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


The illustrious surname Melhuitch finds its origin in the rocky, sea swept coastal area of southwestern England known as Cornwall. Although surnames were fairly widespread in medieval England, people were originally known only by a single name. The process by which hereditary surnames were adopted is extremely interesting. As populations grew, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Lords and their tenants often became known by the name of the feudal territory they owned or lived on. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. This was due to the heavy political and cultural influence of the English upon the Cornish People at the time that surnames first came into use. Local surnames were derived from where a person lived, held land, or was born. While many Cornish surnames of this sort 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 derived from lost or unrecorded place names. The name Melhuitch is a local type of surname and the Melhuitch family lived in Melhuish in Devon. The surname Melhuitch 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.

Melhuitch Early Origins



The surname Melhuitch 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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Melhuitch Spelling Variations


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Melhuitch 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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Melhuitch Early History


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Melhuitch Early History



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

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Melhuitch Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Melhuitch 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 Melhuitch 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 investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Melhuitch: 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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Melhuitch Family Crest Products


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Melhuitch 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. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
    2. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
    3. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
    4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    5. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    6. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
    7. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
    8. 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).
    9. 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.
    10. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
    11. ...

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