Anglo-Saxon surname that came 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 Eleslay family
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 Eleslay family
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Eleslay Spelling Variations
spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Eleslay has been recorded under many different variations, including Elsley, Elsey and others.
Early Notables of the Eleslay family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Eleslay family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Eleslay 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 Eleslay 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.
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