This interesting name derives from the early medieval English given name "Mathew", which is ultimately from the Hebrew male given name "Matityahu", "Gift of God". The personal name is recorded in the Greek New Testament as "Matt(a)ias", later adopted into Latin as "Matthias" and "Matthaeus"; the former name was used for the apostle and the latter for the evangelist, although in most languages the two forms have come together again. The Normans were mainly responsible for introducing the personal name into England as "Mathieu" and "Mahieu"; the Domesday Book of 1086 records the given name as "Mathiu" and "Matheus". The popularity of the name ensured a variety of surnames, ranging from Mat(t)hew(s) to the learned forms Mathias and Matthias, often found in Wales. One David Mathias was christened at St. Ann's, Blackfriars, in London on June 3rd 1627. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alan Mathew (witness), which was dated 1260, The Cambridgeshire Assize Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 111, "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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