Show ContentsEllwood History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Ellwood is one of the oldest family names to come from the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from an ancient Chieftain titled Aldwold.

Early Origins of the Ellwood family

The surname Ellwood was first found in Gloucestershire at Ellwood, a hamlet in the Forest of Dean district. It is thought that the name could have had two origins: as a local name, as in someone from the aforementioned village; and having derived from the Old English personal name Aelfweald which has the elements oelf meaning "elf" + weald meaning "rule." [1] "Several tenants in chief in the Domesday [Book] are called Alwoldus or Aldwold, a contraction of the Anglo-Saxon Aethelwald. " [2]

Early History of the Ellwood family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ellwood research. Another 89 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1639, 1713 and are included under the topic Early Ellwood History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ellwood Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Ellwood has undergone many spelling variations, including Elwood, Ellwood, Ellward, Elward and others.

Early Notables of the Ellwood family (pre 1700)

Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ellwood Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ellwood Ranking

In the United States, the name Ellwood is the 18,728th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Ellwood family to Ireland

Some of the Ellwood family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Ellwood migration to the United States +

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 Ellwood were among those contributors:

Ellwood Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Ralph Ellwood who settled in New England in 1635
  • Ralph Ellwood, aged 28, who landed in New England in 1635 [4]
  • Mr. Ralph Ellwood, (b. 1607), aged 28, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Truelove" arriving in Massachusetts Bay in 1635 [5]
  • Thomas Ellwood, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682 [4]
  • Thomas Ellwood, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1682 with his wife and son and daughter
Ellwood Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Ellwood, who arrived in Colorado in 1889 [4]

Australia Ellwood migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Ellwood Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Emily Ellwood who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Cadet" on 4th September 1847, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [6]

New Zealand Ellwood migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Ellwood Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Michael Ellwood, (b. 1832), aged 28, British surveyor travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd December 1860 [7]
  • Mr. John Ellwood, (b. 1836), aged 24, British farm labourer travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd December 1860 [7]

West Indies Ellwood migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [8]
Ellwood Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Cipper Ellwood, who settled in Jamaica in 1685

Contemporary Notables of the name Ellwood (post 1700) +

  • Paul Murdock Ellwood Jr. (1926-2022), American health care pioneer, often referred to as the "father of the health maintenance organization," the term "HMO" was coined by Ellwood in a January 1970 Fortune Magazine article
  • Robert S. Ellwood (b. 1933), American academic, author and expert on world religions
  • Frank Ellwood, American football player and coach, active from 1958 to 1996
  • Isaac Leonard Ellwood (1833-1910), American rancher, businessman who patented a type of barbed wire in February 1874; his company would later merge with American Steel and Wire, a predecessor of United States Steel
  • Craig Ellwood (1922-1992), born Jon Nelson Burke, an American modernist architect
  • Charles A. Ellwood (1873-1946), American sociologist, professor of sociology at the University of Missouri
  • Thelma Ellwood, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1964 [9]
  • Reuben Ellwood (1821-1885), American Republican politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Schenectady County, 1851; U.S. Representative from Illinois 5th District, 1883-85 [9]
  • Livingston Ellwood, American Republican politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for New York, 1884 [9]
  • Lester Ellwood, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1972 [9]
  • ... (Another 9 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Ellwood 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: Fide et sedulitate
Motto Translation: With faith and diligence.

  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. 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)
  5. Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's. Retrieved October 6th 2021 from
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th November 2020). Retrieved from
  7. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  9. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from on Facebook