This interesting surname has a number of possible origins. Firstly, it may derive from the medieval given name "Elis" the normal vernacular form of "Elijah" meaning "Jehovah is God", plus the diminutive suffix "ot". It may also be from the Middle English given name "Ely(a)t", which represents at least two Olde English pre 7th Century personal names which have fallen together; "Athelgeat" (male), composed of the elements "athel" noble and "Geat" a tribal name, and "Athelgyth" (female), composed of the elements "athel" and "gyth" a battle. In Scotland, the name derives from the Olde English given name "Aelfweald", "aelf", an elf and "weald", a ruler, or as an Anglicized form of the Gaelic surname "Elloch" or "Eloth", a topographical name for a "dweller by a mound", from the Gaelic "eileach", a dam, mound or bank. The surname is first recorded in the mid 16th Century (see below). In the modern idiom, the surname has four spelling variations, Eliot, Eliott, Elliot and Elliott. On July 11th 1563, Agnes Elliott married Christopher Wightman, in St. Mary at Hill, London. Ann, daughter of George Elliott, was christened on August 22nd 1563, at Allhallows, Bread Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Elyot, which was dated 1257, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Somerset", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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