Melrose History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Melrose surname is a habitational name taken on from a place near Galashiels in the Scottish Borders.

Early Origins of the Melrose family

The surname Melrose was first found in Roxburghshire in Melrose, a market-town and parish, and anciently a burgh of barony where "in the common speech of the district the place name is pronounced Meeros or Meuwress." [1]

"This place derived its ancient name, Mullross, of which its present is only a slight modification, from the Gaelic words Mull or Moel, bare, and Ross, a promontory, descriptive of its position on a peninsula formed by the river Tweed, and which at that remote period was literally a barren and rugged rock. In the beginning of the 7th century, a society of Culdees established themselves here from Iona, and a monastery was founded on a commodious site, which is now, in contradistinction to the present town, called Old Melrose." [2]

In Melrose Abbey "according to the best historians, was deposited the heart of the great king Robert Bruce, after an unsuccessful attempt to carry it to the Holy Land; the body having been interred in the abbey of Dunfermline." [2]

Some of the early records of the family include: "William Melros, a native of Scotland, [who] had licence to enjoy any benefice in England under the dignity of a deanery in 1468. David Melros held a land in Edinburgh in 1531." [1]

George Melrose was the last surviving son of John Melrose of Balerno, Scotland who both left Scotland aboard the Palmyra in the 19th century. George married Euphemia Thomson (1829-1887), daughter of John Thomson originally of Kirkaldy, Scotland in 1847 and their six children were the progenitors of the famous Australian Melrose family.

Early History of the Melrose family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Melrose research. Another 81 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1146, 1530, 1554, 1564 and 1590 are included under the topic Early Melrose History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Melrose Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Melrose, Melross, Melros, Meuros, Meuwress, Meuross and many more.

Early Notables of the Melrose family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Melrose Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Melrose migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Melrose Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Melrose, who settled in Boston in 1699
Melrose Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Cameron Melrose, who arrived in Connecticut in 1770
Melrose Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Melrose, who arrived in South Carolina in 1812
  • Thomas Melrose, aged 40, who landed in South Carolina in 1812 [3]
  • Alexander Melrose, who landed in New York in 1825 [3]
  • Alexander Melrose, his wife and child, who arrived in Albany, NY in 1825
  • F. Matthews Melrose, age 5, who was naturalized in New York, NY in 1839
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Melrose migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Melrose Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Ann Melrose, (Ross), Scottish convict who was convicted in Edinburgh, Scotland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Buffalo" on 4th May 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • George Melrose, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Palmyra" in 1839 [5]
  • Mr. William Melrose who was convicted in London, England, transported aboard the "Clara" on 19th March 1857, arriving in Western Australia, Australia [6]

New Zealand Melrose migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Melrose Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • G. Melrose, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William Watson" in 1859
  • J. Melrose, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William Watson" in 1859
  • A. Melrose, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William Watson" in 1859
  • E. Melrose, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William Watson" in 1859
  • I. Melrose, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William Watson" in 1859
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Melrose (post 1700) +

  • Joseph Melrose (1944-2014), American diplomat, United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone during the final years of the Sierra Leone Civil War
  • Lester Melrose (1891-1968), one of the first American producers of blues records
  • Franklyn Taft Melrose (1907-1941), American jazz and blues pianist
  • Walter Melrose, American music publisher and lyricist
  • David Melrose, Scottish silver medalist wheelchair curler
  • George Melrose (1806-1894), Scottish pioneer of South Australia, son of John Melrose of Balerno, Scotland who left his homeland on the Palmyra, landing in 1839
  • James Millsopp "Jim" Melrose (b. 1958), Scottish retired professional footballer who played 405 matches including for the Scotland U21 National Team (1977-1980)
  • Harry Melrose (b. 1935), former Scottish professional football player and manager
  • Robert Thomson Melrose (1862-1945), Australian pastoralist and politician in South Australia, son of George Melrose (1806-1894)
  • Richard Burt Melrose (b. 1949), Australian mathematician, who works on geometric analysis, partial differential equations, and differential geometry
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Royal Oak
  • James R. Melrose, British Leading Telegraphist with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [7]


  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/buffalo
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PALMYRA 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Palmyra.htm
  6. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 11th February 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/clara)
  7. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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