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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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.


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 at either North Elkington or South Elkington, parishes in the union of Louth, Wold division of the hundred of Louth-Eske. Both parishes were originally one and were recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Alchinton. [1] Hence the name is conjecturally descended from William de Percy who held his lands from Ivo Tailbois, a tenant in chief. At that time the village of Elkington (Alchinton) consisted of one church, one chapel, a mill and a mill site. Elkington is also a deserted medieval village and civil parish in the Daventry district of the county of Northamptonshire. Listed in 1377 as having 30 households, by 1412 there was none.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ellington research. Another 157 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 160 and 1600 are included under the topic Early Ellington History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


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 United States in the 18th Century

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

Ellington Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • William Ellington, English convict from Leicester, who was transported aboard the "Agincourt" on July 6, 1844, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia


  • Hoss Ellington (1935-2014), American NASCAR driver and team owner
  • Mercer Ellington (1919-1996), American composer, trumpeter, and bandleader
  • Dougles D. Ellington (1886-1960), American architect who is noted for his work in the Art Deco style
  • Buford Ellington (1907-1972), American politician, Governor of Tennessee from 1959 to 1963 and again from 1967 until 1971
  • 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
  • Marshal Sir Edward Leonard Ellington GCB, CMG, CBE (1877-1967), British 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
  • Edward Bayzard Ellington (1845-1914), British hydraulic engineer, invented the hydraulic balance elevator



  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  3. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  4. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  5. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  6. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  7. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  8. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  9. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  10. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  11. ...

This page was last modified on 2 September 2015 at 14:54.

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