Matthew Honan was born on the 27th January 1878, at Liverpool, and baptised at St.Patrick's R.C. Church in the 9th February. He was the youngest son of Robert Burke Honan and Mary Ann (nee Shine) who were married at the Catholic Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland, on the 30th April 1861.

Their family pedigree and arms appeared in Visitation of Ireland Volume 5 by Joseph Jackson Howard & ‎Frederick Arthur Crisp (1897)

 
   Arms in record in Ulster's Office.- Per pale nebuly vert and or three pheons in fess between two lions counter-passant all counter-changed.
 
   Crest.- An arm enbowed in armour the hand grasping an arrow all proper and charged on the the elbow with a pheon or.
 
   Motto.- Virtute et fidelitate.
 
 
Both of Matthew's parents were Irish. Robert Burke Honan was born at Cork in 1828 and Mary Ann Shine was born at Limerick in 1837. They were from land-owning families and were distant cousins.
 
Matthew was one of nine children, all born in Liverpool. His siblings were Ellen (born 1862), Mary Ann (1864-1870), Frederick (1866-1874), James Jackson (1867-1869), Catherine (born 1869), Annie (born 1871), Robert (1874-1893) and James (born 1876).
 
At the time of the 1861 census (7th April), shortly before his marriage, Robert Burke Honan was living at Southwood Road, Toxteth Park, with his widowed mother and his married sister Helena Bridget Jackson. Robert was a ship-owner as was his brother-in-law James Jackson. In the early 1860s Robert was a Second Lieutenant in the 4th Lancashire Artillery Volunteer Corps.
   
Robert had three more sisters; Elizabeth Maria married John Sherlock Paterson of County Down, Mary Anne married George Neish Gardiner of Liverpool and Louisa Kate married George McCorquodale of Newton-le-Willows. His only brother, Frederick James, died unmarried off the coast of Africa in 1843 and was buried at sea.
   
The Honan family lived at 64 Sefton Terrace, Princes Road, from 1871 until 1903. At the time of the 1891 census, the three youngest Honan brothers, Robert, James and Matthew, were boarders at Ampleforth College. By 1901 Robert senior had retired and Matthew, aged 23, was an architectural draughtsman.
   
Matthew's mother died at Sefton Terrace on the 7th January 1893 and was buried in the family grave at St.James' Cemetery, Liverpool.
   
His father died on the 9th December 1903. Probate of his estate was obtained at Liverpool on the 13th January 1904 by Matthew Honan, architect and Catherine Honan, spinster. In it he was described as a gentleman of 64 Princes Road. His effects were valued at £60,864 17s 7d (almost £3.5 million at current values.)
   
The Honan siblings moved to 18 Grove Park, Princes Park, after their father's death. Catherine Honan died there on the 9th March 1911, aged 41. Probate of her estate was obtained at Liverpool on the 4th May 1911 by Matthew Honan, architect and John Agar Matson M.D. Her effects were valued at £23,283 18s 1d (approx £1.3 million at current values.) When the census was taken a month later Matthew, by then an architect and surveyor, was the head of the household and his married sister Ellen Matson was visiting.
   
Ellen Honan had married John Agar Matson, a doctor from Dublin, at St.Clare's R.C. Church, Sefton Park in 1896. They had no children. Ellen was the only one of the nine Honan children to marry. Her sister Annie Honan became a Benedictine nun at St.Mary's Abbey, Colwich, Little Haywood, Staffordshire. She died there in 1949, aged 78 years.
 
Ellen Matson died at the Grand Hotel, Malahide, Dublin, on the 2nd October 1926. Probate of her estate was obtained at Dublin by her husband on the 28th January 1927. Her home address was Burlington House, Burlington Road, Dublin. Her effects were valued at £22,214 7s 11d (approx £665,000 at current values.)
   
James Matson died at Plas Newydd, Killiney, Dublin, in 1928. He was buried at Yew Tree R.C. Cemetery, Liverpool, on the 11th July.
   
Matthew Honan was the architect of a number of Roman Catholic churches in Lancashire:
 
St.Benedict's R.C. Church,Warrington
St.Cecilia's R.C. Church, Liverpool
St.Joseph's R.C. Church, Chorley
St.Philip Neri R.C. Church, Liverpool
 
St.Cecilia's church was a temporary structure, in use from 1907 to 1930, at the corner of Bradden Avenue and Snaefell Avenue.
 
In his will Matthew Honan left "£12,000 to the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool for erection, completion, and decoration of a church in the Byzantine style modelled on St.Benedict’s, Warrington, as a memorial to himself and family." Probate of his estate was obtained at Liverpool on the 7th November 1917 by John Agar Matson M.D., captain R.A.M.C. and Richard Cyril Lockett, merchant. His effects were valued at £51,080 1s 2d (over £2 million at current values.)
 
The parishes of St.Cecilia and St.Matthew are now combined. According to St.Matthew's parish history, Matthew Honan
 
"studied architecture in Liverpool, and was articled with the firm of Messrs. Grayson & Quid. Soon after he had passed for the A.R.I.B.A. his ability attracted the attention of the late Archbishop Whiteside, with the result that, quite apart from what we may term his lay, or civil, practice, he was entrusted with many constructions and alterations in various churches in the diocese. He designed and built a new church for the monks of the Order of St. Benedict, at Warrington and also was the architect for the temporary Church of St Cecilia’s Parish, Tuebrook"
 
The Church contains a memorial to the Honan family.  
   
St.Clare's R.C. Church, Sefton Park has a stained glass window dedicated to St.Matthew, St.Robert Bellarmine and St.Mathilde (see above and bottom of page) in memory of Matthew Honan, his father Robert and his sister Dame Mathilde (Annie) Honan.
 
De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour (Volume 4 page 86) contains the following biography of Matthew Honan.
 
HONAN, MATTHEW, Capt., 1st Battn. (40th Foot) The Prince of Wales's Volunteers (South Lancashire Regt.), s. of the late Robert Burke Honan, Ship Owner, Liverpool, by his wife, Mary Anne, dau. of J. Shine, of Collyhenan, Limerick; b. Liverpool, co. Lancaster, 27 Jan. 1878; educ. Ampleforth College; was an Architect, being an F.R.I.B.A., and had done much work in the Liverpool district; gazetted 2nd Lieut. the South Lancashire Regt.; promoted Lieut. 12 Jan. 1915, and Capt. 12 April following; served with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in Gallipoli from May, 1915, and saw much fighting on the Krithia front; was severely wounded and invalided home; on recovery was employed for a time on home service; subsequently went to France in Sept. 1916; was reported wounded and missing after the fighting on the Somme 14 Nov. following, and is now known to have been killed in action on that date. buried in the Military cemetery at Grandecourt. He was mentioned in Despatches [London Gazette, 28 Jan. 1916], by Gen. Sir Ian Hamilton, for conspicuous bravery in action in Aug. 1915, and was recommended for the M.C.; unm.
 
News of his death was also reported in The Liverpool Daily Post & Mercury of the 2nd November 1917.
 
THE LATE CAPT. M. HONAN
 Captain Matthew Honan (1st South Lancashire Regiment), previously reported “wounded and missing” on the 14th November, 1916, is now officially announced to have been killed in action on that date, aged 35, and interred in the British Cemetery, Grandcourt, France. He was the son of the late Mr. Robert Burke Honan, of Prince’s-road, Liverpool, formerly of Cork, and was educated at Ampleforth Abbey College, Yorkshire. By profession Captain Honan was an architect, F.R.I.B.A., and did some good ecclesiastical and municipal work in Liverpool. Before going on active service he was a zealous recruiter and secured large numbers of Lancashire men. In November, 1914, Captain Honan obtained a commission in the 10th South Lancashire Regiment, and was promoted captain in five months. In May, 1915, he went to Gallipoli, being attached to the 1st Lancashire Fusiliers. He saw a great deal of fighting on the Krithia front, where he was severely wounded by shrapnel in the head and invalided home with enteric fever. Captain Honan was mentioned in despatches for “great coolness, initiative, and conspicuous bravery in action and recommended for the Military Cross”; in October, 1915, he was gazetted into the Regular Army to the 1st South Lancashires; and in September, 1916, Captain Honan went to France. When bravely leading his men into action on the Somme he was severely wounded in the back and arm, and was carried to a shell-hole for safety. Every possible search and inquiry proving fruitless he was for many months among the missing. The account received of his coolness, courage, and devotion to duty will surprise no-one who had the privilege of his friendship. He was beloved by all who knew him, and has left behind him a happy memory.
 
Captain J.A. Watson - care of Sir John R. O'Connell, 34 Kildare Street, Dublin - applied for Matthew's medals on the 27th December 1918,