Show ContentsMatthias History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The German surname Matthias emerged in the lands that formed the powerful German state of Prussia, which at one time was an immense territory that stretched from France and the Low Countries to the Baltic sea and Poland. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the German territories were inhabited by a variety of barbarian tribes. The borders of the barbarian kingdoms changed frequently, but the region that became known as Prussia was roughly divided between the areas of Brandenburg-Prussia, West Prussia, and East Prussia. By the 19th century, Brandenburg-Prussia had incorporated East Prussia, West Prussia and many other German territories. Moreover, in the late 19th century, it led the German states in the unification of Germany.

Early Origins of the Matthias family

The surname Matthias was first found in Prussia, where the family contributed greatly to the development of an emerging nation, and would later play a large role in the tribal and national conflicts of the area. The name stems from two sources which were continually mixed up throughout the Middle Ages, so they can no longer be differentiated: one was Matthaeus the Evangelist, who was patron saint of tax collectors, and the other was Mattias (Hebrew for "gift of the gods",) who was one of the twelve Apostles. In later years the name branched into many houses, each playing a significant role in local social and political affairs.

Early History of the Matthias family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Matthias research. Another 146 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1727, 1710, 1558, 1504, 1565, 1681, 1764, 1681, 1764, 1761, 1831, 1809 and 1811 are included under the topic Early Matthias History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Matthias Spelling Variations

One can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames: in early times, spelling in general, and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized; and later, spellings would change with branching and movement of families. Variations of the name Matthias include Mathias, Matthias, Mathius, Matthius, Matheus, Mathesius, Matheson, Matthisson, Mathies, Mathiessen, Thiessen and many more.

Early Notables of the Matthias family (pre 1700)

Notable figures of the time with the name Matthias were Johannes Mathesius (1504-1565), who was a friend and disciple of Martin Luther. He is the author of the first biography of Luther, and himself wrote hymns and sermons. Johann Mattheson (1681-1764) was a musician and translator and produced the first German imitation of "The Spectator."...
Another 54 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Matthias Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Matthias Ranking

In the United States, the name Matthias is the 10,597th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

United States Matthias migration to the United States +

Much of German history has been shaped by the state of Prussia. It was an enduring military power until after the Second World War. At that time, the state was abolished altogether and its land divided between the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany and West Germany. While some Prussians were content to remain in those countries, others moved away, many of them migrating to North America. They entered the United States mostly through Philadelphia, moving on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Others went to Canada, settling on the prairies and in the province of Ontario. Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were:

Matthias Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Georg Matthias, who landed in New York, NY in 1710 [2]
  • Johan Philip Matthias, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1749 [2]
  • Henry Matthias, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1765 [2]
Matthias Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Geis Matthias, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1837 [2]
  • Werries Matthias, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848 [2]
  • Benjamin Matthias, who landed in New York, NY in 1850 [2]

Australia Matthias migration to Australia +

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

Matthias Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Samuel Matthias, British Convict who was convicted in Liverpool, Merseyside, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 4th December 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • Mr. Matthias Duncombe, (b. 1814), aged 22 who was convicted in Leicester, Leicestershire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bengal Merchant" on 4th August 1836, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1887 [4]
  • Ann Matthias, aged 25, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Calabar" [5]
  • James Matthias, aged 39, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "David Malcolm" [6]
  • Miss Elizabeth Matthias, (b. 1822), aged 62, Cornish domestic servant travelling aboard the ship "SS Abergeldie" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 6th July 1884 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Matthias (post 1700) +

  • Mary Matthias, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Washington, 1952 [8]
  • Frederick Matthias, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Albany County 2nd District, 1848 [8]
  • Edward S. Matthias, American Republican politician, Justice of Ohio State Supreme Court; Elected 1938 [8]
  • Benjamin Matthias, American politician, Member of Pennsylvania State Senate 1st District, 1848-52 [8]
  • Bernard Teo Matthias (b. 1918), German/American physicist
  • Heinrich Matthias Konen (1874-1948), German physicist who specialized in spectroscopy
  • Trent Matthias Kowalik (b. 1995), American actor, dancer, and singer, best known for his role as "Billy" in the West End production of Billy Elliot the Musical
  • Cuthbert Matthias Kenworthy (1853-1934), English peer, 9th Baron Strabolgi
  • Johann Matthias Mueller, general in the Austrian army, who was ennobled in 1758
  • Benjamin Matthias Nead (1847-1923), American historian, author, newspaper editor, lawyer, and politician

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 22nd March 2021). Retrieved from
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th October 2020). Retrieved from
  5. South Australian Register Tuesday 2nd August 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Calabar 1853. Retrieved
  6. South Australian Register Tuesday 1st May 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) David Malcolm 1855. Retrieved
  7. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 19). Emigrants to Australia NSW 1860 -88 [PDF]. Retrieved from
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from on Facebook