Last name: Elder

Recorded in the spellings of Elder, the diminutive Elderkin, and the patronymics Elders and Elderson, and sometimes, although incorrectly confused with Alder, this is a medieval English surname. It originally described an older person usually a father or brother, who had the same name as a later addition, who may in his turn have been called 'Junior'. Sometimes to make sure that a particular family baptismal name was perpetuated, at a time when early death was the norm, several sons would be given the same name, usually their fathers name. In Yorkshire the form was to call the person 'Senior', and this is now a popular surname throughout that region. 'Elder' or the patronymic 'Elders' is recorded more generally than 'Senior' throughout England, whilst the opposing 'Junior' is of a similar date, Robert Junior being recorded in Lincoln in the Hundred Rolls of 1273, but is now a very rare surname. In this case the early recordings include such diverse forms as Hugo le Heldere, in the Curia Regis rolls for the county of Hertfordshire in the year 1212, whilst Ricardus le Elder, appears in the Priory Rolls for Yorkshire in 1379, showing that both Senior and Elder were used in that region. Later recordings include Phillip Elderkin christened at Harrow on the hill, Middlesex, on November 10th 1613, and Thomas Elder, who married Jane Gibbs, at St James church, Clerkenwell, London, in 1648. This was in the last year of the reign of King Charles 1st of England, shortly to be executed in Whitehall, on January 30th 1649.

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Nancy Elder Petersen

Using for ELDERS with an "s" found: 1891 Census (many more ELDERS in 1891 Yorkshire) Name: Elizabeth Elders Age: 50 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1841 Relation: Wife Spouse's Name: William J Elders Gender: Female Where born: Whitby, Yorkshire, England Civil parish: Whitby Ecclesiastical parish: St Mary Town: Whitby County/Island: Yorkshire Country: England Registration district: Whitby Piece: 3994 Folio: 5 Page Number: 3 Household Members: Name Age William J Elders 54 Elizabeth Elders 50 Source Citation: Class: RG12; Piece: 3994; Folio 5; Page 3; GSU roll: 6099104.

Nancy Elder Petersen

Hi folks, Please feel free to send me e-mail at my new address:

Todd Elder
I have looked up Elder's back as far as I can go to James Elder died 6/26/1881. I even found the head stone but thats all I can find, no mother or father's name. I beleave his mom & da came from Scotland but I can't seem to find them Awwwwwwwwww! Anyone have any ideas or run into the same problem?

Clyde Elder

Todd, I am from the Dinwiddie County area of Virginia. I have also been told the family originated in Scotland. There are also a number of Elders in the Barrow County area of Georgia, that claim roots back to Dinwiddie County, hope this helps.

Janet Pick

Hi, I am descended from James Elder, born about 1790 in Thurso, Caithness. He married Elizabeth/Betty Mackay in Halkirk in 1818, then went to work iin the Canongate, Edinburgh. he was a marble cutter. He died in 1850 in Edinburgh. His daughter, Mary Elder married Henry Newton, a soldier in the Royal Artillery and ended up in Leicester, England. Other children were, Christian (Married William Kelloway), William Elder (married Mary Ross)Alexander Elder, John Elder, Catherine Elder (married Alexander Findlater) and James Elder. Some may have emigrated, but I can't find them! However if there are any links out there maybe this will help! Best Jan

Raymond E.O.Ella
There are two coats-of-arms for the surname Elder mentioned in "Burke's General Armory" (1884 ed.). Regards, Ray.

hello my name is william gene elder jr. im trying to find out what part of scottland my forfathers are from .my father told me that was where i was from as he passed away shortly after that can any one help me? thanks so much

T.S. Elder
I have found after much research that Scottish Elder's are from northern Scottland right around Inverness. Your clan in the old name would be KcIntosh in the new MacKintosh. Your war cry is " LOCK MOY " and Moy Hall is where your clan chief lives. Hope that helps.

Loved looking at this site, my name is Sean Elder, I was born in Ballymena Co Antrim, eldest of two sons of Brian Elder, his mother my Grandma was Jean who married to william Elder. My dad and mum are still alive, however I am based in Saudi Arabia. would love someone to give me a web site so I can study our family tree...thanks Sean

Liam elder
Ancestory .com

Jaya Thomlison

Hi Sean! I'm in Norway, but was born in Canada - my Grandmother (born in Toronto) has a grandmother from Bellymena Co Antrim, who was born around 1846/8 named Mary Elder. She had a brother named Hugh Elder and a sister named Elizabeth Elder (I think). They emigrated from Bellymena to Canada in the late 1800s with Timothy Eaton, who was apparently good friends with Mary. Bellymena wasn't entirely a large town in those days, therefore I'm assuming that the name Elder probably ran between a few select extended families. That might actually make you and I distantly related! ;) Have you found anything further out? Did you manage to come across a family tree? I'm heading to Ireland next week and was considering trying to find something out about my Great-grandmother's family and hometown (Bellymena ;) Take care!

Tarah Elder
I'm am lookibng for links to the last name Elder. I am looking for the Father of Benjamin Franklin Elder who was born in Overton County, Tennessee. He did in the Civil War. His mother's name was Margaret Elder supposedly born in North Carolina. Benjamin Elder would have been my 4th great-grandfather.

James Colston Elder, Jr.
I come from Giles County Elders who moved to Prospect, TN in 1814 from Brunswick County, VA. I have quite a bit of information on my line which I'd be happy to share. Don't know if we're related, but maybe.

Ronald Elder
Tilman Elder came to Giles County about the time you mentioned from Virginia after serving in the War of 1812. Have some information that I would be glad to share.

Tina (Elder) Sohl
Someone mentioned the DNA being different between the Maryland Elder lines and the rest of the Elder lines. What is the difference? Is the Elder surname ultimately a Scottish name? Did William Elder's family perhaps migrate down from Scotland to Lancashire England and from there to the U.S.? Is there anything about William prior to Lancashire? I am his descendant, Tina Elder.

Nancy Elder Petersen

Still no info about Lancashire. Please feel free to send e-mail to my new address:

Nancy Elder Petersen
More about Andrew ELDER, 1849 -1923 - Ancestry Military database - Town Clerks Register Name: Andrew Elder Birth Date: 11 Oct 1849 Birth Place: Scotland Father: John Elder Mother: Margery Elder Residence Place: Sterling Enlistment Date: Aug 1864 Enlistment Location: Sterling, Cayuga, New York Regiment: 111th Regiment Company: I Rank: Private Race: White Marital Status: Single

Nancy Elder Petersen
Using Cayuga Co NY Genweb indexes, and adding to my Rootsweb notes, I have found some ELDER cemetery records in NY See: Sterling Center Cemetery (Mount Pleasant Cemetery) (Town of Sterling, NY) #223 at ELDER , SARAH J. WIFE OF ALEXANDER ELDER D.MAY 16, 1872 AE 24Y/13D **** Springbrook Cemetery at Located on Rt. 104-A , just east of Fair Haven, NY Town Of Sterling - Cayuga County, NY ELDER , ANDREW CO. I, 111TH REGT. N.Y.INF. - 1849-1923 ELDER , THOMAS 1838-1904 THOMAS S. 1873-1961 PHILLIPS, CARL FAYETTE 1888-1957 MARGARET ELDER 1888-1947 *****

Nancy Elder Petersen
You're very welcome. Always hoping the info will help another researcher, too! I'm still trying to find my Scotland connection from Pennsylvania. Posting Scotland notes and links for possible discovery of ELDER families, at

Joshua Aaron Elder Sr
Wow. Thank you very much. Thats my family tree. So grateful for the help. :)

Nancy Elder Petersen
Hi Joshua, You are qualified for our DNA scholarship, as a male named ELDER, with traced ancestry back to NY. Please help us by sending me your US MAIL address, and I can order you a free mouth-swab kit, from FamilyTreeDNA in Houston, Texas. They are the same ones who supply kits for the National Geographic's DNA projects around the world. They are very safe and helpful, too. It takes about 4 weeks to report matching ELDER kits in our DNA project. They send a report directly to your e-mail. Always hoping for more Scotland connections. Use my e-mail to reply:

Rodney Wayne Elder (Burge)
Nancy has helped me discover my lineage to Scotland through my DNA testing, I thank her very much for this..I still need to clean up my family tree with the correct info but I am still working on it...Thanks Nancy

Nancy Elder Petersen
1880 Same Page as Alexander ELDER: Name: John Elder Home in 1880: Sterling, Cayuga, New York Age: 67 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1813 Birthplace: Scotland Relation to Head of Household: Self (Head) Spouse's Name: Margaret Elder Father's birthplace: Scotland Mother's birthplace: Scotland Occupation: Butcher Marital Status: Married Race: White Gender: Male Household Members: Name Age John Elder 67 Margaret Elder 63 John Elder 26 Margaret Elder 30 Andrew Elder 3 William Elder 1 Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Sterling, Cayuga, New York; Roll: 814; Family History Film: 1254814; Page: 337C; Enumeration District: 38; Image: 0596.

Nancy Elder Petersen
More about Alexander ELDER: 1880 Name: Alexander Elder Home in 1880: Sterling, Cayuga, New York Age: 6 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1874 Birthplace: New York Relation to Head of Household: Son Father's Name: Thomas Elder Father's birthplace: England Mother's Name: Mary Elder Mother's birthplace: New York Race: White Gender: Male Household Members: Name Age Thomas Elder 43 Mary Elder 42 Lillie Elder 14 Mary Elder 11 Alexander Elder 6 Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Sterling, Cayuga, New York; Roll: 814; Family History Film: 1254814; Page: 337C; Enumeration District: 38; Image: 0596.

Nancy Elder Petersen
More about Alexander ELDER WWI Draft Registration Name: Alexander Elder County: Madison State: New York Birth Date: 19 Mar 1874 Race: White FHL Roll Number: 1753842 Social Sec. Death Index Name: Alexander Elder SSN: 092-18-7782 Last Residence: New York Born: 19 Mar 1874 Died: Mar 1964 State (Year) SSN issued: New York (Before 1951)

Nancy Elder Petersen
More about Clifford John ELDER: 1920 Name: Clifford Elder Home in 1920: Eaton, Madison, New York Age: 18 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1902 Birthplace: New York Relation to Head of House: Son Father's Name: Alex Elder Father's Birth Place: New York Mother's Name: Maggie Elder Mother's Birth Place: New York Marital Status: Single Race: White Sex: Male Able to read: Yes Able to Write: Yes Household Members: Name Age Alex Elder 46 Maggie Elder 39 Clifford Elder 18 Nina Elder 14 James Elder 2 Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: Eaton, Madison, New York; Roll: T625_1118; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 105; Image: 973.

Nancy Elder Petersen
More about Clifford John ELDER: Ancestry Family Tree, by deeron1983 at Clifford John Elder, Birth 1901-02-07 Death 1979-11-07 in Fair Haven, Cayuga Co., New York wife: Alice Gertude Galloway 1905 13 Birth 1905-04-21 in Vanderbilt, Ostego Co., Michigan

Nancy Elder Petersen
Using my Ancestry subscription I found: in Texas Marriage Index database: Name: Dorothy A Cizler Gender: Female Marriage Date: 16 May 1975 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1952 Spouse: Gene I Elder Spouse Gender: Male Spouse Est Birth Year: abt 1948 Spouse Age: 27 Marriage County: Cameron Marriage State: Texas **** 1930 census found similar names: Name: Clifford Elder Home in 1930: Madison, Madison, New York Age: 29 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1901 Birthplace: New York Relation to Head of House: Head Spouse's Name: Allice Elder Race: White Household Members: Name Age Clifford Elder 29 Farmer NY NY NY (father and mother b. NY) Allice Elder 24 Virginia L Elder 5 Gene I Elder 2 9/12 Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Madison, Madison, New York; Roll: 1446; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 30; Image: 193.0.

Joshua Aaron Elder Sr
My great grandfather was Clifford John Elder and lived in upstate New York. He died when I was about one year old. I was told of scottish decent but dont really have any family info or tree.. Would love some info.

Jan Pick
Hi, my great great great grandmother was Mary Elder, born in the Canongate, Edinburgh. her father was James Elder, born in Caithness, marrying in Halkirk, Caithness, in 1816. His wife was Betty or Elizabeth McKay, who had been born in Thurso, in 1800. They moved to Edinburgh (he was a stone mason) and had Christian, William, Alexander, John, Mary, Catherine and James! The McKays are linked to the clan Macintosh. mary married Henry Newton, aan army man and ended up in Leicester, England! Best Jan

Nancy Elder Petersen
Hi Kyla, Do you recognize any of those locations? Do you know the town name where Walter and Jessie lived?

Nancy Elder Petersen
More about ELDER names - "PETER ELDER of Virginia" DNA group Slave owners in Scull Shoal, Clarke, Georgia at Elder David No. of slaves 13 Elder Doctor W. 15 Elder Ed 27 Elder John P. 20 Elder John S. 32 Elder Joseph 11 Elder N. T. 3 Elder Philip T. 7 Elder Sarah 2

Nancy Elder Petersen
Hi Kyla, I didn't find Jessie - maybe she's listed after 1930. Here's another WALTER ELDER: Ancestry Census 1920 Name: Walter Elder Home in 1920: Winder, Barrow, Georgia Age: 21 [24] Estimated Birth Year: abt 1899 [abt 1896] Birthplace: Georgia Relation to Head of House: Self (Head) Spouse's Name: Florence Elder Father's Birth Place: Georgia Mother's Birth Place: Georgia Marital Status: Married Race: Black Sex: Male Home owned: Rent Able to read: No Able to Write: No Household Members: Name Age Walter Elder 21 [24] Florence Elder 24 Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: Winder, Barrow, Georgia; Roll: T625_234; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 12; Image: 662. *** Book Ref: "History of The Elder Family." Edited by Mrs. Philip Elder of Winder, Georgia Pub. May of 1949. Revised 1962. Winder is the county seat of BARROW Co GA, Map shows BARROW county, next to Clarke Co and Oconee Co, in East GA.

Around 1930s

Nancy Elder Petersen
Hi Kayla, Can you give me Jessie's date of birth? I found several WALTER ELDER names in Georgia, here's one: Ancestry Census 1880 Name: Walter Elder Home in 1880: District 691, Coweta, Georgia Age: 9 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1871 Birthplace: Georgia Relation to Head of Household: Son Father's Name: Charles Elder Father's birthplace: Georgia Mother's Name: Isabella Elder Mother's birthplace: Georgia Marital Status: Single Race: Black Gender: Male Household Members: Name Age Charles Elder 30 Isabella Elder 26 Walter Elder 9 Justson Elder 4 Bird Elder 3 Alvin Elder 1 Fred Elder 12 Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: District 691, Coweta, Georgia; Roll: 142; Family History Film: 1254142; Page: 476B; Enumeration District: 39; Image: 0074.

James E. Elder
Hello Nancy, I am also african american and am looking for information on my family. My great great paternal grandmother was named Rebecca Elder, her husband was Joseph Elder a slave on the Redwine plantation in Coweta County, GA>

Well my great grandma was Jessie stone and she was born in georgia and her dad was Walter elder.

Nancy Elder Petersen
Hi Kayla, Can you tell me more about the location? We have other researchers, especially in Virginia, Georgia and TN with African American ELDER names. Some may have taken names of owners in the 1860's: From a Gibson County TN. These ELDER families came from the "PETER ELDER of Virginia" DNA group who moved to Gibson Co TN, some posted info at To:..."Mary Elder my daughter shall Have all the tract of land where on I now live and where on William Elder lives with all the household furniture that is Now in William Elder 19s possession and I further give my Daughter Mary Elder my Negro man named Peter and Lucy His wife and her family of children namely Elizabeth, Phillip Johnson, William Axall, David Randolph, Lucky Jones And Bob are also and also hers ______ hereafter if any. I will this property to my daughter Mary Elder for own proper use, During her life and not to be liable for any contracts of her Husband William Elder or any other husband, and at her death The property is to be equally divided amongst the following Persons, Witness Benjamin Elder, William Elder Jr., James Elder, Robert Elder, Monroe Elder, John W. Elder, And Harry L. Elder I give to my grandchildren Sally Dancy heirs, the following Negroes, Polly and her four children and her increase..." E-mail me anytime! Nancy Elder Petersen Host, ELDER DNA project

nancy hoffman elder
i just emailed kayla above about the same thing. my husband is black african american with cherokee indian in fact he is light skinned his father came from glen cove ny . like i said he never meet his dad nor his side of the family but he is interested in his geneology. as his wife i am also interested i was thinking the same thing my husband is a reverend.

im african american and i just fould out that my great grandparents last name is elder..... ummmm so can someone explain to me about that

Kathryn Elder
What about the five Elder brothers who came from Holland to Scotland in the 1600's? Three of them moved on to Northern Ireland (Ballemena, Coleraine, and I forget the other area-don't have the works in front of me).

ann elder
where did u get this info

Nancy Elder Petersen
Hi Ann, There are several DNA lines of ELDER found in Northern Ireland. Most seem to be from the "PAXTANG PA" DNA group, but we also have "FRANKLIN CO PA" DNA group (Nathaniel, Daniel), and others. My research notes posted at E-mail me anytime! Nancy Elder Petersen

Kathryn Elder
I'm sorry for the delay in response. my father has done geneology on his ancestors tracing as far back as five brothers from Holland who immigrated to Scotland in the 1600's. I await still my copy of his work. A cousin I spoke with in Northern Ireland gave the same information. My father had hoped to travel to the Netherlands to research, but being now 85 years of age, may not be able to. There are also ties to the MacIntosh clan. Nancy, thanks for all your hard work. It's been a pleasure to read.