The "Matthews" Patronymic Surname Meaning and Origin

Historical Facts and 10 Alternate Spellings

Woman at table looking at genealogical tree
Getty Images

Matthews is a patronymic surname meaning basically "son of Matthew." The given name Matthew, from which it is derived, means "gift of Yahweh" or "gift of God," from the Hebrew personal name Matityahu. In Hebrew, the name was also known as 'Mattathaigh' which translates to the "gift of Jehovah." Mathis is the German version of the surname while Matthews with a double "t" is more popular in Wales.

Facts About the Surname

  • The name Matthew was one of Jesus's apostles as well as the author of the first Gospel in the New Testament.
  • Popular modern-day celebrities with the last name Matthews include Dave Matthews (musician), Cerys Matthews (Welsh singer) and Darren Matthews (professional wrestler).
  • Thousands of settlers, some of which included the family surname Matthews, migrated to North America in order to escape political and religious issues from their homeland.
  • The earliest public record of lands and resource of the late 11th century England is known as the Domesday Book (1086), which includes the first origin of the surname Matthews in the form of Mathiu and Matheus.
  • The surname has origins in English and Greek and has over 10 alternate surname followings.

Alternate Surname Spellings

  • Mathew
  • Mathews
  • Matthew
  • Mathis
  • Matthis
  • Matthias
  • Matheu (Old French)
  • Mateo (Spanish)
  • Matteo (Italian)
  • Mateus (Portuguese)

Genealogy Resources

References: Surname Meanings and Origins

  • Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.
  • Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Collins Celtic (Pocket edition), 1998.
  • Fucilla, Joseph. Our Italian Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2003.
  • Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.
  • Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Reaney, P.H. A Dictionary of English Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1997.
  • Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Powell, Kimberly. "The "Matthews" Patronymic Surname Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Powell, Kimberly. (2020, August 27). The "Matthews" Patronymic Surname Meaning and Origin. Retrieved from Powell, Kimberly. "The "Matthews" Patronymic Surname Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 8, 2023).