Recorded in a number of spellings including: Ellesmere, Elesmere, Elsmere, Elsmer, Elsmore and even Elismere, this is an English surname. It is locational and originates either from the town of Ellesmere in the county of Shropshire or Ellesmere Port, in the county of Cheshire. The Shropshire town has produced most nameholders although the surname is equally well recorded in both regions. The Shropshire place name is first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 in the spelling of Ellesmeles, which according to Ekwalls "Place names of England" means "Elli's lake" with Elli being an early personal name. However given the questionable spelling it is possible that a more logical explanation lies in the Old Norse word "elri" meaning alder trees, and hence the lake amongst the alders. Locational surnames were usually given to peoiple as easy identification and after they left their original homesteads. In this case early examples of the name recording taken from surviving church registers of the 17th century include David Elsmore, at the church of St James, Clerkenwell, in the city of London, on June 1st 1616, Samuel Elsmore, whose daughter Elizabeth was christened at St Mary's church, Shrewsbury, on February 19th 1618, and Elizabeth Elsmere, who married Annelsey Bailey, at St Lukes, Chelsea, on February 14th 1754.
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