The name Mallory is of Anglo-Saxon/Norman origin. Mallory is derived from the medieval French word, malhuere which translates to regrettably no more.
Surnames in Britain prior to the Norman conquest were largely unheard of. In the small settlements and villages which existed during earlier times, residents found little need for surnames as everyone in these communities knew each other and a given name would usually suffice. However, with the passage of time, population growth and expansions of communities as villages gave way to towns and cities, it became necessary to add a qualifier to a people's names to distinguish them, one from another. Therefore one person may have been identified by their given name plus their occupation while another may have been identified by their given name and one of their parent's names. The introduction of surnames by the Norman aristocracy after the invasion seemed to be the next logical step in this evolution. There was a boundless supply from which surnames could be formed, in addition to the use of patriarchal/matriarchal names or reference to the individuals occupation, there were things such as defining physical traits, a familiar geographical location or a topographical landmark found near the individuals home or birthplace, the name of the village in which the person lived, and so much more. Soon, surnames would come not just to represent an individual but whole families.
There often exists variations in spelling of many surnames, as with many given names which date back to the early centuries. The variation in spelling of both given and surnames during this time period can be attributed to a lack of continuity regarding guidelines for spelling which was compounded by the diversity of languages in use in European countries at this time. The variations in the spelling of the surname Mallory include but not limited to; Mallory; Mellory; Mallorie; Mallary; Mallery; Malorie; and Mallorey among others.
The earliest record of any variation of this surname is that of Richard Mallore which appears in the Warwickshire tax rolls from 1125. These rolls, were a series of census and tax records kept by the English Treasury by order of King Henry II, with the oldest dating back to the 12th century. They hold the distinction of being the oldest consecutive set of records detailing English governance in the United Kingdom. These records span a period of over 700 years and have proven invaluable to researches over the years. Additionally, records show Sir Anketil Malory, was governor of Leicester. Malory was a Knight and maintain his residence at Kirkby Manor. The town of Kirkby Mallory in Leicester is named for the Mallory family.
The first recorded immigrant to America bearing the surname or any variation of the spelling was Captain Roger Mallory who arrived in 1643 and settled in Virginia. Peter Mallory landed and settled in New Haven, Connecticut in 1644. Thomas Mallory arrived and settled in Virginia in 1660 and Phillip Mallory arrived and settled in Virginia in 1661.
There were also many immigrants to the British Common Wealth country of Canada Mallory. Brothers, Enoch and Jeremiah Mallory landed in 1784 and settled in Canada. John Mallory in 1784 and settled in New Brunswick, Canada and Nathaniel Mallory landed in 1784 and settled in Canada.
Worldwide, the highest concentration of people with the surname Mallory are found in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Belgium . By state, the largest percentile of those with the surname Mallory live in Idaho, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia.
There are many persons of note who bear the surname Mallory. The Mallory family is one of the oldest most noble families of Britain dating back to at least the 10th century. The family seat was located in the town which was named for them, Kirkby Mallory and still bears the name today.
Other notable persons named Mallory include, Thomas Mallory was born in England in 1415. He is credited with writing Le Morte, d'Arthur, a book that gathered all the stories and legends about King Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot and probably the best known. His writings have been a source of inspiration and information for later Arthurian writers, such as Tennyson and T. H. White. Mallory was also a member of Parliament and a knight.
Philip Mallory who was born in America, the son of a successful shipping magnate, Charles Mallory. Philip Mallory was a successful businessman in his own right when he founded his own company, P. R. Mallory Company. The company eventually evolved into The Mallory Battery Company which we know today as Duracell International.