Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change, including many immigrants with new names. Among these were the ancestors of the Melerbey family, whose name 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 Melerbey 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 Melerbey family
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 Melerbey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Melerbey research.
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1316 and 1412 are included under the topic Early Melerbey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Melerbey Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. 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 Melerbey family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Melerbey family to Ireland
Some of the Melerbey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 109 words (8 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 Melerbey family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Melerbey or a variant listed above: John and Joseph Mallenbray arrived in New York in 1790.
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