Ellasmere History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Ellasmere family

The surname Ellasmere was first found in Shropshire at Ellesmere, a market-town and parish, and the head of a union. "This place derives its name from an adjoining lake or mere, which, being the largest of several in the neighbourhood, was distinguished by the appellation of Aelsmere, or the principal lake. It had at a very early period a strong castle, which in the reign of John was, with the manor, given in marriage with the natural daughter of that monarch to Llewelyn, Prince of North Wales." [1]

The family name was first referenced in the year 1377 when David Ellysmere held a family seat in Warwickshire. He is believed to have originated at Ellesmere in the county Salop (Shropshire.)

The Ellesmere Chaucer, or Ellesmere Manuscript of the Canterbury Tales, is an early 15th-century illuminated manuscript of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, currently owned by the Huntington Library, in San Marino, California. It was originally owned by John de Vere, 12th Earl of Oxford (1408-1462), but passed on to Sir Thomas Egerton (1540-1617), Baron Ellesmere and Viscount Brackley and was so named from that period on.

Ellesmere Castle was a motte and bailey castle that was probably founded by Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury (died 1094.) The castle was destroyed in the English civil war, but today little can be seen of the former structure as the sides of the motte are covered by trees.

Early History of the Ellasmere family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ellasmere research. Another 61 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Ellasmere History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ellasmere Spelling Variations

Ellasmere has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Spelling variants included: Ellesmere, Ellismere, Ellasmere, Ellysmere and others.

Early Notables of the Ellasmere family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Ellasmere Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Ellasmere family

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Ellasmeres to arrive on North American shores: settlers, who arrived along the eastern seaboard, from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands.



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


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