Gee Folks... I'd have to go with Ian on the pronumciation of Mathers.My folks said their folks told them that all of their folks put emphasis on the LONG "A" sound.Thus it would give the sound of MAY-THURS.
I've made a study of the matter whenever I visit new cities I make some random telephone call I look up in the local directory.I go to churh with other Mathers (Irish descent following a voage across the Irish Sea)who use the flat 'A'.
But Frank Mathers, the famous retired Ice Hockey player/coach from Canada, told me that he pronouncedhis last name as May-Thurs too. Then again, many of my first cousins have all given up.They're wusses for whom tradition had lost its' enchantment.
When I correct others for mispronouncing my name I jusually chuckle and say,"That's alright... as long as you pronounce it right on the next check, cheque, or draught you write me :) I'll forgive you. Havin' Fun is a Way of Life.... Cheers!From Walt