This unusual and interesting name is of early medieval English origin, and derives from an occupational nickname given in the first instance to someone employed as a servant to a man called Mat(t)hew. The surname derives from the male personal name Mat(t)hew, with the Middle English "man", man, often specifically "man-servant". Mathew is a given name of biblical origin, ultimately from the Hebrew male given name "Matityahu", "Gift of God", recorded in the Greek New Testament in the form "Matth(a)ias"; in Latin, the name appears as "Matthias" and "Matthaeus", the former used for the apostle and the latter for the Evangelist in the early Middle Ages. The personal name was very popular in medieval England, and has generated a variety of surnames, such as Mat(t)hewman, and Mattimoe, "relative of Matthew". Mat(t)hewman is found particularly in Yorkshire, where the following entry in the Poll Tax Returns exemplifies the creation of the surname: Matheus de Lofthous, "firmarius", Willelmus Mathewman, and Magota Mathewoman; these appear as one entry, indicating that William and Magota were the servants of Matheus. Similar formations were Rodg(e)man and Thomasman. The marriage of Edward Matthewman and Elizabeth Howle was recorded in Sheffield, Yorkshire, on August 27th 1564. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh Mathewman, which was dated 1379, in the "Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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