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MATHERS Family History

This interesting surname of English origin is an occupational name for a mower or reaper of grass or hay, deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century "moethere". Hay was formerly of great importance, not only as feed for animals in winter but also for bedding. In South Lancashire where the surname has been widespread for a long time, it is probably a late development of Madder, which is either a metonymic occupational name for a dyer or seller of dye, deriving the Middle English "mad(d)er", Olde English pre 7th Century "moedere" meaning "madder", a dark red dye obtained from plant roots, or a nickname for a person with a ruddy complexion using the same element.

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