This rare locational name is of Scottish origin and derives from the town of Melrose in the border country near Galashiels. The elements of the name are Ancient British (i.e., pre Roman, circa 55 A.D.) and are developments of "moel", meaning a bare and barren place, and "rhos", a moor or heath. The Breton and Gaelic "ros" meaning a headland or promontory could also have been the meaning of the second element. The Middle Ages saw an increasing movement of the population partly as a result of war, sometimes plague, but often owing to the spread of sheep farming and the development of the textile industry. These "emigrants" took the name of their original home. Oddly, in Melrose on November 29th 1693, Agnes Melrose married John Bulzie, whilst in 1837, the first year of National Records, Thomas Melrose is recorded at Mosley Street, Presbyterian Church, Manchester, on July 25th of that year. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Melrose, which was dated 1468, in the "Calendar and Rolls of Edinburgh", during the reign of King James 111 of Scotland, 1460 - 1488. 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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