This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is a locational surname deriving from any of the several places in West Yorkshire called Elmhirst. In some cases the name may also derive from either of the places now called Elmhurst in Somerset and Staffordshire. The placenames all share the same meaning and derivation which is "the elm-wood hill", from the Olde English pre 7th Century "Elm", Elm, with "hyrst", wooded hill. The Elmhirst family of Yorkshire derive their name from lands in the county which they have held for six centuries. Their earliest known ancestor, Robert of Elmhirst, was a serf on these lands, and is recorded as Robertus de Aylmeherst in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Returns of 1379. Richard, son of Richard Elmhirst, was christened at St. Michael-le-Belfry, in York, and William Elmhirst married Martha Alcott in Silkstone, Yorkshire on the 13th March 1715. A Coat of Arms granted to the Elmhirst family of Yorkshire depicts a Barry wavy of six silver and black, a canton paly wavy also of six silver and black. The Crest is a green mount therefrom issuant rays of the sun, in front of a hurst of elm trees proper, and the motto, "In Domino Confido" translates as "I trust in the Lord". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alicia de Elmerst, which was dated 1379, in the "Yorkshire Poll Tax Returns", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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