This name is of French locational origin from any of the various places in Normandy called Malleville, for example, Malleville in Pays de Caux. The name derives from the Old French "mal" meaning "bad" or "poor", referring to the poor quality of the soil in the area, plus "ville", a settlement. This Norman name was brought to Scotland in the mid 11th Century by the first recorded namebearer, (see below). The lands of Melville in Midlothian, Scotland, along with those in Fife, received their name from their first Norman possessors. One Hugh de Malleville witnessed a charter circa 1202 in Records of Paisley Monastery, and in 1296, Sir Richard de Melville was obliged to swear allegiance to the English King, Edward 1. In some cases, the name, with its variant forms Melvin, Mulveen and Mulvin, may be an Anglicized form of the Gaelic (O) Maoil Mhin meaning "devotee of St. Min, from "min", gentle. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Galfridus de (of) Malveill, which was dated circa 1161 - 1163, in "Charters of the Holy Cross", Edinburgh, Scotland, during the reign of King Malcolm 1V of Scotland, 1153 - 1165. 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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