Matz Surname History
According to the House of Names the German surname Matz emerged in the lands that formed the powerful German state of Prussia, which at one time was an immense territory that stretched from France and the Low Countries to the Baltic sea and Poland. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the German territories were inhabited by a variety of barbarian tribes. The borders of the barbarian kingdoms changed frequently, but the region that became known as Prussia was roughly divided between the areas of Brandenburg-Prussia, West Prussia, and East Prussia. By the 19th century, Brandenburg-Prussia had incorporated East Prussia, West Prussia and many other German territories. Moreover, in the late 19th century, it led the German states in the unification of Germany.
First found in Prussia, where the family contributed greatly to the development of an emerging nation, and would later play a large role in the tribal and national conflicts of the area. The name stems from two sources which were continually mixed up throughout the Middle Ages, so they can no longer be differentiated: one was Matthaeus the Evangelist, who was patron saint of tax collectors, and the other was Mattias (Hebrew for "gift of the gods"), who was one of the twelve Apostles. In later years the name branched into many houses, each playing a significant role in local social and political affairs. Much of German history has been shaped by the state of Prussia. It was an enduring military power until after the Second World War. At that time, the state was abolished altogether and its land divided between the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany and West Germany. While some Prussians were content to remain in those countries, others moved away, many of them migrating to North America. They entered the United States mostly through Philadelphia, moving on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Others went to Canada, settling on the prairies and in the province of Ontario. Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were: Mathew Mathias, who came to Virginia in 1651. He was followed by Georg Mathias and Henrich Matteis who both arrived in New York in 1710. Johann Mathies came to Philadelphia in 1768 Bernhart Matheus in 1754.
According to the Internet Surname Database, this famous surname is recorded in over two hundred and fifty different spellings ranging from Mathieu of France to Macieiczyk of Poland. From medieval times it has been recorded in every part of Christendom.
The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alan Mathew, which was dated 1260, in the Assize Rolls of Cambridge, England. This was during the reign of King Henry 111, known by the nickname of 'The Frenchman', who reigned from 1216 to 1272. 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.
Notable Matz Personalities