Show ContentsMailor History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Mailor emerged among the industrious people of Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Flemish surnames of this type frequently are prefixed by de la or de le, which mean of the or from the. The Mailor family originally lived in Milor in Cornwall. The surname Mailor belongs to the category of habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Mailor family

The surname Mailor was first found in the parish of Milor in Cornwall. "The parish of Milor derives its name from Melor or St. Melor, to whom the church was dedicated at a very early period. At what exact time St. Melor flourished, is a point that has given rise to much debate. All Towever admit that such a person did exist, that he was a native of Cornwall, was high in dignity, had embraced the Christian faith, and was finally murdered with circumstances of peculiar barbarity. 411, in which chronology he is supported by the authority of Archbishop Usher. Capgrave observes, that “when in the beginning of the Christian faith, the apostolical doctrine was spread into all nations over the world : the gentiles of Britain were converted to the faith, and many believing in the Lord and practising the apostolical precepts, shone with various and miraculous virtues, of the number of which we confidently believe blessed Melor to have been one. For the blessed Melor was of a noble family in Britain, his father being Melian who possessed the dutchy of Cornwall.” An ancient life of this saint or martyr, quoted by Leland, says, that “Melor was the son of Melian king of Cornwall, by Haurilla the daughter of Rivold Earl of Devonshire." [1]

Early History of the Mailor family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mailor research. Another 93 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mailor History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mailor Spelling Variations

Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Mellers, Mellors, Meller, Mellor, Melliar and others.

Early Notables of the Mailor family

More information is included under the topic Early Mailor Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Mailor family

Study of Passenger and Immigration lists has revealed that among early immigrants bearing the Mailor surname were: George Mellers, who settled in Virginia in 1774; James Mellers, who settled in Maryland in 1774; Sarah Meller, who settled in Maryland in 1720 with her husband.

  1. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print on Facebook