Explore the Family Name Matthews

The meaning of Matthews

1. English and Irish (Ulster and County Louth): patronymic from the personal name Matthew. In North America, this surname has absorbed various cognates from other languages, such as German Matthäus (from the personal name Matthäus, from Latin Matthaeus) and Slovenian Matavž (from an obsolete vernacular form of the personal name Matevž, from Latin Matthaeus). Compare Mathews. 2. Irish: Anglicized form of Mac Mathghamhna (see McMahon).

Dictionary of American Family Names, 2nd edition, © Oxford University Press, 2022.

How common is the last name Matthews in the United States?

The surname Matthews, based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, has seen slight changes in its popularity from 2000 to 2010. In 2000, it was ranked as the 217th most popular surname, but by 2010, it had dropped to the 226th spot, marking a decrease in popularity of 4.15%. Despite this drop in rank, the actual count of individuals with the Matthews surname increased by 5.18% during the same period, growing from 124,839 in 2000 to 131,303 in 2010. However, the proportion of people with the Matthews surname per 100,000 decreased by 3.82%, from 46.28 in 2000 to 44.51 in 2010.

Proportion per 100k46.2844.51-3.82%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Matthews

According to the Decennial U.S. Census data, the ethnic identity associated with the surname Matthews has also shifted between 2000 and 2010. While the majority identified as White (66.21% in 2000, decreasing to 63.37% by 2010), there was a noticeable increase in those identifying as Black, rising from 29.45% in 2000 to 30.67% in 2010. Furthermore, there was a significant increase in those identifying as Hispanic (rising from 1.53% in 2000 to 2.39% in 2010) and those identifying with two or more races (increasing from 1.79% in 2000 to 2.36% in 2010). The proportions of those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian and Alaskan Native also saw minor increases.

Two or More Races1.79%2.36%31.84%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.49%0.62%26.53%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.54%0.58%7.41%

Matthews ancestry composition

23andMe computes an ancestry breakdown for each customer. People may have ancestry from just one population or they may have ancestry from several populations. The most commonly-observed ancestry found in people with the surname Matthews is British & Irish, which comprises 53.7% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (19.9%) and Nigerian (4.0%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Scandinavian, Italian, Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, and Spanish & Portuguese.

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British & Irish53.7%
French & German19.9%

Possible origins of the surname Matthews

Your DNA provides clues about where your recent ancestors may have lived. Having many distant relatives in the same location suggests that you may all share common ancestry there. Locations with many distant relatives can also be places where people have migrated recently, such as large cities. If a large number of individuals who share your surname have distant relatives in a specific area, it could indicate a connection between your surname and that location, stemming from either recent ancestral ties or migration.

Based on 23andMe data, people with last name Matthews have recent ancestry locations all within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom83.20%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom82.90%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom82.90%
Merseyside, United Kingdom82.70%
West Midlands, United Kingdom82.50%

What Matthews haplogroups can tell you

Haplogroups are genetic population groups that share a common ancestor on either your paternal or maternal line. These paternal and maternal haplogroups shed light on your genetic ancestry and help tell the story of your family.

The top paternal haplogroup of people with the surname Matthews is R-CTS241, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-CTS241 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-L21 and R-P311, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Thomas, Lewis, Jones, Price, Mathews, Evans, Davis, James, Clark, Morgan.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Matthews surname are: H1, T2b, H. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

matthewsPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M343

Your maternal lineage may be linked to Marie Antoinette

Because it is so dominant in the general European population, haplogroup H also appears quite frequently in the continent's royal houses. Marie Antoinette, an Austrian Hapsburg who married into the French royal family, inherited the haplogroup from her maternal ancestors. So did Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose recorded genealogy traces his female line to Bavaria. Scientists also discovered that famed 16th century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus traced his maternal lineages to haplogroup H.

Maternal Haplo Image

What do people with the surname Matthews have in common?

Spoiler alert: it's complicated. People with the same last name are usually no more genetically similar than a randomly sampled group of people from the same population. That said, people with the same surname are more likely to have similar ancestries than randomly sampled individuals. The reason is the tendency of people with similar cultural or geographical backgrounds to preferentially mate with one another. That's why people who share a surname may be more likely to share traits and tendencies in common than people within the general population. Check out the percentages below to see the prevalences of tastes, habits, and traits of people with your surname compared with prevalences among 23andMe users.



Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Matthews" Surname 42.7%

23andMe Users 41.3%




When sounds made by others, like the sound of chewing or yawning, provoke strong emotional reactions in an individual.

"Matthews" Surname 29.6%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Matthews" Surname 24.2%

23andMe Users 21.1%




A severe headache characterized by intense pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

"Matthews" Surname 18.2%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Matthews?

The short answer is that, if there is an association between surname and health, it's usually more about your ancestry than your name. Individuals with a given surname are no more genetically similar than the general population but often have similar ancestries. The populations of people associated with those shared ancestries often have sets of genetic variations, also known as alleles, in common. Some of those alleles are associated with a greater likelihood of developing certain diseases.

Disease variant frequency by ancestry

Disease allele frequencies in populations associated with the surname Matthews are shown below. Important Note: not everyone with a disease allele will develop these health condition

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Y402H variant

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible vision loss among older adults. The disease results in damage to the central part of the retina (the macula), impairing vision needed for reading, driving, or even recognizing faces. The 23andMe Health + Ancestry DNA test includes the two most common variants associated with an increased risk of developing the condition: the Y402H variant in the CFH gene and the A69S variant in the ARMS2 gene. Learn more about Age-Related Macular Degeneration

British & Irish 62.1%

23andMe Users 57.2%