Elmsly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The ancestors of the name Elmsly date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from their residence 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." 
Early Origins of the Elmsly family
The surname Elmsly 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.  The Domesday Book of 1086 lists the town as Elmeslac.  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 Elmsly family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Elmsly research. Another 138 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Elmsly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Elmsly Spelling Variations
Elmsly has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Elmsly have been found, including Elmslie, Elmsley, Emsley, Elmesley, Helmsley, Emesley, Emesly, Ernele and many more.
Early Notables of the Elmsly family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Elmsly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Elmsly family
In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Elmslys to arrive on North American shores: Joseph Emsley, who settled in Philadelphia in 1864; John Emsley, who settled in Delaware in 1850; J.J. Emslie, who settled in San Francisco in 1853; Alexander Elmslie, who settled in Philadelphia in 1802.
Related Stories +
The Elmsly 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.
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)