Elcay is a name that dates far back into the mists of early British history to the days of the Anglo-Saxon
tribes. It is derived from the baptismal name Elsy,
which was originally derived from the Old Norse word Aelfsige,
which literally means elf-victory.
Baptismal names began to appear as surnames relatively late in the growth of the naming tradition. This is a little surprising, given the popularity of biblical figures in the Christian countries of Europe. Nevertheless, surnames derived from baptismal names grew in popularity during the Middle Ages, and have become one of the foremost sources for surnames.
Early Origins of the Elcay family
The surname Elcay was first found in Yorkshire
where they held a family seat
from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest
and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.
Early History of the Elcay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Elcay research.Another 127 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Elcay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Elcay Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred
years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon
surnames like Elcay are characterized by many spelling variations
. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Elcay include: Elsley, Elsey and others.
Early Notables of the Elcay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Elcay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Elcay family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Elcay or a variant listed above: John Elsley who settled in Virginia in 1652; John Elsey settled in Maryland in 1740; Nicholas Elsey settled in Boston in 1637; Augustine Elsly settled in Virginia in 1653.
The Elcay Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Sans Dieu rien
Motto Translation: Without God, nothing.