Recorded in many forms including: Mathan, Matten, Mathen, Mattin, Matton, Motten, Motton, Moton, this is an English surname. It has two possible origins. The first is as a diminutive of "Matt or Math", both medieval short forms personal name "Matthew", itself originating from the Hebrew male name "Matityahu" meaning "Gift of God". This name was introduced by the Crusaders and pilgrims returning from the Holy Land in the 12th century, when it became the fashion to call children by Hebrew or biblical names as part of the Christian revival and to commemorate the fathers expoits in seeking to free the Holy Land from the Muslim.The second possibility is from the French word "motte" meaning a hillock or mound. To this was added various suffix diminutives of -et, and -ot, to give Motet or Motton meaning "Little motte" or "son of Motte" or to describe one who lived by such a place- Mottier. Early examples of recordings include Matheon Mateon in the Subsidy Rolls of Cambridgeshire in 1327, and Adam Mathin in the Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire in 1379. Other examples taken from the surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London include Richard Motten at St Martins in the Field, westminster, on November 4th 1551, Mary Mathen who married William Everden on October 9th 1638 at Tottenham, and Mary Motton, who married William Rice at St Giles Cripplegate, on May 11th 1818. Richard Maton, who sailed from London aboard the ship "Transport" bound for Virginia on July 4th 1635, was one of the early settlers in the New World. The first recorded spelling of the family name is belived to be that of William Matun. This was dated 1275, in the "Hundred Rolls" of Norfolk, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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