Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. 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. The Melhuege family originally lived in Melhuish in Devon. The surname Melhuege 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.
Early Origins of the Melhuege family
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.
Early History of the Melhuege family
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Melhuege Spelling Variations
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.
Early Notables of the Melhuege family (pre 1700)
Cornwall (1554 to 1555.) In 1554 Melhuish abandoned Parliament without a licence and evaded summons to the King's Bench. For three years...
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Migration of the Melhuege family to the New World and Oceana
In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Melhuege were found: 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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