Elman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought many new words to England from which surnames were formed. Elman was one of these new Norman names. It was specifically tailored to its first bearer, who was a person or family of German heritage. Further research showed the name was derived from the Anglo-Norman-French word aleman, which means German. [1]

Early Origins of the Elman family

The surname Elman was first found in Allemagne, [2] now known as Fleury-sur-Orne, near Caen in Normandy. There is no clear record of the family arriving in Britain but their voyage is of no doubt. Some of the first records of the name include listings in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273: Terric le Alemaund in Buckinghamshire; Henry de Alemania in Nottinghamshire; Bertram de Almannia in Lincolnshire and Robert Almene in Cambridgeshire. [3] John le Alemaund was listed in London in 1284. [4] The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list Willelmus Alman. [3]

Important Dates for the Elman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Elman research. Another 82 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 130 and 1304 are included under the topic Early Elman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Elman Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Almayne, Alman, Allman, Almand, Hallman, Allmaine, Almon, Almand, Altman, Allman, Ellman, Dalman and many more.

Early Notables of the Elman family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Elman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Elman family to Ireland

Some of the Elman family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Elman migration to the United States

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Elman or a variant listed above:

Elman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • S Elman, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1858 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Elman (post 1700)

  • Richard Elman (1934-1997), American novelist, poet, journalist, and teacher
  • Benjamin David "Jamie" Elman (b. 1976), American-born, Canadian raised actor, best known for his leading roles on Student Bodies and American Dreams
  • Benjamin A. Elman (b. 1946), American Gordon Wu '58 Professor of Chinese Studies, Princeton University
  • Ziggy Elman (1914-1968), stage name of Harry Aaron Finkelman, an American jazz trumpeter most associated with Benny Goodman
  • Dave Elman (1900-1967), born David Kopelman, American radio host, author and showman, primarily known for his book on hypnosis and as host of a popular radio show known as Hobby Lobby
  • Jeffrey Locke Elman (b. 1948), American psycholinguist, Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of California, San Diego
  • Mischa Elman (1891-1967), Ukraine-born, American Jewish violinist known for his passionate style and beautiful tone
  • Almaas Elman (d. 2019), Somali-Canadian humanitarian aid worker
  • Elman Rogers Service (1915-1996), American cultural anthropologist


  1. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  2. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ 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)
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