This interesting name is ultimately of Norman origin, although it has been a known Scottish surname since the 12th Century. The surnames Melvin and Melven are variants of the more familiar name "Melville", which was brought to Scotland by one Galfridus de Maveill, recorded below as the earliest instance of the name in its variant spelling. The name is locational, from one of various places in Normandy called "Malleville", such as "Emalleville" in Seine - Inferieure. The history of the name in Scotland includes one Andrew Malvyn, burgess of "Abirbrothoc" in 1387, and John Malewyn who witnessed a charter by Archibald, Earl of Douglas, in 1474. In some cases "Melvin" and its variants "Melven, "Mulveen" and "Mulvin" may derive from an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "Mac Gille Bheathain", McIlwaine, son of the servant of St. Beathan. On December 30th 1620, Anne, daughter of William Melvin was christened at St. Mary, Abchurch, and James, son of Wylliam and Vrselae Melvin was christened on January 2nd 1621, at St. Stephan's, Coleman Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey de Malevin, which was dated circa 1161 - 1163, Charters of the Sacred Cross, Edinburgh, during the reign of King Malcolm 1V, King of Scotland, 1154 - 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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