Ellesmore History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Early Origins of the Ellesmore family
The surname Ellesmore 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." 
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.
Important Dates for the Ellesmore family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ellesmore research. Another 61 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Ellesmore History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ellesmore Spelling Variations
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Ellesmore has appeared include Ellesmere, Ellismere, Ellasmere, Ellysmere and others.
Early Notables of the Ellesmore family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Ellesmore Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ellesmore family
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Ellesmore arrived in North America very early: settlers, who arrived along the eastern seaboard, from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands.
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- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.