The Madders of Suffolk and Essex have been grouped together as they are mainly concentrated around the border and along the coast of those counties. There are a couple of mentions of the name in early (1400s) Dunwich, but the first family to be assembled is that at Sutton near Woodbridge in Suffolk.
The earliest Will is that of Geoffrey Madowr in 1474 (in Latin and currently untranscribed) and there are another ten between that and one of Robert Mather in 1637. Robert’s son Henry moved away to Rumburgh, but using the wills, entries in the parish registers, which date from 1555, and other sources, a tree can be built. The interesting thing about this family is that the land they owned in Sutton included the Anglo Saxon burial mounds known as Sutton Hoe.
The mounds, which had survived from the 6th-7th Century, were ploughed and some robbed of their contents at about the time that the land was owned by the Madder/Mather family. Does this account for the fact that the family increased in status from Yeoman to Gentleman?
The family at Sutton mainly, but not exclusively, used the name Mather.
Another, perhaps connected family at Wivenhoe, in Essex which used variations of Madder/Mather from the start of Parish Registers there in 1560, by the late 18th century were definitely Madders. Members of this family were still living in Wivenhoe at the start of the 20th Century, but most had left, producing branches around the area and in London. Since this family produced several sailors, they can probably be found almost anywhere.
I have trees of the descendants of
Edmund (died 1839) and Mary (Wright), of Shotley,
and William (died 1849) and Hannah (Cook), of Chelmondiston. Both these families went to Ipswich.