Matterson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The sea-swept Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland, made up the ancient Dalriadan kingdom, the ancestral home of the Matterson family. 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.  
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." 
Early Origins of the Matterson family
The surname Matterson 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." 
Early History of the Matterson family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Matterson 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 Matterson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Matterson Spelling Variations
Many spelling variations of Matterson have been recorded over the years, including These are the result of the medieval practice of spelling according to sound and repeated translation between Gaelic and English. Mathieson, MacMaghan, MacMathan MacMaken, Mathie, Mann and many more.
Early Notables of the Matterson 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 Matterson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Matterson family to Ireland
Some of the Matterson 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.
Matterson migration to the United States +
Many who arrived from Scotland settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would go on to become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many settlers who remained loyal to England went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Their descendants later began to recover the lost Scottish heritage through events such as the highland games that dot North America in the summer months. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Matterson family emigrate to North America:
Matterson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Margaret Matterson, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817 
Matterson migration to Canada +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Matterson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Thomas Matterson, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749
Matterson migration to Australia +
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Matterson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- William Matterson, aged 22, who arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Constance" 
- Barbara Matterson, aged 26, a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Joseph Soames" 
- Barbara Matterson, aged 26, a servant, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Joseph Somes" in 1850 
Contemporary Notables of the name Matterson (post 1700) +
- Donald Matterson (1953-1972), alias of Salvatore Antonio "Sal" Naturale, an American bank robber, inspiration of the film Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
- Neil Matterson, Australian professional sculler who coached World Champion Henry Ernest Searle
- Francis Albert "Frank" Matterson (1904-1980), Australian rugby league player who played 85 games for the Western Suburbs Magpies (1924-1933)
- Ryan Matterson (b. 1994), Australian professional rugby league footballer
- Terry Matterson (b. 1967), Australian rugby league football coach and former player
- Garth John Matterson, New Zealand leader of the New Zealand Geological Survey Antarctic Expedition (1960-1961), eponym of Matterson Inlet, Antarctica
Related Stories +
The Matterson 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.
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
- ^ 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)
- ^ 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)
- ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CONSTANCE 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Constance.htm
- ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) JOSEPH SOMES / SOAMES 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850JosephSomes.htm
- ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) JOSEPH SOMES / SOAMES 1850. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850JosephSomes.htm