This name derives from Mat, a pet form of the personal name Matthew, plus the diminutive suffix 'on', hence, Mat-On. Matthew itself derives from the Hebrew Matthiam meaning 'gift of the Lord', and is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 in the Latin form Matthaeus and in the French Mathieu. The full surname appears in the mid 13th Century - 'Alan Mathew, (1260, Cambridgeshire), and the diminutive form some years later, (see below). Robertus Maton, Willelmus Mathon and Adam Mathin are recorded in the 1379 'Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire'. In 1581 Edward Maton of Wiltshire appears in the Oxford University Register and on July 4th 1635 one, Richard Maton, aged 23, embarked from London on the ship 'Transport' bound for Virginia. He was one of the earliest recorded name-bearers to settle in America. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Matun, which was dated 1273 - 'The Hundred Rolls of Norfolk', during the reign of King Edward I, The Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. 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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