The German surname Matzen 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 Matzen family
The surname Matzen 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 Matzen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Matzen research.Another 291 words (21 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 Matzen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Matzen 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 Matzen include Mathias, Matthias, Mathius, Matthius, Matheus, Mathesius, Matheson, Matthisson, Mathies, Mathiessen, Thiessen and many more.
Early Notables of the Matzen family (pre 1700)
Prominent bearers of the family name Matzen during this time period 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... Another 60 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Matzen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Matzen family to the New World and Oceana
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: Mathew Mathias, who came to Virginia in 1651. He was followed by Georg Mathias and Henrich Matteis who both arrived in New York in 1710. Johann Mathies came to Philadelphia in 1768 Bernhart Matheus in 1754.
Contemporary Notables of the name Matzen (post 1700)
- Herman Matzen (1861-1938), Danish-born, American sculptor and educator
- Johannes Matzen (b. 1925), German former footballer, member of the East Germany National Team (1952-1954)
- Henning Matzen (1840-1910), Danish politician and jurist, Speaker of the Landsting (1894-1902)