Recording in a surprising number of spellings including the popular Mellor and the much more rarified Melor, Mellior, Mellaw, Mellors, Melaugh, Mellarts, Mellows, Mellowes, Meyller and even Mellop, this is an English surname. It is locational from the villages called Mellor in Lancashire or Cheshire. Recorded respectively as "Malver" in the year 1130, and as Melner in the register of Pleas before the King for the above counties, the places were so called from ancient British (pre-Roman) words "moel", meaning bare, and "bre", a hill. Both places are situated on the slope of prominent hills. Locational surnames were usually 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. The surname first appears on record towards the middle of the 13th Century (see below). Early examples include Willelmus de Meller in the Poll Tax returns of Yorkshire in 1379, and in 1588, Edward Mellor of Oldham, Lancashire was entered in the Wills records held at the city of Chester. A coat of arms associated with the family name has the blazon of a silver shield with three blackbirds proper and a black chief dancettee. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Meluer. This was dated 1246, in the Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire, during the reign of King Henry 111, 1216 - 1272. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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