This interesting surname of English origin is a diminutive of Ellen, itself coming from the normal medieval vernacular form of the given name Helen, from the Greek personal name Helene, being of uncertain origin. This was the name of the mother of Constantine the Great, credited with finding the true cross. According to legend she was of British (the extinct Celtic language of the ancient Britons) origin, and the name was consequently popular in England during the middle Ages. The surname dates back the early 14th Century (see below). Further recordings include one Thomas Elote (1327), "The Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk". The personal name is recorded as Ellot (1332) "The Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire" and Ellota (1379), "The Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire". London church recordings include one Margarett Ellett who married John Harrison on May 21st 1576 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, and Richard Ellett who married Mary Iones on May 21st 1618 at St. Katherine by the Tower, London. One Catherine Ellet, aged 22 yrs., a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool aboard the Silas-Holmes bound for New York on September 14th 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Elot, (a witness), which was dated 1323, in the "Assize Rolls of Staffordshire", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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