Welcome to Mallett Family History

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The Mallett/Mallet/Malet surname has its origins in France, perhaps as early as the 10th century.  It was certainly in existence in the year 1066 when Duke William of Normandy led a group of his Barons across the English Channel from France to England where they defeated the English at the battle of Hastings, and took control of the kingdom of England.  One of those Barons was William Malet, whose English lineage is documented here.  The Malets stayed in England, and remained in France, and both groups have spread around the world.

This site is focused primarily on the English branches of the family, but is gradually expanding to encompass the French branches as well.  If you're wondering if your Mallett (or related) family is recorded here, try the various search functions under "Find" in the left side menu.  There are just over 6000 individuals recorded in our online database, but we have more information available in paper form.  Eventually this will all find its way to the website, but in the meantime, if you didn't find the people you were looking for here, drop us a line ( mfhbabel(); ).  We may have something for you, or at least put you in touch with others who may be searching for the same people, and at the very least we will keep your query on file.

We've got a thousand years of history to sift through, so it's going to take awhile, but there will be many interesting people to discover and interesting stories to tell.

Last Updated (Sunday, 07 April 2013 16:37)


William Malet, Companion of the Conqueror, 1066

William Malet, or Guillaume, as he may have been called, "Sire de Graville", came from Graville Sainte Honorine between Le Havre and Harfleur, in what is today the French province of Normandy. He is said to have had a Norman father and a Saxon (read English) mother, and had some sort of association with King Harold of England before the conquest. William, through his Saxon mother, may actually have been related to King Harold, and to the well known Lady Godiva. It is also possible that William and Harold were both God fathers of Duke William of Normandy's daughter, Abela.

Last Updated (Friday, 04 February 2011 16:42)

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Robert Malet — "Lord of Eye" (Domesday, 1086)


The accompanying engraving shows a view of the church and castle motte in Eye, Suffolk, c 1818. The windmill atop the motte was built in 1561-2; the castle, built by Robert Malet's father William, having fallen into disrepair and demolished sometime prior to that. The windmill was replaced in 1844 by another castle, built as a private residence, the ruins of which stand today.

Robert Malet was born in Normandy, and accompanied his father, uncle, and (possibly) brother in the Norman conquest of England in 1066. At the time of the Domesday survey in 1086, Robert's father had died, and Robert had inherited most of his estates. Robert married Elisée de Brionne, and may have had sons named William and Hugh.

Last Updated (Friday, 04 February 2011 15:02)

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Origin of the Name

The oldest recorded use of the Malet/Mallet/Mallett surname in England is associated with William Malet, Sire de Graville, a Norman who was a companion of William the Conqueror at the battle of Hastings in 1066. William and his descendants became major land holders in England; first William's son Robert, at Eye, in Suffolk, with holdings in both Suffolk and Norfolk, and sometime later (it's not certain who or when) at Curry Mallet in Somerset. These two areas of England (the East and the South West) are home to the two single largest concentrations of the Mallett name in England today.

This is not to say that everyone who carries the Mallett surname is a direct descendant of William of 1066. There are many other possible sources of the name. When the Normans conquered England, surnames were not in general use. They were a relatively new innovation, even among the Normans, and were only used initially by the nobility. The Normans encouraged the use of surnames among their newly conquered subjects in England, but adoption of names was slow, especially among the lower classes. Over the course of the next 400 years though, most people had adopted a name.

Last Updated (Friday, 13 April 2012 12:26)

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A Note to Users of this Site

The information presented on this website comes from a wide variety of contributors, and an equally wide range of reference materials.  We do our very best to ensure that it is accurate, but as an end user, you should be aware that it may not be, and if you find something that is important to you and your research, it is incumbent upon you to verify it for yourself (and if we’ve got it wrong, to tell us so).

Ideally, every piece of information would be backed up by a primary source, that is to say a record created at about the time that the event occurred, by someone with first hand knowledge of the event.  Examples of primary sources are parish registers or civil registrations of birth (or christening), marriage, and death (or burial); obituaries, and census records.  Sadly, it is neither practical nor even possible in some cases to access such records. 

In the UK, for example, parish registers only begin in the early 1500’s, and civil registration did not come into effect until 1837.  Not all events were recorded in the parish registers, for various reasons, and many of the registers have not survived.  The ones that do survive are held in archives all over the UK, and so, in practical terms, are not really accessible to everyone.  The Civil Registrations are comprehensive, but to access the actual primary source,  a birth, marriage, or death certificate, is prohibitively expensive.  The situation is similar in other countries.

So where does that leave us?

Last Updated (Tuesday, 25 September 2012 13:41)

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