This interesting and unusual name is of Medieval Scottish origin and is locational from a place called Melrose near Gala Shiels on the Scots borders. The derivation is from ancient British words that were that were ancestors of the Welsh 'moel', bare and barren and 'rhos', a moor or heath. In Scotland, the placename is pronounced Meuros or Meuwress. During the Middle Ages when it became customary for people to leave their places of birth to seek work elsewhere they would often adopt or be given the village name as a means of identification thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. The following examples illustrate the name development after the earliest recording in the 15th Century (see below). David Melros (Edinburgh 1531), William Melross appears as a monk of Inchaffray in 1554 and 1564. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Melros, which was dated 1469, Calender of Documents relating to Scotland, 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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