This interesting surname with variant spellings Matten, Mathen, Mattin, Matton, and Mathan, is a diminutive of "Mat, Math", short forms of the medieval English personal name "Matthew", itself coming from the Hebrew male given name "Matityahu" meaning "Gift of God". The surname dates back to the late 13th Century (see below). Further recordings include Matheon Mateon (1327), in the Subsidy Rolls of Cambridgeshire, and Adam Mathin (1379), in the Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire. London Church Records show the marriage of Fortune Mathen to Thomas Harwood on May 29th 1626 at St.Gregory by St. Paul, and the marriage of Mary Mathen to William Everden on October 9th 1638 in Tottenham. Richard Maton, an emigrant to the New World, sailed from London aboard the Transport bound for Virginia on July 4th 1635. Hugh Mathan, aged 16 yrs., and his sister Biddy, aged 10 yrs., were famine emigrants who sailed from Liverpool aboard the "Liverpool" bound for New York on March 13th 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Matun which was dated 1275, in the "Hundred Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "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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