Show ContentsMeigh History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Meigh 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 Meigh family originally lived in the settlement of My in Flanders.

Another source believes the name to be Norman as the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae has two listings: Robert de Mieie, Normandy 1180-1195; and Robert Miee, 1198. 1

Yet another source theorizes the surname Meigh may be a patronym derived from a pet form of the personal name Matthew.2

"I can only suggest that as May, Makin, and Maycock represented Matthew, and as Makin and Maycock are generally found as Meakin and Mcacock, so Mee may be also a variant of May. " 3

Early Origins of the Meigh family

The surname Meigh was first found in Nottingham where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Early History of the Meigh family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Meigh research. Another 131 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1608, 1613, 1615, 1642, 1691, 1775, 1790, 1791, 1851 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Meigh History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Meigh 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 Mee, Meigh, My, Myson and others.

Early Notables of the Meigh family

Prominent in the family at this time was Anne Mee (1775?-1851), English miniature painter, eldest child of John Foldsone, educated at Madame Pomier's school in Queen Square, Bloomsbury, where she gave early proofs of artistic talent. "She began to practise when very young, and her father dying prematurely, she became the sole support of her family. Miss Foldsone received much royal and aristocratic patronage; and Walpole, in his letters to Miss Berry of 1790 and 1791, mentions that she is at Windsor, ‘painting portraits of all the...
Another 86 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Meigh Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Meigh family to Ireland

Some of the Meigh family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Australia Meigh migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Meigh Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Meigh who was convicted in Stafford, Staffordshire, England for life, transported aboard the "England"on 31st March 1832, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 4

Contemporary Notables of the name Meigh (post 1700) +

  • David Meigh, American senior animator, known for his work on Blaze and the Monster Machines (8 episodes), Endangered Species (11 episodes) and Slugterra
  • Charles Meigh, American actor, known for his work on Unlocked the Series (2011), The Erased Line (2013) and Falling Asleep (2014)
  • Bertrand Meigh Peek (1891-1965), British astronomer

The Meigh Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Benigno numine
Motto Translation: By Divine Providence.

  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 26th April 2022). on Facebook