Show ContentsElmes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Elmes is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Elmes family once lived as dwellers by the elms. The name means at the elms from the residence beside a clump of elm-trees.

Early Origins of the Elmes family

The surname Elmes was first found in Lancashire 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 Elmes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Elmes research. Another 178 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1316, 1317, 1339, 1356, 1646 and 1705 are included under the topic Early Elmes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Elmes Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Elmes family name include Elms, Elmes and others.

Early Notables of the Elmes family

Notables of the family at this time include

  • Thomas Elmes of Warrington...
  • There is an Augustine Elmes (1646?-1705), on record in Britain, who was a member of the Jesuit Religious Order...

United States Elmes migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Elmes surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Elmes Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Rodolphus Elmes, (Emes), from Surrey, aged 15, who arrived in New England in 1635 aboard the ship "Planter" 1
  • Rodolphus Elmes, who arrived in New England in 1645 1
  • Tho Elmes, who landed in Virginia in 1663 1
  • Martha Elmes, who arrived in Virginia in 1664 1
  • Joyce Elmes, who landed in Maryland in 1665 1
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Elmes Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Alfred Elmes, who arrived in New York in 1900 1

West Indies Elmes 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. 2
Elmes Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Mr. Richard Elmes, (b. 1614), aged 21, British settler traveling aboard the ship "John" arriving in St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 3

Contemporary Notables of the name Elmes (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Elmes, American politician, Member of Connecticut State Senate 5th District, 1871-72 4
  • James Elmes (1782-1862), English architect and antiquary, son of Samuel Elmes, born in London 15 Oct. 1782 5
  • Harvey Lonsdale Elmes (1813-1847), English architect, the son and pupil of James Elmes 5
  • John Elmes Beale (1847-1928), English politician and merchant, Mayor of Bournemouth in 1902, 1903 and 1904

HMS Royal Oak
  • Alfred Elmes, British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking 6

  1. 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. Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's. Retrieved October 4th 2021 from
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from
  5. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020
  6. Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from on Facebook