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Surname Meelis - Meaning and Origin

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Meelis: What does the surname Meelis mean?

Meelis is a surname that is found mainly among people of Estonian descent. The word is derived from an old Estonian word meaning “merit” and may have originally been used to distinguish families that had achieved higher social rank through their members’ and ancestors’ accomplishments.

In the pre-Christian era in Estonia, the Meelis surname was occasionally associated with the highest ranking families in the local clan. Clan members were expected to uphold the good name of the clan and take care of each other, and the Meelis surname was seen as a marker of honor and responsibility. In addition, the honor associated with the name was sometimes inherited and passed down through generations.

Today, the Meelis surname is attributed to roughly 0.02% of the population in Estonia, making it a relatively rare surname. It is estimated that currently up to 10,000 people share the Meelis surname, although the majority of them are found in the northern and eastern parts of the country.

Outside of Estonia, the Meelis surname can be found among those with far-reaching Estonian ancestry, as well as among those with more recent ties to the Baltic nation. Although the name is still tied to the same sense of honor and responsibility that it used to be, it has since evolved with the modern world and now stands as a proud emblem for those with Estonian heritage.

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Meelis: Where does the name Meelis come from?

The last name Meelis is most commonly found today in Estonia. The name dates back to the 15th century and is a form of the English surname, Miles. The earliest known use of the name is recorded in the 1522 census of Estonia, when it was written as Mielis, Nielis, and Ylnelis.

The people who bear the name today are overwhelmingly of Estonian ethnic origin. The majority live in the capital city of Tallinn, as well as other large cities including Tartu and Narva. It is found more frequently in the southern parts of Estonia, with as many as 5% of the population carrying the Meelis name.

Interestingly, while most use the name of Meelis, the spelling appears in several variations including: Mielis, Mealis, Möelis, Möelis, Millis, and Meles. So while it's not immediately clear from the spelling, they are all variants of the same name.

The Meelis surname is still owned by many Estonians today. Most modern Meelises are likely descended from the original Mielis, Nielis, and Ylnelis families that were recorded in the 1522 census. But just as with any other surname, it is impossible to know the full history and genealogy of the Meelis name without the help of an experienced genealogist.

Variations of the surname Meelis

The surname Meelis has several variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin. These include Melis, Mielis, Muelis, Maelis, Meilis, Meuleis, Meuris, Maeles, Meoleis, Mieleis, Meelez, Meelhus, Meeles, Maelleis, Meeleis, Maeles and Mueleis.

The variants, spellings, and surnames of Meelis may have derived from different places of origin including Belgium, French, Italy, Spain, Romania, and Holland. The name could also be a combination of several names, such as Meelis + Hilje, Meelis + Hendrik, or Meelis + Laurens.

Meelis is thought to be of Dutch, German, Dutch-American, Welsh, and English origins. However, the exact origin of Meelis is unknown.

Meelis is a popular surname in Estonia, where it is believed to have originated. It is also quite common in Latvia and Lithuania.

The surname is also found in other parts of the world, including the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden.

Variants of Meelis are typically used interchangeably, sometimes with shifts in spelling. For example, Maelis is often used in Belgium, while Meoleis is commonly found in Holland. In the United States, alternative spellings such as Meeleis or Mieleis are often used.

The various spellings of the surname Meelis can be traced back to many different places, which is why its various forms are often interchangeable.

Famous people with the name Meelis

  • Enno Meelis: Estonian chess master
  • Madis Meelis: Estonian actor
  • Sandra Meelis: Estonian artist
  • Siim Meelis: Estonian producer
  • Kalev Meelis: Estonian lawyer
  • Ester Meelis: Estonian actress
  • Gert Meelis: Estonian composer
  • Tarmo Meelis: Estonian cinematographer
  • Reet Meelis: Estonian journalist
  • Siim Meelis: Estonian model
  • Mart Meelis: Estonian athlete
  • Karl Meelis: Estonian poet
  • Jaan Meelis: Estonian artist
  • Annika Meelis: Estonian musician
  • Ain Meelis: Estonian art historian
  • Meelis Friedenthal: Estonian architect
  • Ringo Meelis: Estonian politician
  • Erki Meelis: Estonian composer
  • Lembit Meelis: Estonian singer
  • Rene Meelis: Estonian photographer

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