Show ContentsElms History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Elms date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Elms family 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 Elms family

The surname Elms 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 Elms family

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

Elms Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Elms are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Elms include: Elms, Elmes and others.

Early Notables of the Elms family (pre 1700)

Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Elms Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Elms Ranking

In the United States, the name Elms is the 11,884th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1] However, in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Elms is ranked the 780th most popular surname with an estimated 53 people with that name. [2]

United States Elms migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Elms or a variant listed above:

Elms Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Edward Elms, who arrived in America in 1725
  • Samuel Elms who settled in Virginia in 1734
Elms Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Elms, who arrived at New London, CT in 1816
  • James Elms, who arrived in New London, Connecticut in 1816 [3]
  • Rossington Elms, aged 23, who landed in Missouri in 1845 [3]
  • Edward Elms, aged 52, who arrived in Missouri in 1845 [3]
  • Harriet Elms, aged 30, who landed in New York in 1862 [3]

Canada Elms migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Elms Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Elms U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [4]

Australia Elms migration to Australia +

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

Elms Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Ambrose Elms, (b. 1813), aged 24, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 14 years for theft, transported aboard the "Elphinstone" on 27th May 1837, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [5]
  • Mr. Henry Elms, English convict who was convicted in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Egyptian" on 5th April 1839, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Thomas Elms, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Phoebe" in 1846 [7]

New Zealand Elms 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:

Elms Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Robert Elms, (b. 1835), aged 25, English farm labourer from Somerset travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "William Miles" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st August 1860 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Elms (post 1700) +

  • Frederick Elms (b. 1946), American cinematographer
  • John Emmanuel Elms (1874-1951), English first-class cricketer
  • Richard Burtenshaw Elms (b. 1949), former English cricketer
  • Robert Elms (b. 1959), English writer and broadcaster
  • Henry Elms, Australian rules coach
  • Albert Elms (1920-2009), British composer and arranger
  • Steven Elms (b. 1975), Canadian speed skater
  • Viktor Sebastian Elms (b. 1985), Swedish footballer
  • Rasmus Cristoffer Elms (b. 1988), Swedish footballer
  • David Elms (b. 1983), Swedish footballer
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  3. 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)
  4. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 18th March 2022). Retrieved from
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 26th January 2022). Retrieved from
  7. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PHEOBE/PHOEBE 1845. Retrieved from
  8. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from on Facebook