825)
  • James Randel Matson (b. 1945), United States former Olympic shot put thrower
  • Joe Matson, American racecar driver
  • Larry Matson, American broadcaster and sports commentator
  • Erin Matson (b. 1980), American writer and feminist activist
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Matson 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. ^
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SULTANA 1851. Retrieved
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from on Facebook
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