This rare and interesting surname is a variant of Elliot, which 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 Old 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 Old 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). The name development of this variant includes: Elwald (1469), Elwand (1502) and Elwaud (1579). Among the recordings in London is the christening of John, son of John and Margaret Ellwand, on July 22nd 1690 at St. Andrew's, Holborn. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Elyot, which was dated 1257, The Assize Court Rolls of Somerset, during the reign of King Henry 111, "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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