The surname of MATHEW was a baptismal name 'the son of Mathew'. The name was found in medieaval registers throughout the country, and means 'gracious gift of Jehovah'. It was an exceedingly popular font name during the 11th and 12th Centuries. The name was brought from France in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. This given name was of biblical origin, ultimately from the Hebrew male font name Matityahu, recorded in the Greek New Testament in the form Matthias. Early records of the name mention Mathiu, listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Alan Mathew of Canterbury, County Kent was recorded in the year of 1260. Mattheu Robert of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Robert Mathewson and Joane Goringe were married at St. Thomas the Apostle, London in 1559. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.
This English surname was brought from England to Ireland by settlers who established themselves mainly in eastern Leinster in the counties of Dublin and in Louth, and in easter Ulster, in the counties of Down and Antrim.
Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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