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Family spelling variants includes O'Malley, O'Meally, O'Mealley, O'Meley, O'Melia, O'Mealy, O'Maely, O'Mailey, O'Maley, O'Mallay, O'Mallia, O'Mallie, O'Mally, O'Maly, Mailey, Mailley, Malay, Malee, Malia, Mallee, Malley, Maley, Mally, Mealey, Maly, Mealia, Mealley, Meally, Mealy, Meely, Melia, Melly

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Maile Family History

This unusual and interesting name has several possible origins.

In the Irish langiage, the name Ó Máille came to be used around 1,000 years ago to describe the descendants of Máille, a chieftain of the Umhals, a region around Clew Bay in County Mayo on the west coast of Ireland. This was the time when surnames first came to be used in Ireland. Since that time, many variants in spelling and usage have arisen, as a result of translation to English and documentation by scribes who were not familiar with Irish names, the most common being O'Malley. Many of the variants have dropped the 'O', such as Maley, Melia and Mealey. It is likely that some modern day Maile surnames are a variant of Ó Máille.

In England, the name may have independently arisen from the Norman nickname for a very "male", masculine man, from the Olde French word "masle". In Middle English the word became "male", meaning virile, masculine.

A possible German origin is from a German nickname for someone with a reputation for talking or perhaps eating excessively, derived from the German "maul", meaning "mouth".

The surname development has included Stephen Male (1230, Essex) and Robert Mayle (1607, London).

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    Croagh Patrick in the distance across Clew Bay


    Annah Maile - Great Grandmother to my husband. We understand she originated from south of Israel or family moved there, then to South Africa
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