Ellerey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Ellerey was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the medieval given name Hillary, which was originally derived from the Latin personal name Hilarius, which means cheerful glad, happy and joyful.

"Fr Hilaire, Hilari, Lat hilaris ‘cheerful’, the name of several saints, in particular St Hilarius of Poitiers (d. 368). The name was popular in France and not uncommon in England." [1]

Early Origins of the Ellerey family

The surname Ellerey was first found in Worcester where the first record of the name was in Latin and as a forename: Hilarius Brunus who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1177. Following this, we found Richard Ilarie in the Assize Rolls for Staffordshire in 1227 and later, Willelmus Hillar (Ylarius) in the Pipe Rolls for Worcester in 1230. Rober and William Hillari were listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1275 in Lincolnshire and the Assize Rolls for Staffordshire in 1283. [1]

Hilary ( fl. 1125), was a medieval Latin poet, who "is supposed to have been a native of England from the fact that one of his poems narrates the life of Eva, an English recluse, who died in Anjou, as well as from various allusions in other of his poems, some of which are addressed to English friends." [2]

Hilary (d. 1169) was Bishop of Chichester, nominated to the bishopric in 1146, and consecrated by Archbishop Theobald at Canterbury 3 August 1147. "On the deposition of William, Archbishop of York, in the same year, the majority of the chapter chose Hilary, but Pope Eugenius III preferred Henry Murdac, the candidate of the minority. Hilary seems to have gone to France at this time, and to have endeavoured to defend King Stephen before the pope." [2]

Early History of the Ellerey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ellerey research. Another 85 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1206, 1763, 1722, 1734, 1752, 1758 and 1763 are included under the topic Early Ellerey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ellerey Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Hillary, Hillery and others.

Early Notables of the Ellerey family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Hillary (d. 1763), an English physician, "was a pupil of Boerhaave at Leyden, where he graduated M.D. in 1722, writing a dissertation on...
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ellerey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Ellerey family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Ellerey or a variant listed above were: Susan Hillery, who settled in Virginia in 1653; Nicholas Hillary, who settled in Nevis in 1654; William Hillary, who settled in Virginia in 1654; John Hillary, who settled in Charles Town in 1767.



  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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