This interesting surname is of English locational origin from one of the estimated seven to ten thousand lost villages, which have disappeared from maps in Britain. The prime factor in these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348 also contributed to the lost village phenomenon. The placename was composed of the old English personal names "Edla", from "ead", prosperity, fortune or "Ella", from "aelf", elf and the second element "ing", people off, plus "ford", a ford, hence "the ford of the people of Edla or Ella". On November 8th 1691 Lionnei, son of Lyoneel and Elizabeth Ellenford was christened at All saints, Norwich, Norfolk, while Elizabeth daughter of Phillip and Mary Ellenford was christened on August 20th 1766 at St. George in the East, Stepney, London. Elizabeth Mary Ellingford, daughter of Philip and Mary Elingford was christened at St Andrew, Holborn, London on June 30th 1769. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Lyoneel Ellenford married Elizabeth Mallet, which was dated August 21st 1690 at St. Peter Parmentergate, Norwich, during the reign of Queen Mary 11, "wife of William of Orange", 1689 - 1694. 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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