When I was a child, my father told me several stories about his ancestry, which were repeated in very similar form by his older sister, Mary, in later years. According to his version, the McMellons were originally called McMillan and came from Scotland, in particular from the Galloway area in the lowlands. The story goes that the family were Covenanters, and consequently strictly anti-papist. However at some point, one of the descendants of these Covenanters married a catholic woman to the approbation of his family, who consequently disinherited him. In retaliation he changed his name to McMellon and converted to catholicism.

One of my first aims in researching my family history therefore, was to find out at what point the spelling rendering changed from McMillan to McMellon and whether there was any truth in the story of a family feud caused by these religious affiliations. My other aim was to try and trace the family roots back to a specific place in Scotland.  To date, I believe I have solved the first question but am still a long way from answering the second.


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