The name Mellenbay was carried to England
in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest
of 1066. It 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 Mellenbay 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
Early Origins of the Mellenbay family
The surname Mellenbay was first found in 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 Mellenbay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mellenbay research.Another 53 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1316 and 1412 are included under the topic Early Mellenbay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Mellenbay Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations
. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was 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 Mellenbay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Mellenbay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Mellenbay family to Ireland
Some of the Mellenbay 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 Mellenbay family to the New World and Oceana
Because of the political and religious discontent in England
, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Mellenbay name or one of its variants: John and Joseph Mallenbray arrived in New York in 1790.