Mellhuish History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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The illustrious surname Mellhuish 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 Mellhuish is a local type of surname and the Mellhuish family lived in Melhuish in Devon. The surname Mellhuish 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 Mellhuish family
The surname Mellhuish 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.
Early History of the Mellhuish family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mellhuish research. Another 69 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1350, 1527, 1643, 1554, 1555, 1554, 1555, 1557 and 1558 are included under the topic Early Mellhuish History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Mellhuish 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.
Early Notables of the Mellhuish family (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 Mellhuish Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Mellhuish family
An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Mellhuish: 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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