Melenbay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Melenbay is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Melenbay 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 Melenbay 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 Melenbay family
The surname Melenbay 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 Melenbay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Melenbay research. Another 27 words (2 lines of text) covering the years 1316 and 1412 are included under the topic Early Melenbay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Melenbay Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was 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 Melenbay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Melenbay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Melenbay family to Ireland
Some of the Melenbay 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 Melenbay family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Melenbay name or one of its variants: John and Joseph Mallenbray arrived in New York in 1790.
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