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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The Meless history begins in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. Quite distinct from Devon, the adjoining county, Cornwall had its own spoken language until the late 18th century. The Meless history began here. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames were derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. The Meless family originally lived in Melhuish in Devon. The surname Meless is a habitation name that was originally derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. The surname originated as a means of identifying individuals from a particular area. In the Middle Ages people often assumed the name of the place that they originally lived as their surname during the course of travel.

Meless Early Origins



The surname Meless was first found in Devon where they held a family seat from ancient times as Lords of the Manor of Melhuish in that shire, some say, well before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 A.D. The original name of the village was Melewis. Conjecturally the family name is descended from Hugh of Rennes, holder of the village of Melhuish from Baldwin, Sheriff of Devon at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book Survey in 1086 A.D.

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Meless Spelling Variations


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Meless Spelling Variations



Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Melhuish, Melhuiss, Mellhuish, Mellhuiss and others.

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Meless Early History


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Meless Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Meless research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1350, 1527, 1643, 1554, 1555, 1554, 1555, 1557 and 1558 are included under the topic Early Meless History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Meless Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Meless Early Notables (pre 1700)



Notable amongst the family at this time was John Melhuish, an English merchant and politician, Member of Parliament for Truro, Cornwall (1554 to 1555.) In 1554 Melhuish abandoned Parliament without a licence and evaded summons to the King's Bench. For three years...

Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Meless Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



Early records show that people bearing the name Meless arrived in North America quite early: Agnes Melhuish, a convict servant sent to Virginia in 1719; William Melhuish, who came to America in 1740; Mary Melhuish, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1819.

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Meless Family Crest Products


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Meless Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



    Other References

    1. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    2. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
    3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
    4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    5. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
    6. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
    7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
    8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
    9. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
    10. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    11. ...

    The Meless Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Meless Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 25 May 2015 at 09:28.

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