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MELLISH Family History

This very unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname from a place in Devonshire, so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century "mael(e)", brightly coloured, flowery, and "hiwisc", hide of land, hence "a brightly coloured hide of land", or "a hide of land covered with flowers". The placename was first recorded as "Melehewis" in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of the county. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace.

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