Recorded in several known forms including Mattery, Matterley, Mattersea, Mattersley, Mattersly, and Mattersey, this surname is English. It is locational and believed to be from the twin villages called Mattersey in the county of Nottinghamshire. The origination of the place name and hence the later surname, is probably from the Olde English pre 7th century word 'maedere' meaning the plant madder, whose roots in ancient times were used for producing a red dye, and 'leah' an enclosed area used for agriculture, at a time when much of the country was 'common land'. The place name appears as 'Madressi' in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say that they were names given to 'strangers' to easily identify them, and nothing could be much easier than to call these people by the name of the place from whence they came, even if this was only the next village or small town. Spelling being at best erratic, and local dialects very thick, lead to the development of 'sounds like' spellings. In this case good examples of the surname recording are to be found in the diocese of Greater London, showing how even then people travelled far and wide in search of work. These include: Chad Mattersey, a witness at the church of St Olave's Southwark, on February 23rd 1639, and William Matterley, a witness at St James church, Clerkenwell, on Christmas Day, 1695.
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