Meaning and Origin of: Melville

Family name origins & meanings

  • Scottish (of Norman origin) : habitational name from any of the various places in Normandy called Malleville, from Latin mala‘bad’ + ville ‘settlement’.
  • Irish (mainly Ulster) : English surname adopted by bearers of Gaelic Ó Maoilmhichíl ‘descendant of Maoilmhichil’, a personal name meaning ‘devotee of (Saint) Michael’.
  • The American novelist Herman Melville (1819–91) was a descendant of the Scottish Melvilles. His maternal grandfather was the revolutionary war general Peter Gansevoort (b. 1749 in Albany, NY). His paternal grandfather was Maj. Thomas Melville of Boston.