User comments for Mahala

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I found someone on my family tree with this name and wondered what it meant. Never heard it before.
tilly  8/17/2005
This is a family name. It is my daughters name who was named after her paternal great-grandmother, who was American Indian (Eastern Shawnee). In researching this name I found it to be Hebrew/Bibical (Old Testament) and was a common name used among American Indians when Christianity was here. I have come across several elderly Indian ladies with this name and they were surprised I would use that name, but I told them that I thought it was beatiful. ...Connie
cayco  9/12/2005
Someone in my family line had this name. Her husband, Jasper is my great x 9 grandfather (I think). He was Irish, and married Mahala, who was French. They are as far back as we can go! I think the name is beautiful!
quigonjecca  5/2/2007
I am interested in the post by quigonjecca in 2007. I also have a relative named Mahala with a husband named Jasper. These two relatives are buried in the Tilford Cemetary in Iowa. I was curious if we were remotely related.
srshub  6/26/2016
Pronounced "mə-HAY-lə".
SeaHorse15  11/26/2008
I love the name Mahala. My mother almost named my sister Mahala, but she decided it sounds "too Hawaiian". I think it's pretty and special and rare; its lack of use is surprising considering the popularity of "Michaela" or "Makayla", which is so similar-sounding. It's an exotic, strong, beautiful name with a rich history, and I would definitely name my daughter Mahala, but my sister has already claimed it!
― Anonymous User  8/3/2009
Mahala was the birth name of Mahalia Jackson, the "Queen of Gospel Music". Her childhood nickname was "Halie" (pronounced Hayley).

Also, "Mahal" in Bahasa Indonesian means "expensive". In India, the Taj Mahal's name means "Crown Palace" -- taj = crown + mahal = palace.
― Anonymous User  8/7/2009
I like it. :) Cute. :)
--allison--  10/9/2009
Nice enough name, but I like the variant 'Mahalia' better.
― Anonymous User  6/28/2010
MAHALA: This name is usually said to mean "woman" in an unspecified Native American language, or sometimes a more fanciful meaning like "eyes of the sky" or "tender fawn." Those translations come from 19th-century romance novels and are fictional; however, Mahala does have at least two distinct Native American sources. One is that "Mahala" (pronounced mah-hah-lah) was a slang word for an Indian woman in 1800's California. It came from a Mission Indian mispronunciation of the Spanish word "mujer" (which means woman.) As far as we know no Indian women have this name, but it is used in some place names in California, and "Mahala mat" is another name for the plant also known as "squaw carpet." This is probably where the idea that Mahala means "woman" came from. It is less derogatory than the word "squaw," but is not really a native word. The second source of this name is the woman's name Mahala (pronounced mah-hey-lah) or Mahaley, which was fairly common among the southeastern Indian tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, etc.) during the 1800's. Unfortunately the origin of this name isn't clear; the word "Mahala" does not have any meaning in any Indian language of the southeast. It may have been one of many Indian variants on the name Mary, or possibly a variant of Michaela. Or it could have been a corrupted or shortened form of a longer Indian woman's name or names. In the Tutelo and Saponi languages (two closely related southeastern Indian languages that are extinct today), the word for "woman" was "mahei," so it's possible that a name or set of names including the word "mahei" got corrupted into Mahala at some point in time. Or it's also possible that the name might have had African origins (many of the southeastern Indian tribes, especially the Saponi, were known for taking in African-Americans.)
― Anonymous User  1/1/2012
'Mahala' is a Tagalog (Filipino) word that means "treasure". Like Bahasa Indonesia, the word 'mahal' in Tagalog also means "expensive". 'Mahal' can also mean dear, beloved and favourite in Tagalog.
Lumi  8/10/2015
My lovely mother was Mahala Ann (Hall) Emrie, though some here say the name may have southeastern USA native American origins, she was part Native American, but the plains tribal group (Pawnee, Shawnee, etc.). Interestingly, she could really sing (like the famous Mahalia Jackson) and loved all kinds of music and played organ while singing in a small Baptist church. Gone at 52 in 1991, a really great mother, and friend, perhaps the name is more than just "woman"!
demrie  8/25/2015
When researching my family tree I found this was the name of my 3x great grandmother. I love it and wish I had known about it before as I might have chosen it for my daughter.
forestchild  11/25/2015
I found a GGG grandmother on that her name was Mahala. First I thought it was native American due to research. But my research has also found that it originated in Turkey and is used in some Eastern European countries and Hawaii.
I did a DNA test on Ancestry and had No Native American roots. But I did have some Eastern European roots and little North African.
Dunston  12/12/2015
My name is Mahala and I love my name. So many people say it wrong, but I'm used to it. This name comes from India and it is also Native American. I personally think my name is a great name and think that other people should name their children this.
mahalastallings  5/10/2016
In researching the genealogy of many Southeastern families, I have frequently encountered the name, Mahala. According to my Muscogee (Creek) dictionary, the word, mvhayv, pronounced, maha:y-a means, "teacher." Some friends who are knowledgeable students of Southeastern Creek history and culture also believe this to be the root, origin, and meaning of the name, Mahala, in the Southeast. I have found the name to be one of several markers for possible Indian ancestors even though they are not identified as such on any census.
wrdwevr  12/14/2016
This was my great great grandmother's name as well. She was married to a Hash. I would love to know more about the origins of the name.
mahalia  11/6/2017
I love this name even though people pronounce it wrong sometimes, it doesn't really bother me. My mother decided to spell my name Mahalia instead of Mahala because she felt that it would be hard for me when I got older to spell my name with a lot of A's in it. Now that she looks back she wishes she would have spelt my name Mahayla even though the I in my name is silent. Most people do not understand that but I still love my name because it's a rare and unique name!
HaylaAnn96  2/20/2018
I have an ancestor who married a woman called Mahala Isbell in Norfolk, England. She was born in 1838 in Lyng, Norfolk. I have long wondered where the name came from but perhaps her mother was Jewish, as her name was Hannah Rebekah. The name was passed down to a few of her descendants and I thought it was an unusual name to be found in Southern England.
Tiger-quoll  2/24/2018
Actually, it's not an uncommon name in England. I have a relative named Mahala and when researching family history in Norfolk England I came across quite a few with the name Mahala.
nja93  3/22/2018

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