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


Cornwall, one of the original six "Celtic nations" is the homeland to the surname Melhuis. A revival of the Cornish language which began in the 9th century AD has begun. No doubt this was the language spoken by distant forebears of the Melhuis family. Though surnames became common during medieval times, English people were formerly known only by a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames were adopted in medieval England is fascinating. Many Cornish surnames appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames. The name Melhuis is a local type of surname and the Melhuis family lived in Melhuish in Devon. The surname Melhuis 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.

Melhuis Early Origins



The surname Melhuis 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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Melhuis Spelling Variations


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Melhuis 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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Melhuis Early History


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Melhuis Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Melhuis 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 Melhuis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Melhuis Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Melhuis 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 Melhuis 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



An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Melhuis or a variant listed above: 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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Melhuis Family Crest Products


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Melhuis 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. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
    2. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
    3. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
    4. 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.
    5. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
    6. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
    7. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
    8. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
    9. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
    10. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
    11. ...

    The Melhuis Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Melhuis 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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