The Saint Malo blason






The 'Malo' family name is an ancient Christian name, which is a popular form of 'Maclou'.

'Maclou', known also as 'Maclovius' and 'Machutus', was born in 520 in Wales. Baptized by and spiritual student of Saint Brendan, he became monk at Llancarrven Abbey. He immigrated then to Brittany. As a missionary, he established churches in the area of Brittany now named Saint-Malo in his honor. He was the first bishop of Aleth and died about the year 620 in Archingeay (France).

The 'Malo' family name is now widespread in Europe (France, Germany, Spain, Norway and Finland), North America (Canada, USA, Mexico), South America (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru) and Australia.



In Quebec, the ancestor of the Malo families originates from Brittany. Born in 1636, Jean Gayet (or Hayet) known as Saint Malo or Malo, married Catherine Galbrun on December 30, 1680. Jean and Catherine had 6 childrens and their two sons Louis and Jean-Baptiste kept the name 'Malo'. Louis had 13 children and Jean-Baptiste 11, enabling the Malo family to expand in Canada. For more information, please read the wonderful history written by Jean-Paul Malo from Quebec (PDF file, 31 Ko, in French).

There are today about 500 Malos in Quebec, and a hundred in the region of Lanaudière.

There are about 50 or so people in Thunder Bay with the last name Malo which includes 4 generations.



It seems that the originator of the German Malo family is Michael Malo who was born in 1804 in Rockenhausen.



The Malo family is living in the Romsdal county since at least the 14th century. Many people from this area that emigrated to Amerika in the 18th century.


Spain and South America

It appears that French Malos immigrated first to Spain and then to South America (Ecuador, Peru, Colombia et Bolivia). Some South American Malos immigrated then to the United States.

As of now, we have three versions of the origins of the surname Malo in Spain.

#1: In July 16th 1212, during the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, the Christian army of the Kindoms of Navarra y Castilla needed to get through the Desfiladero de Despeñaperros, in the province of Jaén, in order to fight against the muslim troops of Al-Andalus (the actual Andalucía, the southest region of Spain). A shephard named Martin Malo showed them the right way through the mountains. The Christian army won the battle, and rewarded him with lands near to the city of Úbeda. Nowadays, you can find near to the place of the batlle a small village named Martinmalo, and some streams named also Martinmalo, and Martinmalillo.

#2: Garcia Malo, born in Jaca (South side of the Pyrenean Mountains), was a son-in-law of Inigo Arista (770-852), the first king of Navarre. Garcia Malo helped to his king (and father-in-law) to combat his enemies, both the Carolingian emperor Ludovicus Pius (Louis the Pious, 778-840), and the Muslim sovereigns of Cordoba. Some centuries after, another knight named García Malo de Molina combated again against Muslims in Navas de Tolosa battle (1212) under the rule of the kings Alfonso VIII of Castile, Pedro II of Aragon and Sancho VII of Navarre, as well as the Bishops of Narbonne, Bordeaux and Nantes. His bravery and loyalty were rewarded with lands and with a family motto: "Son mejores los Malo de Molina que los Bueno de Medina" (=Malo de Molina are better than Bueno de Medina) wich alludes to the different behaviour of these two families during the battle. Malo de Molina family remained during several centuries (XII-XVIII) among the most noble families of the Senorio de Molina. Currently, you can find some coats of arms of this family carved in the front of some manor houses of Molina de Aragon area.

#3: Contribution to the origin of the Malo last name according to Mr. Miguel J. Malo y de Zozaya, member of Instituto Internacional de Genealogìa y Heràldica de Madrid (courtesy and translation of Josè Luis Malo Del Valle, Puebla City, Mexico)


The foremost experts tell us that our last name originates from the King of Leon-Asturias-Galicia: Ordoño IV el Malo, therefore we took his nickname as our last name ……………generations of Malo can be traced to the 13th Century……………when the king was eventually dethrone and expel violently from Castilla, the King´s sons were fostered by their mother’s father (who also gave birth to the name Salvador)…………..a branch settled in the city of Soria via Molina de Aragon, hence Queen Isabel with her famous statement: “I would rather be a Malo of Molina than a Bueno of Medina”. The Malo de Molina emigrated to America founding a rich house in the city of Lima Peru………… the Martinez Malo settled in Bogota Colombia in 17th Century, …………The Mexican branch came from the Malo of Andalucia Spain via Soria, first to the city of Guadalajara then Mexico city, Puebla, Queretaro, Hidalgo, Guanajuato…………In 1709 Dr. Pedro Malo de Villavicencio established the Malo family in Mexico, he came from Sevilla Spain.


1.- Malos de Molina: A Shield inside another. Inside Shield: Blue field, on the field a golden lamb with a white flag laying on the floor with the head looking towards the flag, in the flag there is a cross, the lamb holds the flag with both hands. The border of this shield is golden. Outside Shield: Left side: a golden thundering Lion. Right side: a golden Lion sticking the tongue out. A fleur-de-lys on each side. Foot note: all fleur-de-lys look as feature in the Québec Flag. Interpretation: the lamb represents Jesus Christ because the Malo name and the Salvador (Savior) name are link together since the beginning.

2.- Malo in the Americas ask for their own Coat of Arms: Shield slice thru the middle: Left side: in silver background a deer leaning on a green willow tree (both hands of the dear touches the willow, the feet stay on the ground), Right side: in blue background five silver fleur-de-lys spread in the following way:





About 40 Malos live in North Western Australia at a community called Muludja, near the town of Fitzroy Crossing. They are from a tribe called Gooniyandi and are all Native Australians (aboriginal). There is no information on how this name started here. However, it was not uncommon for white pastoralists (cattle station owners) to give the native people Anglisised names for registering births and things.

Contributions by:

- Canada: Jean Paul Malo (Lanaudière, Quebec), and Robert Joseph Malo (Thunder Bay, Ontario).

- Spain: Juan Antonio Malo Poyatos (Granada, Spain), Juan A. Malo de Molina y Martinez (Madrid, Spain) and Josè Luis Malo Del Valle (Puebla City, Mexico)

- Germany: Thomas Malo.

- Belgium: Yves Calomme.

- Norway: Ketil Malo

- Australia: Vivian Moore

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