History of your Surname
Get access to Matthew family records.Start a free trial

Matthew Family History

Matthew Name Meaning

English and Scottish: from the Middle English personal name Ma(t)thew, vernacular form of the Greek New Testament name Matthias, Matthaios, which is ultimately from the Hebrew personal name Matityahu ‘gift of God’. This was taken into Latin as Mat(t)hias and Matthaeus respectively, the former being used for the twelfth apostle (who replaced Judas Iscariot) and the latter for the author of the first Gospel. In many European languages this distinction is reflected in different surname forms. The commonest vernacular forms of the personal name, including English Matthew, Old French Matheu, Spanish Mateo, Italian Matteo, Portuguese Mateus, Catalan and Occitan Mateu are generally derived from the form Matthaeus. The American surname Matthew has also absorbed European cognates from other languages, including Greek Mathias and Mattheos. Compare Mathew, Mathai. It is found as a personal name among Christians in India, and in the U.S. is used as a family name among families from southern India.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

Similar surnames: Mathew, Matthews, Matthes, Matthey, Matte, Matteo, Mattsen, Mathe

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

Black & white image of a young woman scientist

Where is the Matthew family from?

You can see how Matthew families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Matthew family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Matthew families were found in the UK in 1891. In 1840 there were 7 Matthew families living in Pennsylvania. This was about 16% of all the recorded Matthew's in the USA. Pennsylvania had the highest population of Matthew families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Matthew surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Matthew ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Maid were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Matthew. 18% of Matthew men worked as a Laborer and 12% of Matthew women worked as a Maid. Some less common occupations for Americans named Matthew were Clerk and Stenographer.

View Census data for Matthew | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations in 1940

  • Laborer
  • Farmer
  • Salesman
  • Clerk

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Maid
  • Housekeeper
  • Housewife
  • Stenographer
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Matthew family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 81,000 census records available for the last name Matthew. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Matthew census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Matthew

Passenger Lists

There are 11,000 immigration records available for the last name Matthew. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Matthew immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 8,000 military records available for the last name Matthew. For the veterans among your Matthew ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Matthew military records

You've only scratched the surface of Matthew family history.

Discover More

What is the average Matthew lifespan?

Between 1942 and 2004, in the United States, Matthew life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1952, and highest in 1962. The average life expectancy for Matthew in 1942 was 63, and 66 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Matthew

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Matthew family tree

Explore Your Tree
Search for another surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial