Elmslie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The present generation of the Elmslie family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived in Yorkshire, where they derived the family name from Helmsley. It was in the West Riding of Yorkshire, but has been lost to modern maps. The place-name was probably derived from the Old English personal name Helm, and ley or leah, which were Old English words for "a clearing in the woods." The translation of the place-name was "clearing belonging to Helm." [1]

Early Origins of the Elmslie family

The surname Elmslie was first found in Yorkshire at Helmsley, a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the wapentake of Ryedale. The town dates back to the time of Richard I. [2] The Domesday Book of 1086 lists the town as Elmeslac. [3] Helmsley Castle (also known anciently as Hamlake) is a medieval castle originally constructed in wood around 1120 by Walter l'Espec (died 1153.)

Early History of the Elmslie family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Elmslie research. Another 138 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Elmslie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Elmslie Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Elmslie include Elmslie, Elmsley, Emsley, Elmesley, Helmsley, Emesley, Emesly, Ernele and many more.

Early Notables of the Elmslie family (pre 1700)

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

United States Elmslie migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Elmslie were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Elmslie Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Elmslie, who settled in Boston in 1768
Elmslie Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alexander Elmslie, who settled in Philadelphia in 1802

New Zealand Elmslie 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:

Elmslie Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Elmslie, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Inflexible" in 1870

Contemporary Notables of the name Elmslie (post 1700) +

  • George Grant Elmslie (1869-1952), Scottish-born, American Prairie School architect
  • Kenward Gray Elmslie, American poet and author
  • George Alexander Elmslie (1861-1918), Australian politician, was the 25th Premier of Victoria

Empress of Ireland
  • Mrs. Jane Elmslie (1858-1914), née Christie Canadian Second Class Passenger from Moosomin, Saskatchewan, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [4]

The Elmslie 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: Prenez garde
Motto Translation: Take care.

  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 16) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html

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