This name is originally Westphalian (now German) and is a short form of the given name "Mathiess", itself a form of "Matthew". As a personal name, Matthew and its congnomens have been popular for centuries throughout Europe. The derivation is ultimately from the Hebrew male given name "Matityahu" "Gift of God", recorded in the Greek New Testament as Matt(a)ias". In Latin, this became "Matthias" and "Matthateus", the former used for the apostle and the latter for the Evangelist, although the distinction is no longer made. In Germany, the name became "Mathiess", and in some cases gradually dropped the first element "Ma" to become Thiess, Theiss, or Theuss. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jocob Theis which was dated Christened 17th May 1749, St. Anne's, Westminister. during the reign of King George II, The Last Warrior King, 1727 - 1760. 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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