The surname of MATTHAUS was a baptismal name 'the son of Matthew'. 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. The name has numerous variant spellings which include MATHEW, MATHEE, MATHET, MATHY, MATTEO, MAFFI, MATTAS and MATHIAS, to name but a few. Early records of the name mention Matheu Robert, listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. George Mathias married Mary Dennison St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1807. Corvinus I MATTHIAS (1443-1490) was the king of Hungary, the second son of Janos Hunyady. He was elected in 1458, but it cost him six years' hard struggle against Turks, Bohemians, and the emperor Frederick III, before he could have himself crowned. His conquests were facilitated by the creation of a standing army and reform of the fiscal system, although his heavy taxation was unpopular. He coded the laws, patronized the arts, and founded a magnificent library, the 'Bibliotheca Corvina'. MATTHIAS (1557-1619) was the Holy Roman Emperor, the third son of Emperor Maximilian II. He was a tolerant man in religious matters, and favoured a policy of moderation. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. For generations after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a very few dynasts and magnates passed on hereditary surnames, but the main of the population, with a wide choice of first-names out of Celtic, Old English, Norman and Latin, avoided ambiguity without the need for a second name. As society became more stabilized, there was property to leave in wills, the towns and villages grew and the labels that had served to distinguish a handful of folk in a friendly village were not adequate for a teeming slum where perhaps most of the householders were engaged in the same monotonous trade, so not even their occupations could distinguish them, and some first names were gaining a tiresome popularity, especially Thomas after 1170. The hereditary principle in surnames gained currency first in the South, and the poorer folk were slower to apply it. By the 14th century however, most of the population had acquired a second name.
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