Last name: Matheson
This long-established Scottish surname is one of the patronymic forms of the name Math(e) or Mathie, themselves developed from diminutive forms of the male given name Matthew, which is of biblical origin, ultimately from the Hebrew "Matityahu", "Gift of God". The personal name was introduced into Britain by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066, and is recorded in the Domesday book of 1086 in the Old French form "Mathiu", and the Latinized "Mattheus"; the short forms of the name are recorded in Scotland and England from the 12th Century: Robertus filius (son of) Mathei witnessed a charter in Scotland in 1177, and one "Mathe" is listed in the Nottinghamshire Pipe Rolls of 1195. The first recorded bearer of the patronymic surname, below, was with a Michael Mathowson, outlawed as part guilty of "the slaughter of Walter de Ogilvy", sheriff of Angus, and one Andrew Mathysoun was a forestaller in Aberdeen in 1402. The Episcopal Register of Aberdeen records a William Matheson as a witness in 1446. Examples of the name from Church Registers include: the marriage of Christen Mathison and William Gilchrist at Inverurie, Aberdeen, on April 19th 1622, and the marriage of John Mathison and Mary Lamond on November 7th 1672, in Edinburgh, Midlothian. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Mathyson, which was dated 1392, in the "Acts of the Parliament of Scotland", during the reign of King Robert 11 of Scotland, 1390 - 1406. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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