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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the German Matzke family come from? What is the German Matzke family crest and coat of arms? When did the Matzke family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Matzke family history?

The German surname Matzke 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.


Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Matzke include Mathias, Matthias, Mathius, Matthius, Matheus, Mathesius, Matheson, Matthisson, Mathies, Mathiessen, Thiessen and many more.

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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Matzke 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 Matzke History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 197 words (14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Matzke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


The state of Prussia was a great influence on the shape of modern Germany. After the Second World War, Prussia's land was divided among the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany and West Germany and the state was abolished. Some Prussians remained in those countries after the war, while many others migrated to North America in search of a new start. Philadelphia was their primary point of entry to the United States, after which many of them moved on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. A large number of Prussians also migrated to Ontario and the prairie provinces as United Empire Loyalists. Analysis of immigration records has shown some of the first Matzkes to arrive in North America, and among them were:

Matzke Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Rosina Matzke, aged 31, landed in America in 1839
  • Christian Matzke, who landed in Texas in 1846

Matzke Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Herman Matzke, who arrived in Wisconsin in 1907


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  1. Tarneller, Josef. Zur Namenkunde Tirolen Familiennamen. Bozen: Buchhandlung, 1923. Print.
  2. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  4. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
  5. Bahlow, Hans. Abhandlungen zur Namenforschung und Buchgeschichte. 1980. Print. (ISBN 978-3768690522).
  6. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
  7. Götze, Alfred. Familiennamen im badischen Oberland. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1918. Print.
  8. Strassburger, Ralph B. German Pioneers The Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 3 Volumes. Baltimore: Picton Press, 1992. Print. (ISBN 978-0929539980).
  9. Hildenbrand, A.M. Wappenfibel. Handbuch der Heraldik. Neustadt an der Aisch: 1970. Print.
  10. Rupp, Daniel L. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2000. Print. (ISBN 978-0806303024).
  11. ...

The Matzke Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Matzke Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 4 February 2013 at 07:59.

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