Matilda was created by Carl Barks and first mentioned in the Duck family tree Barks wrote for personal use in the 1950s. Here, Matilda is shown to be Gladstone Gander's adoptive mother. On Mark Worden's illustrated version of Barks' tree (1981), Matilda made her first physical appearance, bearing a striking resemblance to Gina Luluduckita from The Midas Touch (1961). When Barks re-created the tree from memory in the 1990s, Matilda was left out of the picture.
She had a prominent role in the Eiser Award-winning comic book series The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. In the first part of the twelve-part saga, Matilda is still a child when her older brother Scrooge leaves Scotland for America. In The Invader of Fort Duckburg, Matilda herself leaves Scotland, together with her sister Hortense and brother Scrooge. Arriving in Duckburg, she, Hortense and her brother-in-law Quackmore Duck work for Scrooge in his massive Money Bin. According to the saga's eleventh chapter, while Scrooge is on a trip abroad, Matilda and her sister were the ones who hired Miss Quackfaster as Scrooge's new secretary.
When Scrooge finally returns to Duckburg near the end of the story, Matilda and the rest of the family prepare for a nice reunion, but because of Scrooge's unpleasant behavior the family leaves him.
Matilda reappeared in A Letter from Home or The Old Castles's Other Secret. Here, we learn that Matilda took the job as caretaker of the McDuck-estate in Scotland without letting her brother Scrooge know about it. After a grand adventure, the two siblings are reunited.
Matilda also appeared as a child alongside her family in Scrooge's flashback in Donald's Homemade Christmas (2012).
- Don Rosa wanted to use both Matilda and Hortense in A Letter from Home, but his editor (Egmont) did not want Donald's mother to be used in a present-day story, so Rosa only used Matilda.
- Matilda tends to have a flower either on her hair or on a hat. These flowers are constantly losing petals. While Matilda doesn't have any flower on her hair in A Letter from Home, she is briefly seen cultivating similar flowers.
- Depending of the colorist, Matilda can have brown or blonde hair. The editions where she has brown hair also have her getting it grey earlier.
- As a tribute to Rosa, Marco Gervasio, creator of a series of Duck comics featuring the gentleman-burglar Fantomius, taking place in Duckburg, 1920s, gave Matilda a cameo appearance in one of his stories. She could be seen sitting in the audience of the D.U.C.K. theatre (yet another reference to Rosa), together with her sister Hortense and her brother-in-law Quackmore.
- Disney comic artist and writer Don Rosa has suggested that Donald's uncle Ludwig Von Drake could be Matilda's husband.