It seems to be at least a legend that the Melias in Ireland probably came from Spain. The stories about that in my family go like this: Ireland is a "Celtic" country and the Celts were of a very fair skined and ruddy complexion and light to red hair sort of ethnicity, hence people in Ireland who had a very different appearance such as dark to black hair and olive compexions must have originated some place else. It is know that during the Spanish Armadas there were many ships which sunk in the Irish Channels, and it would be supposed that some would have wandered ashore and settled and married there and been merged into the general population.
It is known that there are many Melias in Spain (note the well known Melia Hotel chain worldwide) and it is thought that most of the Melias in Spain now, originally came from near the North East corner of Spain. This is in relative close proximity to Italy, and in the northwest part of Italy also you find the surname Melia, which I understand roughly translated means the "apple tree". I have been also told that Melia in Greek is roughly translated as "apple orchard." I am also told that in the northwest of Italy are found many apple orchards, and hence perhaps the derivation of the name Melia.
--and so goes the "legend" as it has been passed down in our family.....True???? who knows.
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