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 voyage across the Irish Sea)who use the flat 'A'.
But Frank Mathers, the famous retired Hershey Bears 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 usually 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.
Incidentally Ian, legend has it that my side of the family were run out of Scotland for horse theivery in the mid 1700's.Can you check the post office for me?I'd like to come back someday if the coast is clear. Havin'Fun is a Way of Life.... Cheers!