Melhuishs Around the World
As a surname with clear origins in England, it comes as no surprise to find it turning up in the other English-speaking nations of the world.
The Forebears website (forebears.io/surnames/melhuish) gives comprehensive worldwide data for 2014 which makes interesting reading. Ignoring the countries with tiny populations of Melhuishs, we find:
|England||1,294||1 in 43,000||No 5,480|
|Wales||155||1 in 20,000||No 2,115|
|Australia||650||1 in 41,500||No 5,326|
|United States||282||1 in 1,285,000||No 90,259|
|Canada||145||1 in 254,000||No 24,080|
|New Zealand||134||1 in 33,800||No 5,839|
So we can see that the frequency (or perhaps I should say "rarity") of the Melhuish name in Australia and New Zealand is roughly the same as in England, indicating that emigration of Melhuishs was similar to all other names. The name is much rarer in the United States and Canada, presumably reflecting the diverse origins of immigrants there. What is most interesting and unexpected (to me, at least) is that the name is twice as common in Wales as it is in England. When we move further down this page we will see that the Welsh population (especially in the 19th century) is heavily weighted to the south-east corner of the principality and therefore most close to Devon and Somerset.
To get a feel for the rarity of the Melhuish name, we can compare with a couple of others. The frequency of Smith in England is 1 in 88, and the frequency of Jones in Wales is 1 in 18!
Contrasting the modern distribution with 1881 we can see that Wales has changed little in that time but in England there has been a general migration from Devon and Somerset to the rest of the country in the past 140 years. Back in 1881 there were 3 times as many Melhuishs in Devon as there were in London. By 2014 London exceeded Devon by 50%.
Another highly recommended source for this type of data is Your Family History. It provides surname concentrations by county for all the available UK censuses (except 2021; perhaps that is coming soon). I have chosen to pick out just the 1841 and 1911 censuses to show here.
Place of Birth
The map below shows the place of birth of many bearers of the Melhuish surname. It's scaled to concentrate on the majority of Melhuish births. To see people born outside Devon or Somerset, zoom out.
If your ancestors are not shown, you can add them by clicking the button below the map. Over time this will enable us to build up a comprehensive picture of the distribution of the Melhuish name.
If a marker has a number on it, click to see everyone born there.
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