Last name: Ellis

This ancient surname of many spellings, is a "crusader" import into Europe from the Holy Land. Recorded as Elliss, Elix, Ellice, Eles, Elias, Heelis, and many other forms, it derives from the Greek "Elias", itself from the Hebrew "Eliyahu", and meaning "Jehovah is God". The name became popular among Christians in the Middle Ages partly because of its adoption by various early saints and martyrs including a 7th Century Bishop of Syracuse, but mainly as a reult of soldiers and pilgrims from the 11th and 12th century crusades. These people on their return home, often christened their children with the ancient names of the Old Testament in memory of the father's efforts to free the Holy Land from the Saracens. The fact that there were twelve such expeditions and all were unsuccessful, does not appear to have dimmed their enthusiasm.The earliest of all hereditary surnames and their recording, was in England, and it is here that we find the first examples of the surname. These include in the year 1202, William Elis in the charters relating to the Danelaw of the county of Lincolnshire, and Robert Elys or Helys, who was listed in the Calendar of Documents for the county of Essex, in 1250. One of the first settlers in the New England colonies was Richard Ellis, aged 29 yrs., who left London on the ship "Bonaventure", bound for Virginia in January 1634. The first recorded spelling of the family name anywhere in the world, is believed to be that of William Elyas, which was dated 1200, in the tax returns for the county of Yorkshire. This was during the reign of King John of England , 1199 - 1216. Throughout the centuries surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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Madelyn Ellis

Hey just trying to figure everything out that goes along with the Ellis name, anything would be helpful!!

Jeffrey Ellis

I love trying to find out more about my family history so far 4thGen grandfather was a slave in NCarolina and his wife my grandmother was a Mohican spirt healer. And 2nd Gen auntie was a Mohican princess


Sedro Woolley, Washington, USA

Cynthia Ellis

I've discovered so much on I know our name is ancient. Fascinating. We've survived wars pestilence and plagues. I find that mind boggling.

Kevin W.Ellis

i think you are my aunt this is kevin

Jerry Ellis

I'm 34 now and my father's family (early 1900's) is from Northeast Missouri, USA - but historically, traces back to Ellis' who first settled the United States in Virginia. Very interesting last name indeed.

Marquita Ellis

wow this is very interesting and im a VA native

Venieca Ellis
My grandfather told me that our family come from Ireland. Not much was told other than just that. Im interested in finding more abt my heritage but keep getting road blocks.

Javonia Ellis
I didn't know this about my last name very interesting

Haley Ellis
My family came over from Ireland during the potato famine. That's really all I know.

Oonagh Sloan
Im originally an Ellis and have found that my family came from Gwaenysgor, Flintshire, North Wales. Trying to trace further back.

John Ellis
My family can't from scotland about 6 generations ago I'm the 5th geneatioms to be named John In a row.

Steve Ellis
Great grandfather came to the US from England and settled in New Jersey with his German wife. Had 14 children, my grandfather (Raymond Sr.) being number 13.

James E Ellis
I traced my family name Ellis back to 1800 and it got me to Ireland. My grandfather Robert came over to the US and started the Ellis Family in Pittsburgh, Pa. So I was brought up Irish. in 2004 I attended a wedding in Scotland, I was asked to wear a Kilt in the family name, I got my Kilt and was told I was Welsh. So now I am Welsh. Then I look up the orgin of Ellis and find out it is English. So what does one do??

Trinia Ellis
My grandfather Kenneth Ellis was from the PA area. I wonder if there is a relation there?

Owen Ellis
I'm from England. We've traced some history back quite a few generations which are also all from England. I however moved to New Zealand in 1999 and now have 2 sons. Seems like the Ellis name is spreading far and wide!

sharon ellis
I'm from the Rhondda valley South Wales u.k.And my great grandparents came from North Wales. Some emigrated to America in the 1800's

Douglas Boyd
My grandpa Claude Charles Ellis was born in Sulpher Springs Texas in 1895. Any of you folks from there?

Douglas Boyd
My Grandpa was an Ellis. Claude Charles Ellis. I've always been interested in going back as far as I can.

Terri E. Hall
My father is Claude Ellis lives in Houston

Barb Ellis Tippetts
My great grandfather came from Wales and settled in Northern Utah. I'm just begining to learn about the Ellis roots.

Travis R. Ellis

Barb, My first American Ellis family member came to Northern Utah also! I believe it was Edward Ellis, who came over from England after being converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!

Chuck Ellis

I'm another relative of Edward Ellis who settled in Northern Utah! I'm an ancestor thru his son Frederick. Also LDS. :)

My maiden name is Ellis. My branch was from Wales, so I always thought that's where the name originated. This is very cool info. Especially considering that my family is Christian. We also tend to be "kind ones". (unless, of course, you cross us) lol

Brian Ellis
Our family originated in Norway. Normandy was next and then to Wales and from there to Ireland with Strongbow. We seem to have taken a liking to the place but still wander a bit. I love the "kind ones" distinction and I believe it's true.

Richard C. Ellis here. I was a Halloween baby (boooo!) Fascinating history. Nice to hear I'm a namesake of the passenger on "Bonaventure". Don't know the details but we are somehow connected to Mary Queen of Scots (one of my family branches which might not be Ellis).

Jessica Ellis
What does my last name mean

Adrian Ellis

My family descended from African Slaves. This means the books need to be amended

Ethan Ellis

Lesley Swain
I'm looking for a Hebrew - or more specificaly Jewish. - link in my family tree. We have an oral familly history tale of matrilinear. Judaism but nothing to confirm it. Ellis is a dominant last name, with Harrison, Pessefere, Mason, Carey, Bates, Calloway, Betteridge, Newbold and a lone by marriage only. Contorini. Any ideas? X

Cliff Williams
It is the same story with me !

Born on the Forth of July, Richard Myril Ellis.

Richard Ellis
this is really cool

James Ellis
My great great great great grandad was Charles Maynard who invented wine gums

Jason Adams
Hello, Do you or your family have any memories of the Maynards during the late 1950s - 1960s. As I own a Grey Lagonda 3 litre car which was owned by Mr Maynard when he owned the Maynards wine gum factory in Vale Road Haringey London.

It also means in old Welsh "The kind one", it was the name of two Kings of Powys, Wales. And yes there are origins to the Greeks, but also biblical connections. By the way "Mo" the Celts were living in Britain long before the Anglo-Saxons. Look up the history as the celtic language pre-dated English by a long stretch, but not the Greeks admittedly! Alan Ellis look into it the history of the celts to learn more about your family history, and you may have connections in Brittanny I would imagine. Lovely to know there are so many "kind ones" out there!

Glenn Ellis
This is very interesting. I've heard of the name's Welsh origins.

it is greek and spelt ellis

and cornish - my father's people left cornwall in the mid 19th century

jacky birch
Bit more info... they lived at 68. clinton road Stepney London e3 4qu

i am looking for frederick william ellis who in the 50's was married to rosalie olive addison. if anyone knows of them please email

Annasia Ellis
i am an Ellis this is interesting but only to a certain extent

Also comes from the Welsh feminine name Elliadd, which would have become the surname of the children under Welsh naming convention

its not welsh at all!!! it is either old english a.k.a anglo-saxon scandinavian or greek.

Hi. I'm looking for any relatives of the following; Richard Ellis and his wife Amy who travelled on the ship 'John' from England 1939 and arriving to South Australia in Feb 1840. They travelled with their married daughter Sarah and her husband Uriah Hearne. Colleen

Carley Ellis
haha thats soo cool :D

Ricardo ellis
from Santiago de Chile

Lisa Ellis
Fron London England I have my dad's name Ellis heist from trelawny Jamaica

Sandra Ruthenberg
I was a Ellis. My grandfather was John Bert Ellis, a Titanic survivor. He was a vegetable cook on that ship.

Sarah Hallam

Hi have you had any contact from other members of this family at all? John Bartrum Ellis was my husbands Great Grandfather.