Mellon Surname Genealogy

There are three possible origins of the Mellon surname, one English,
one Scottish, and one Irish:

  • The English (and also possibly Scottish) origin of the name is
    the place-name Malaville in Normandy, with Mellon being a Norman name
    as an alternative to the more common Melville surname.
  • Mellon could also be a corruption of the MacMillan name where
    MacMillans were far from the home base in NW Scotland.
  • and the Mellon name found in Ulster can be a shortened anglicized
    form of the Gaelic O’Meallain,
    descendant of Meallain.  
    Meallain is a personal name,
    a diminutive of meall meaning

The Mellon family of
Pennsylvania who emigrated from northern Ireland were said to have been
Scottish in origin. There was a Millan coat of arms which clearly
claimed a
connection with the 18th century MacMillans of Dunmore

Mellon Resources on

Mellon Ancestry

and Scotland. 
A Norman de Melville family apparently made
their way to Scotland by the 13th century.  The family
held lands in Midlothian and later in Fife.  Mellon was one
corrupted form of Melville as that was how Melville was pronounced in
NE Scotland.  Some Mellons found in the Cumberland registers in
the north of England in the 1700’s seem to have been MacMillians with
the “Mac” lopped off.

There were Mellons in the 1881 census in Scotland, but not many of them
– less than 200 – and most of them around Glasgow.
England had a few more, mainly in Lancashire.

The O’Meallain surname

originated near Dungannon
in SE Tyrone.  O’Meallain was generally anglicized as Mellon in
Tyrone and county Derry and as Mallon in south Tyrone and county

Redmond Mellon, a Catholic from county Derry, emigrated with
his family to
Pennsylvania in 1847.  Patrick and Bridget Mellon
from Maghera in Derry moved to Newcastle in 1860.  Other Mellons
from Maghera were to be found in Glasgow.  Robert Mellon left home
14 to join the Navy and ended up in the small mining village of Kilsyth
in Scotland.   

Mellon family in Tyrone was Scots Irish
.  These
Mellons had come into Ireland from
Scotland in the middle of the 17th century and settled in
Castletown.  In 1816 Archibald Mellon emigrated to the United
and his son Andrew and family were to follow two years later.  Other Mellons, it is thought from this family,
crossed back
to Scotland.  Descendants here were the
diplomat Sir James Mellon, the son of a Glasgow schoolteacher, and his
the fund
manager and entrepreneur Jim Mellon.

America.  Judge Thomas
, the son of emigrant
Andrew Mellon from Tyrone, was the patriarch of the Mellon family in
America.  He it was with his two sons who
founded the
Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh in 1869.  

Bank was to be the driving force in the financing of the new industries
that sprung up in America in the next fifty years –  in oil,
aluminium, consumer electronics, and financial services.  The
Mellon family often used the bank as a proxy for their own investments
in these companies:

  • Thomas’s
    son Andrew Mellon became one of the richest Americans of his
    He is remembered not only as an industrialist and financier but also as
    an art
    collector.  He served as US Secretary to the Treasury from 1921 to
    1932.  Andrew
    Mellon’s marriage
    however, turned out to be disastrous.
  • his
    brother Richard Beatty Mellon was also a major financier and his line
    has continued to be
    important in Pittsburgh’s civic causes.
  • while their nephew William
    Larimer Mellon
    co-founded the Gulf Oil company in Pittsburgh in 1907.

Thomas Mellon’s
comprised one of America’s
wealthiest families.  They built their palatial estates outside
Pittsburgh.  Burton Hersh’s 1978
book The Mellon Family chronicled the family history.

Another Mellon from Tyrone – Edward Mellon – emigrated to
Milwaukee in 1833.   He was a seaman on the Great Lakes and a
survivor of the Lady Elgin
disaster on Lake Michigan in 1860.

.  John and Mary
Mellon left Tyrone in the early 1830’s for Lennox and Addington county
in SE Ontario.  Lake Mellon there was named after them.  The
family history was recounted in Russell D. Jones’s 1993 book Mellon Family of the 19th Century.

Australia.  Mellons from
Tyrone also came to Australia, settling in Queensland.

Mellon Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Mellon Names

Harriet Mellon was an
English actress who starred at Drury Lane in London in the early
1800’s.  She was widely celebrated for her beauty and married a
wealthy banker.
Thomas Mellon founded the
Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh in 1869 and was the patriarch of the Mellon
family in America.
Andrew Mellon was an
industrialist and financier who served as US Treasury Secretary from
1921 to
Niall Mellon is
an international property developer from Dublin who started a trust to
homes for impoverished communities in South Africa’s

Select Mellons Today

  • 2,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Lancashire)
  • 2,000 in America (most numerous in Pennsylvania)
  • 1,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)




Click here for return to front page

Leave a Reply