Family history

One of the main aims of Clan Matheson New Zealand is to help people with Matheson heritage find out more about their family history and family stories.  This area of the website has plenty of resources to help you do that.

How to start finding out about your family history

Don’t know where to start? Read here for a 12-step guide to starting your genealogical journey, and for links to further resources.

Family history forum

One of the great things about family history research is collaborating with others.  You may well find people who already have answers to the questions you’re asking. 

Use our family history forum to connect with others researching their Matheson heritage, or pop a question to our Facebook group.

Family history research tips

Our newsletter contains a series of articles with advice on investigating your family origins.  The key ones are reproduced here:

Our newsletters contain other information about family history research, and you can look at the newsletter index to locate other articles that might be useful.  You can download back copies of the newsletters here.


Find publications about Clan Matheson and the Waipu migration to New Zealand, and accounts written by Mathesons in New Zealand.

New Zealand Mathesons who fought in the First World War

As part of commemorating the centenary of the First World War, we have researched and written about every New Zealander named Matheson (or similar) who served in the conflict.  You can read their stories here.

New Zealand Mathesons who died in the Second World War

We’ve also profiled New Zealand Mathesons who died on active service during in the Second World War.

Waipu migration

The Waipu Scottish Migration Museum has collected a wealth of information about the Highland Scots who migrated to Waipu in Northland, including many Mathesons.  They can research family connections for a modest fee, and welcome support from museum friends who subscribe to their newsletter.

Matheson DNA project

Find out more about how DNA analysis is unlocking the secrets of the clan’s origins.


1 thought on “Family history”

  1. Barry.L Billington

    I was a member of the Matheson Clan, but unfortunately I was not able to link any Mathesons in New Zealand etc. Don was the assistance I recieved.
    My second Great Grandparents were William Matheson 1828-1900 and married Catherine Drysdale 1826-1912. I know from scotlandspeople his parents were
    William Matheson 1801-1876 and married Barbara Campbell 1806-1868.
    My third Great Grandparent alleged was William was born 1801 at Pyramid Collage 18 George Street Fodderty and died there i.n 1870.. He was a Burgh Policeman in 1892 and the Invernes advertiser advises of his death and that he was a Freemason. in 1838.
    I am unable to possively know who his parents were and I have documents from scotlands people stating his parents were William Matheson 1783-1870 and wife Cath McKenzie 1787-1872 but this is not clear and I do not wish to go off on a tanget.

    I do know that James and his wife Ronalda nee Matheson lived with William(1801-1876) and his wife according to the 1871 census.
    I also know the James Smith and his wife Ronalda nee Matheson lived with William and Barbara Matheson nee Campbell
    I have had discussions with Catherine Taylor from Scottish Archives but she was unable to assist further

    Thank you

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