Melval History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The land of moorland bogs and fields of heather is the ancient homeland to the distinguished surname Melval. In Scotland, hereditary surnames were adopted according to fairly general rules and during the late Middle Ages, names that were derived from specific localities became increasingly widespread. Local names originally denoted the proprietorship of the village or estate. The Melval family originally lived in the village of Melville, in the county of Midlothian (now part of the region of Lothian).

Early Origins of the Melval family

The surname Melval was first found in Midlothian. The Melville family resided in this county as early as the mid-12th century, when King Malcolm IV of Scotland granted them the lands of Melville in 1160.

They are said to have arrived in Scotland from Malleville in Pays de Caux, Normandy, where they held the distinguished title of the Lords of Graville. Another source is more specific: "The great Northern House of Melville claims this Norman as the patriarch of their race. Galfrid de Maleville, the earliest of the family who appears in Scottish history, had the honour of being the first Justiciary (Judiciary) of Scotland on record. From him derived the Earls of Melville. " [1]

The parish of Lasswade in the county of Edinburgh was and ancient home of the family. "The principal seat is Melville Castle, the residence of Lord Viscount Melville, an elegant and spacious structure in the castellated style, with circular towers, erected about the close of the last century, on the site of an ancient house said to have belonged to David Rizzio, secretary to Mary, Queen of Scots." [2]

Early History of the Melval family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Melval research. Another 176 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1597, 1547, 1621, 1636, 1707, 1924, 1535, 1617, 1545, 1622, 1695, 1754, 1741, 1753, 1741, 1742, 1636, 1707, 1683 and are included under the topic Early Melval History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Melval Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Melville, Melwell, Melwill, Malwyn, Melwyn, Melvile and many more.

Early Notables of the Melval family (pre 1700)

Notable among the family at this time was Sir James Melville (1535-1617), Scottish diplomatist and memoir writer, was the third son of Sir John Melville, laird of Raith in the county of Fife; Andrew Melville (1545-1622), Scottish scholar, theologian and religious reformer; Alexander Melville (also Alexander Leslie), 5th Earl of Leven (1695-1754), Scottish peer, Lord High Commissioner (1741-1753), Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland (1741-1742)...
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Melval Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Melval family to Ireland

Some of the Melval family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 67 words (5 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 Melval family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: James Melveill, who settled in Boston with his wife and servants in 1768; William Melvil settled in Maryland in 1747; James Melville settled in Granada in 1774.


  1. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
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