Name Details - FamilyEducation

Meaning and Origin of: Mather

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First name origins & meanings:

  • Old English : Strong army

Last name origin & meaning:

  • English : occupational name for a mower or reaper of grass or hay, Old English mǣðere. Compare Mead, Mower. Hay was formerly of great importance, not only as feed for animals in winter but also for bedding.
  • English : in southern Lancashire, where it has long been a common surname, it is probably a relatively late development of Madder (see Mader).
  • English : The prominent Mather family of New England were established in America by Richard Mather (1596–1669) in 1635. He was a Puritan clergyman from a well-established family of Lowton, Lancashire, England. After he emigrated, he was in great demand as a preacher, finally settling in Dorchester, MA. His son Increase Mather (1639–1723) was a diplomat and president of Harvard. He married his step-sister Maria Cotton, herself the daughter of an eminent Puritan divine, John Cotton. Their son Cotton Mather (1663–1728) bore both family names. The latter was a minister who is remembered for his part in witchcraft trials, but he was also a man of science and a fellow of the Royal Society in London.