Recorded in a very large number of spellings including Malladay, Malledy, Maleady, Malladree, Maladay, Mellody, Mellodey, Melody, Melledy, and probably others, this is an English surname of early medieval origins. According to the famous Victorian etymologist Charles Bardsley, it has two possible sources, both nicknames. Firstly is that it may be a metonymic for a professional singer or travelling minstrel, one who sang a "melody". These people were much sought after in those times of long winter darkness and relatively little entertainment. A second possible origin is as a female form of the personal name Meredith, a name of pre 7th century Olde Welsh (English) origins which is known to have transposed into such forms as Merridew and Merriday. 'Nicknames' form a large section of the English names list, in fact some researchers claim all surnames are nicknames. Whether that is so or not, some are certainly more difficult to research accurately than others. This is quite a rare name, but one that has been recorded in its various forms from the very begining of surnames. Amongst the very early recordings is that of Richard Melodie, in the Hundred Rolls of the county of Oxfordshire in the year 1273. Other later recordings taken from surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London include: Margaret Melledy at St. Peters Cornhill, on June 1st 1550, Elizabeth Maladie, the daughter of Ambrose Maladie, christened at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, on January 30th 1602, and Charles Malladree who married Jane Coles at St Dunstans in the East, on April 7th 1636.
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