There are two possible origins for this interesting surname which in various spelling forms is widely recorded. As Mallia or Mallya it is probably a derivation of the ancient Indo - Persian (Islamic) "Malaha", a word denoting nobility or wealth, and typical of ancient baptismal names which were based upon chivalry or religion. When spelt as "Malia" (although there is clearly some overlap) the origin is probably from the early Italian "Malia" a word which descibes one who was a magician but which had a secondary meaning of "Charming" and may have been applied as a baptismal name of endearment. Recordings from the church registers of Malta include Maria Mallia who married Carlo Perrotti at Cospicua, Malta on November 6th 1756, and Theresia Mallia, who married Johannes Bonel, also at Cospicua on October 30th 1803. Italian recordings are very late, these include Marianna, the daughter of Corrado and Guiseppa (nee Marca), at Avola, Siracusa, on January 20th 1875. We understand that the Militia Roll of Malta includes several early entries including Johanni Mallia of Xlocc and Culeyoa Mallia of Rabat in addition to the first name bellow. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Luca Mallia of Luqa which was dated 1419 - 1420, in the "Militia Roll (the archives of Mdina Cathedral". during the reign of Pope John XX111, 1410 - 1419. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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