Melvill History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The land of moorland bogs and fields of heather is the ancient homeland to the distinguished surname Melvill. 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 Melvill family originally lived in the village of Melville, in the county of Midlothian (now part of the region of Lothian).

Early Origins of the Melvill family

The surname Melvill 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 Melvill family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Melvill 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 Melvill History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Melvill Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Melvill 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 Melvill Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Melvill family to Ireland

Some of the Melvill 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.

United States Melvill migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Melvill Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Melvill, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1869 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Melvill (post 1700) +

  • Michael Winston "Mike" Melvill (b. 1941), American who piloted SpaceShipOne on its first flight past the edge of space, flight 15P on June 21, 2004, thus becoming the first commercial astronaut and the 433rd person to go into space [4]
  • Thomas Melvill (1726-1753), Scottish scientist
  • Henry Melvill Gwatkin (1844-1916), English theologian and church historian

The Melvill Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Denique coelum
Motto Translation: I shall enjoy heaven at last.

  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.
  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. ^ Michael Melvill. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Michael Melvill. Retrieved from on Facebook
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