Matilda was created by Carl Barks and first mentioned in the Duck family tree Barks wrote for personal use in the 1950s. Here, Matilda was mentioned as Gladstone Gander's adoptive mother and Goosetave Gander's wife. On Mark Worden's illustrated version of the same tree (1981), Matilda made her first physical appearance, bearing a striking resemblance to Gina Luluduckita from Barks' The Midas Touch (1961).
She is a recurring character 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 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 surprise reunion, but because of Scrooge's unpleasant behavior the family leaves him.
Matilda reappeared in A Letter from Home. Here, we learn that Matilda took the job as a caretaker of the McDuck-estate in Scotland without letting her brother Scrooge know about it. After a grand adventure, the two siblings are reunited.
In terms of personality, the younger Matilda seemed sensitive. gentle and kind, this in contrast to her sister Hortense, who was more prone to anger and aggression (traits she passed on to Donald). As late as when Scrooge spoiled the family reunion with his unpleasant behavior, it can be seen that the sisters react quite differently: Whereas Hortense is infuriated, Matilda just seems disturbed and saddened. However, in her very last appearance chronologically, in A Letter from Home, the personality of the elderly Matilda sometimes seems harsher and more jaded. It is as if she is making up for Hortense's absence by partially taking on her "role" (indeed Don Rosa originally did want to use both sisters in this story; see Trivia below).
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.
- 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.
- Marco Gervasio, creator of a series of Donald Duck comics featuring the gentleman-burglar Fantomallard, taking place in Duckburg of the 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. However, this cannot be so, as Ludwig is said to be a bachelor in "Kids is Kids".