Hi Ben Ive come across several different meanings - 1) Meale - Old English name meaning Mallow? 2) Meal, Meall,Meill,Maill, Meil- a measure of grain weight (from northern england/scotland) 3) Meall - Celtic or Scotish word for hill or mountain of some sort 4) Mealman - an name of an occupation/job of someone who deals/sells/makes Meal.Meal could be grain or meat products (there seems to be examples of both)-so maybe its a food dealer of some sort.
I like the last explanation best.There are however Meale in Italy and someone told me they thought the name came from France.
In the family research I have done - the Meale name in Norfolk changed from MALE or MEAL during the 1700-1800s.There were 2 other groups of Meale in the UK during the 1800s- one in Wales and another London.(There may have been a third in Scotland)
I wouldnt mind betting that all the MEALE's in the UK did NOT have the same origin.
Good luck with your project.I would be interested in hearing how you got on and from anyone in your family who is interested in the Meale family history.