Show ContentsElie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Elie is one of the names carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest in 1066. It is based on Fitz Elie, the name of a distinguished Norman family who came to England in 1066 with William the Conqueror's invasion.

Early Origins of the Elie family

The surname Elie was first found in Cambridgeshire at Ely, a city, and the head of a union, in the Isle of Ely. [1] [2]

"This place, which is the capital of an extensive district in the Fens, comprising the greater part of the northern division of Cambridgeshire, is supposed to have derived its Saxon name Elig either from the British Helyg, a willow, with which tree, from the marshy nature of the soil, it especially abounded, or, according to Bede, from Elge, an eel, for which fish it was equally remarkable. Ethelreda, daughter of Anna, King of the East Angles, founded a monastery here, in 673, for monks and nuns." [3]

The earliest records of the family were not from here, but in elsewhere at the time of the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273: Reginald filius Elye, Lincolnshire; and Gilbert Elye, Kent. [4]The Placita de Quo Warranto, temp. Edward I-III also listed John filius Elie, Lincolnshire, 20 Edward I (during the twentieth year of King Edward I's reign.) In Norfolk, Nicholas de Ely was bailiff of Norwich, 1227. [5]

Nicholas of Ely (d. 1280), was Chancellor and successively Bishop of Worcester and Winchester, and "may have derived his name from the fact that about 1249 he was appointed Archdeacon of Ely. He was also a few years later Prebendary of St. Paul's. There is, however, a Nicholas of Ely mentioned as prior of the Cluniac monastery of Daventry in Northamptonshire between 1231 and 1264. " [6]

Early History of the Elie family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Elie research. Another 81 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1609, 1604, 1605, 1675, 1634 and 1656 are included under the topic Early Elie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Elie Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Elie have been found, including Ely, Elie, Ealy and others.

Early Notables of the Elie family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Ely (d. 1609), was an English Catholic divine, brother of Dr. Humphrey Ely, born in Herefordshire, and educated at Brasenose College, Oxford. His brother, Humphrey Ely (d. 1604), was also an English Catholic divine and a native of...
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Elie Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Elie Ranking

In the United States, the name Elie is the 13,299th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [7] However, in France, the name Elie is ranked the 1,504th most popular surname with an estimated 3,902 people with that name. [8]

Ireland Migration of the Elie family to Ireland

Some of the Elie family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Elie migration to the United States +

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Elie were among those contributors:

Elie Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Nathaniel Elie, who landed in Virginia in 1622 [9]
Elie Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Nicholas Elie, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738 [9]
  • Niehell Elie, aged 27, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1738 [9]
  • Martin Elie, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1764 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Elie (post 1700) +

  • Lolis Edward Elie (d. 2017), American lawyer in New Orleans who was very active in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Paul Elie (b. 1965), American writer and editor, best known for his book The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage
  • Lolis Eric Elie (b. 1963), American writer, journalist, documentary filmmaker, and food historian best known for his work as story editor of the HBO drama Treme and story editor of AMC's Hell on Wheels
  • Mario Antoine Elie (b. 1963), American basketball coach and former basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA)
  • Fréderic José Elie (1946-2023), Haitian-born Venezuelan footballer and manager
  • Romain Élie (b. 1985), French professional football defender who plays for Beauvais Oise
  • Roberto Elie (b. 1959), Venezuelan footballer who competed in the men's tournament at the 1980 Summer Olympics
  • Remi Elie (b. 1995), Canadian professional ice hockey forward from Green Valley, Ontario
  • Mbonda Elie, Cameroon politician, member of the Pan-African Parliament, member of the Health, Labor and Social Affairs Committee
  • Jacob Job Elie, French Divisional General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 [10]

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  3. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  6. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  9. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  10. Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, March 4) Jacob Elie. Retrieved from on Facebook