Anglo-Saxon culture of England. It comes 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 Ellesley 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 Ellesley family
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Ellesley Spelling Variations
spelling variations, including Elsley, Elsey and others.
Early Notables of the Ellesley family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Ellesley family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. 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 Ellesley were among those contributors: 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 Ellesley 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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