Elan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

There are several possible origins for the distinguished surname Elan. Firstly, it is derived from the Old English "ealand," meaning "low-lying land" or "island." Alternatively, it may be derived from several place names in Northern England, such as Ealand in Lincolnshire, Little Eland in Northumberland, or Elland in Yorkshire.

Early Origins of the Elan family

The surname Elan was first found in the West Riding of Yorkshire, where the surname is descended from Ilbert de Lacy, who was the tenant of the lands of Elland according to the Domesday Book of 1086. Some of the family were found at Whitworth in Lancashire in early times. "The manor [of Whitworth] was granted by 'divers donators' to the convent of Stanlow in Cheshire, in the reign of John; among these donors was Sir John de Elland, parcener of the lordship of Rochdale, who gave one moiety of the manor." [1]

Early History of the Elan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Elan research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1484, 1542 and 1510 are included under the topic Early Elan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Elan Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Elan are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Elan include Eland, Elland, Elan, Elande, Eyland, Eyeland, Egland, Eylan and many more.

Early Notables of the Elan family (pre 1700)

Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Elan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Elan family

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Elan, or a variant listed above: Adam Eland, who settled in Virginia in 1690; Robert Eglan, who emigrated from Kent to Maryland in 1737; James Egland, who arrived in New York in 1823.



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.


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