The Meluish history begins in Cornwall
, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England
. Quite distinct from Devon
, the adjoining county, Cornwall
had its own spoken language until the late 18th century. The Meluish history began here. The manner in which hereditary surnames
arose is interesting. Local
surnames were derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic
names, the Cornish predominantly used local
surnames. The Meluish family originally lived in Melhuish in Devon
. The surname Meluish 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 Meluish family
The surname Meluish 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
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 Meluish family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Meluish 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 Meluish History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Meluish 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 Meluish 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 Meluish Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Meluish family to the New World and Oceana
Early records show that people bearing the name Meluish arrived in North America quite early: 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.