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MELIA Family History

This interesting surname is of early Irish origins. It is a developed form of the Gaelic O'Maille, meaning the male descendant of the nobleman, from "mal", prince or champion. Traditionally, Irish family names are taken from the heads of tribes, revered elders, or from some illustrious warrior, and are usually prefixed by "O", grandson, male descendant, or "M(a)c", denoting "son of". The surname belonged exclusively in the past to County Mayo, and this is almost equally true of the present day: over eighty five per cent of the births recorded are in Connacht and most of these are in County Mayo...

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