Show ContentsEllerman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Ellerman comes from the German region of Westphalia. The tradition of adopting hereditary surnames came to Germany after the 12th century, and the names of places where people lived were a primary source. Many local names carry the prefix "von", meaning "of" or "from," which was originally an indicator of land ownership, and is sometimes a mark of nobility. The Ellerman family originally lived by an alder tree. Ancient records reveal the name Ellerman is derived from the Old German word elre or alre, which means alder. There are also numerous places named Eller in the northern German states, such as the Rhine and Moselle areas, which adopted the name of an old stream called the Ellera. Thus, the name Ellerman is both a topographic surname, a type of local surname that was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree, and a habitation name, a type of local name that was originally derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Ellerman family

The surname Ellerman was first found in Westphalia, where the family emerged in mediaeval times as one of the notable families of the region. From the 13th century the surname was identified with the great social and economic evolution which made this territory a landmark contributor to the development of the nation.

Early History of the Ellerman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ellerman research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1354, 1424, 1680, 1690 and 1730 are included under the topic Early Ellerman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ellerman Spelling Variations

In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Ellerman include Eller, Ellers, Eler, Aller, Aler, Ellern, Ellere, Elera, Ellera, Ellerer and many more.

Early Notables of the Ellerman family (pre 1700)

Notables of the period with the name Ellerman were Wolf Ernst von Eller (d. 1680), who was the Governor of Minden and Sparenberg, a military general, and Privy Councillor for defense to the prince...
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ellerman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ellerman Ranking

In the United States, the name Ellerman is the 15,525th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

United States Ellerman migration to the United States +

For many Germans, emigration to North America was an inviting alternative to the trials of life in the old country. From the mid-17th into the present century, thousands of Germans migrated across the Atlantic. They capitalized on the chance to escape poverty and persecution, and to own their own land. After 1650, Germans settled throughout the states of Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many also landed in Canada, settling in Ontario or father west on the rich land of the prairies. Among them:

Ellerman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Herod Ellerman, who arrived in New York in 1834 [2]
  • John Ellerman, who landed in New York, NY in 1834 [2]
  • Henry Ellerman, who landed in New York, NY in 1835 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Ellerman (post 1700) +

  • Derek Ellerman (b. 1978), American social entrepreneur and co-founder of Polaris Project
  • David Patterson Ellerman (b. 1943), American philosopher and author who works in the fields of economics and political economy
  • John N. Ellerman, American politician, Member of South Dakota State House of Representatives 9th District, 1907-08 [3]
  • Herman Ellerman, American politician, U.S. Collector of Internal Revenue for South Dakota, 1909 [3]
  • Helen Ellerman, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kansas, 1984 [3]
  • Ellis T. Ellerman, American Republican politician, Member of Missouri State House of Representatives from St. Charles County, 1949-50 [3]
  • Sir John Reeves Ellerman (1909-1973), 2nd Baronet, an English shipowner, natural historian and philanthropist, only son and heir of the English shipowner and investor John Ellerman
  • Juul Ellerman (b. 1965), Dutch former footballer, who played as a winger or as a central forward
  • Sir John Reeves Ellerman CH (1862-1933), 1st Baronet, an English shipowner and investor, believed to be the richest man in England during his lifetime

The Ellerman 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: Gloria virtutis umbra
Motto Translation: Glory is the shadow of virtue.

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. 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)
  3. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 12) . Retrieved from on Facebook