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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Ellington family come from? When did the Ellington family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Ellington family history?

The name Ellington was brought to England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Ellington family lived in Lincolnshire, at the Manor of Elkington, near Louth.

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Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Elkinton, Alkington, Elchington and others.

First found in Lincolnshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the manor of Elkington, and were conjecturally descended from William de Percy who held his lands from Ivo Tailbois, a tenant in chief recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086. At this time the village of Elkington (Alchinton) consisted of one church, one chapel, a mill and a mill site. Since that time the village has become two hamlets, north and south Elkington.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ellington research. Another 195 words(14 lines of text) covering the year 1600 is included under the topic Early Ellington History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Ellington Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Ellington or a variant listed above:

Ellington Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • John Ellington, who arrived in Virginia in 1717
  • Edward Ellington, who landed in Georgia in 1767

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  • Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (1899-1974), American jazz musician largely recognized as one of the greatest figures in the history of jazz and awarded a special citation in 2008 by the Pulitzer Prize jury
  • Buford Ellington (1907-1972), Governor of Tennessee from 1959 to 1963 and again from 1967 until 1971
  • Dougles D. Ellington (1886-1960), American architect who is noted for his work in the Art Deco style
  • Mercer Ellington (1919-1996), American composer, trumpeter, and bandleader
  • Edward Bayzard Ellington (1845-1914), British hydraulic engineer, invented the hydraulic balance elevator
  • Marshal Sir Edward Leonard Ellington GCB, CMG, CBE (1877-1967), senior officer in the Royal Air Force. He served as Chief of the Air Staff from 1933 to 1937, then as Inspector General of the RAF until his retirement in 1940


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  1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  3. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  7. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
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This page was last modified on 15 December 2012 at 00:11.

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