This is a locational name of Norse-Viking and Olde English origins, which derive from the personal name Aelfweard later Alfred, and "b" meaning "A farm". The surname is now found in the East Riding village name Ellerby, first recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book Alverdebi or Alvvardebi and later in 1286 as Elwardeby or Elferby, the scribes being unable to agree on a common spelling. This is quite common with locational names, a rule of thumb being the further the surname is from the place of origin, the greater the corruption. The name development includes David Elsbury (1703) St. James, Dukes' Place, London and Elizabeth Ellsbury, christened in 1802 at Fetter Lane Moravian Church. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Ellabye, which was dated 1620, married Katherine Pellan at St. James, Clerkenwell, during the reign of King James I of England and VI of Scotland, 1602 - 1625. 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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