Maw Pete was first mentioned in Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold, a 1942 comic by Carl Barks and Jack Hannah. In this story, Pete mentions that his mother is a resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; in a letter Pete leaves in his ship's cabin, he writes that he has left for Bilge Water Cave to find the treasure, and requests that, if he doesn't come back, his remains be sent to his "old mudder in Pittsboig".
Maw Pete made her first appearance in The River Pirates (Walt Disney's Comics (No. Series) #271) by Carl Fallberg and Paul Murry, in which she was portrayed as just as much of a criminal as her son. However, in her latest comic book appearance, The Spirit of Christmas (Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #663), a flashback of Pete shows that his mother was a very decent and honest woman during Pete's childhood, whom Pete very fondly remembers.
Pete's mother was briefly mentioned at least twice in the 1992 animated series Goof Troop. First, in the episode "In Goof We Trust", Pete plans to make multiple VHS-recorded copies of the evening news report about his car lot, with one of them meant to be sent to his "Mom". Later, in the episode "Wrecks, Lies & Videotape", Pete alludes to how he pays his "Ma" five cents an hour, implying her to be in his employment in this show.
Meanwhile, in the episode "Cat's Entertainment", Max tells his father Goofy that Pete's son P.J. was spending the weekend visiting his grandma, but did not specify if said grandma was either Pete's mother or the mother of Pete's wife Peg.
Pete shows a portrait of his mother, imitating her voice while singing the song "Petey's King of France". During the song, it is indicated that Pete became evil because his mother did not approve of him, and he wanted to become king to impress her and finally gain her acceptance.
In the episode "Mickey's Pirate Adventure", Peg-Leg Pete shows a picture of his beloved old mother, as a means of getting sympathy from Mickey and his friends.