This interesting surname with variant spellings Ealles, Eeles, Eales, Eallis, Ellce, Ells, etc. is derived from the medieval given name Elis, the Greek form of the Hebrew Elijah, Eliyahu meaning "Jehovah is God". This name was borne by a biblical prophet, but it's popularity among Christians in the Middle Ages was as a result of it's adoption by various early saints for example a 7th Century bishop of Syracuse and a 9th Century Spanish martyr. The surname dates back to the early 13th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one William Elis (1202), "The Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire", and Roger Elys (1309), from Essex if recorded in the "Calendar of Documents in the possession of the Warden and Fellows of New College, Oxford". Church records of London include one Rycharde Eales who married Phillis Staueleye on September 21st 1584, at St. Michael's, Cornhill, and Robert, son of Robert Eales, was christened on November 20th 1652, at St. Olaves, Southwark. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Elyas, which was dated 1200, in the "Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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