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Mallett Surname Origins — ‘Mal’ Variants 1851

Surname Variations and Frequencies - all Counties

All 'Mal' Variations

Mallett is clearly the most dominant form of the name, followed by Mallet. Together they comprise 92% of all the variations found. Though there are families that use one variation or the other in modern times, we know from our research that the top two names are more or less interchangeable in the historical record, and as can be seen on the Surname Variant Distribution Map, in the most populous ‘Mallett’ areas, large numbers of ‘Mallets’ are found too. In any event, given that the difference between the two spellings is very slight, there is no reason to consider them to be from distinct sources.

Much of the variation seen here might be attributable to census enumerators' interpretation of the spoken word. None of the other variations occur in large enough numbers to be considered to be distinct surnames either - they all appear to be variations on the same name.

For a detailed look at other surname variants, click on "1851 Census Home", and follow the links from that page.

Distribution by Surname Variant

Distribution Map
By County
1851 Census Home

Distribution by Population Density

Area Fill Map
Distribution Map
Surname Origins

Surname Variant Distribution Map

Map - All 'Mal' Variations

Each symbol on the map represents at least one occurrence of the associated name in a particular location - but does not accurately represent population density.

1851 Census Home

Surname Distribution by County

All 'Mal' Variations by County

The accompanying table shows the most common surname variations in the counties where they were found in the largest numbers. The total at the right hand side, however, represents the total number of all surname variations found in the corresponding county - not just the most common ones (some are not shown for want of space).

1851 Census Home

Distribution by Population Density (All Variants)

Distribution by Region

All 'Mal' Variations by Region

For a listing of the counties contained in each region see "Geographic Regions" on the main 1851 census page.

It is fairly obvious, looking at this table and the following two maps, that the Mallet/Mallett surname is most prevalent in the West Country, East Anglia, and the Channel Islands. Given that the Malet surname can be traced historically to these 3 areas in the 11th and 12th centuries, it is reasonable to assume that the name derives from these early Malets.

By the same token, since the Mallet/Mallett name does not seem to have any large base in any of the Northern Counties, then perhaps we can conclude that the surname variations found there (primarily Millett), are not derivatives of Malet, and must have an independent source.

As with all of the other surname variants, the South East region, heavily influenced by Greater London, is well represented by Malletts, but for reasons stated elsewhere, this region should not be considered to be an ancestral base for the name.

Population Density Area Map (All Variants)

Map - All 'Mal' Variations Population Density

This map gives a clear visual indication of which counties were home to the largest number of people with all surname variants in 1851. Only the most populous counties are identified by name.

1851 Census Home

Population Density Distribution Map (All Variants)

All 'Mal' Variants Population Distribution

Each dot on the map represents at least 1 person. The larger the dot, the larger the population at that place.

Some large population centres of note are: St Helier, Grouville, and St Martin (Jersey); Norwich, Halvergate, and Heigham (Norfolk); Plymouth, Stoke Damerel, North and South Tawton (Devon); Kessingland, Grundisburgh, and Orford (Suffolk); Bristol, Longhope, and Stinchcombe (Gloucester); St Neot, Liskeard, St Gluvias, and Duloe (Cornwall); and London.

1851 Census Home


1. 1851 England Census [database online]. Provo, Utah:, Inc., 2005. Indexed by, Inc. from microfilmed schedules of the 1851 England Census. Data imaged from the National Archives, London, England.
2. Maps produced using GenMap UK, from Archer Software.


Bob Mallett

Ottawa, Ontario

Last update January 29, 2006.