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About the study
The name is classified as an English topographical surname (i.e. derived from a location.) As far as I can ascertain, the only British gazetteer listings for MALHAM are for MALHAM TARN (a small lake), MALHAM COVE (an extinct waterfall, said to have rivalled Niagara or Victoria) and the nearby MALHAM VILLAGE - all in the former West Riding of Yorkshire in the north of England.
My ambition is to trace all MALHAMs back to the village of Malham in North Yorkshire (or at least to the general area!)
History of the name
My wife's branch of the MALHAMs is descended from MATTHEW MALHAM, b. Burnsall, WRY, abt. 1742, who arrived in the village of ABERFORD, near Leeds, in about 1762 where he worked as a Schoolteacher and Parish Clerk. His family lived there for 200 years (my wife's grandfather, Thomas was the last Aberford Malham, living there until his death in 1962.)
I have traced some 200 of Matthew's direct descendents - now spread across the world.
Distribution of the name
I have researched Parish Records for Aberford and the surrounding area, the GRO Birth, Death and Marriage indices, the IGI and several other sources - but have still only listed some 600 individuals over some 300 years plus!
I am hoping to publish the Aberford 'tree' and my Malham data at some time in the future (i.e. when I get time) - but, in the meantime, I'm happy to share what I've got with interested parties (preferably in exchange for what you know!)