Show ContentsElphinstone History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Elphinstone family

The surname Elphinstone was first found in Midlothian, where they were granted lands by King Robert the I of Scotland. Elvington is a parish in the East Riding or Yorkshire. "This place derives its name, according to some, from the ancient eel-fisheries in the district; according to others, from Aluf, a Saxon, to whom Elvington, then written Alvintone, is described in Domesday Book as belonging: some, again, deduce it from the Latin Alveus." [1]

Early History of the Elphinstone family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Elphinstone research. Another 139 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1300, 1431, 1510, 1513, 1514, 1530, 1547, 1552, 1553, 1577, 1602, 1612, 1638, 1647, 1648, 1649, 1654, 1669 and 1718 are included under the topic Early Elphinstone History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Elphinstone Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Elphinstone, Elphinston, Elphingston and many more.

Early Notables of the Elphinstone family

Notable among the family at this time was

  • William Elphinstone (1431-1514), Scottish statesman, Bishop of Aberdeen and founder of the University of Aberdeen
  • Alexander Elphinstone, 1st Lord Elphinstone (died 1513) killed at the Battle of Flodden in September 1513
  • Alexander Elphinstone, 2nd Lord Elphinstone (1510-1547)
  • Robert Elphinstone, 3rd Lord Elphinstone (1530-1602)
  • Alexander Elphinstone, 4th Lord Elphinstone (1552-1638)
  • James Elphinstone, 1st Lord Balmerino (1553? - 1612), a Scottish nobleman and politician
  • Alexander Elphinstone, 5th Lord Elphinstone (1577-1648)
  • Alexander Elphinstone, 6th Lord Elphinstone (d. 1654)
  • Alexander Elphinstone, 7th Lord Elphinstone (1647-1669)
  • John Elphinstone, 8th Lord Elphinstone (1649-1718)

United States Elphinstone migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Elphinstone Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alexander Elphinstone, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1860

Australia Elphinstone migration to Australia +

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

Elphinstone Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Elphinstone, a joiner, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • John Mackenzie Elphinstone, aged 32, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [2]
  • Mr. William Elphinstone, British Convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asiatic" on 26th May 1843, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]

New Zealand Elphinstone 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:

Elphinstone Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • J Elphinstone, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "New Great Britain" arriving in Bluff, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 10th August 1863 [4]
  • Jessie Elphinstone, aged 19, a servant, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dunedin" in 1875 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Elphinstone (post 1700) +

  • Alexander Mountstuart Elphinstone (b. 1980), 19th Lord Elphinstone and 5th Baron Elphinstone, a British peer
  • James Alexander Elphinstone (1953-1994), 18th Lord Elphinstone, 4th Baron Elphinstone
  • John Elphinstone GCB GCH PC (1807-1860), 13th Lord Elphinstone and 1st Baron Elphinstone, Scottish soldier, politician and colonial administrator
  • Mountstuart Elphinstone (1779-1859), Scottish colonial administrator
  • George Keith Elphinstone (1746-1823), Scottish naval officer
  • Mary Frances Buller-Fullerton- Elphinstone DCVO (1883-1961), Lady Elphinstone and Baroness Elphinstone, maternal aunt and godparent of Queen Elizabeth II
  • John Elphinstone (1722-1785), British naval officer
  • Major-General William George Keith Elphinstone CB (1782-1842), British Army officer
  • David Elphinstone, Australian architect and builder
  • John Elphinstone (1914-1975), 17th Baron Elphinstone

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anson voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1843 with 499 passengers. Retrieved from
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from
  4. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  5. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 9th November 2011). Retrieved from on Facebook