Melanbray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Melanbray was brought to England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the Old Norman personal name Melmor. The name Mellanby was also the name of several places in Cumberland and the North Riding of Yorkshire. The family name Melanbray was brought to England after the Norman Conquest, when William the Conqueror gave his friends and relatives most of the land formerly owned by Anglo-Saxon aristocrats.
Early Origins of the Melanbray family
The surname Melanbray was first found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat as Lord of the Manor of the large village of Malmerbi or Melmerby, near Hutton Conyers. At the time of the taking of the Domesday Book in 1086, a survey of all England taken by Duke William to record the ownership of all taxable land in England, Melmerby was held by Count Alan, and, conjecturally, it is from this family the surname is descended. Melmerbi is given by Cottle as "farm of the devotee of (St) Mary" but this shows an Irish origin which is unsupported. Count Allan also held Wensleydale, south of Richmond. He was anciently a Breton, known as Allan the Black, distinguishing him from Duke Allan the Red, his brother. It was customary amongst the Norman families who introduced surnames into England after the Conquest, to name their sons, nephews and so on, by the name of the Manors which they held so as to distinguish these descendents from the main line.
Early History of the Melanbray family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Melanbray research. Another 27 words (2 lines of text) covering the years 1316 and 1412 are included under the topic Early Melanbray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Melanbray Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Mellanby, Mellanbie, Mellsanby, Melsanby, Melanbie, Melanby, Mellerby, Melerby, Melanbie, Melmerbie, Mellmerby, Mellmerby, Mellmerbie, Mallansby, Malansbie, Mallansbie, Malansby, Melmerby, Mellenbie, Mellenby, Melenby, Melenbie, Mallenbray, Malenbray, Melanbray, Melanbry, Malenbry, Melsanby and many more.
Early Notables of the Melanbray family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Melanbray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Melanbray family to Ireland
Some of the Melanbray family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Melanbray family
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Melanbray or a variant listed above were: John and Joseph Mallenbray arrived in New York in 1790.
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