This is a very interesting, rare and curious surname, which requires a full genealogical survey. Our research has produced some confused results. The modern spelling might suggest that it is of Germanic origins, but in our opinion it is almost certainly English, and possibly originally a variant of the (almost as rare) surname Elderbank. In its present spelling of Elderbrant, it is first recorded in the Victorian period, some five hundred years after surnames were first introduced. Our information is that a Caroline Elderbrant was married in the town of Dudley in the county of Worcester in 1872, but we have no knowledge of her prior to that date. At much the same time, but far away in County Durham there is the recording of Margaret Elderbrant, who was born in Gateshead in 1880 and also of a George Elderbrant in 1894. Assuming that the modern spelling bears some resemblance to its original form, it was residential from a place whose name in Old English would have meant literally 'an area of elder (trees) cleared by burning', except that no such place is to be found in the gazetters of the British Isles for the past three centuries. During the research we accidentally came across the very similar (perhaps even rarer) surname Elderbland. This was found in the double barrelled form of Elderbland East in the small town of Slingsby in North Yorkshire in 1840, not a million miles from Gateshead. The registers of the city of London are estimated to contain examples of over 99% of all English surnames including such rare forms as Elderbeck, Elderbank, Elderbrook, Elderby, all with suffix commencing with a 'b' , but not either Elderbrant or Elderbland. We are unable to offer any further explanation.
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