Elsmere History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Early Origins of the Elsmere family
The surname Elsmere was first found in Shropshire at Ellesmere, a market-town and parish, and the head of a union. "This place derives its name from an adjoining lake or mere, which, being the largest of several in the neighbourhood, was distinguished by the appellation of Aelsmere, or the principal lake. It had at a very early period a strong castle, which in the reign of John was, with the manor, given in marriage with the natural daughter of that monarch to Llewelyn, Prince of North Wales." 
The family name was first referenced in the year 1377 when David Ellysmere held a family seat in Warwickshire. He is believed to have originated at Ellesmere in the county Salop (Shropshire.)
The Ellesmere Chaucer, or Ellesmere Manuscript of the Canterbury Tales, is an early 15th-century illuminated manuscript of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, currently owned by the Huntington Library, in San Marino, California. It was originally owned by John de Vere, 12th Earl of Oxford (1408-1462), but passed on to Sir Thomas Egerton (1540-1617), Baron Ellesmere and Viscount Brackley and was so named from that period on.
Ellesmere Castle was a motte and bailey castle that was probably founded by Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury (died 1094.) The castle was destroyed in the English civil war, but today little can be seen of the former structure as the sides of the motte are covered by trees.
Early History of the Elsmere family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Elsmere research. Another 61 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Elsmere History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Elsmere Spelling Variations
Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Elsmere include Ellesmere, Ellismere, Ellasmere, Ellysmere and others.
Early Notables of the Elsmere family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Elsmere Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Elsmere family
A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: settlers, who arrived along the eastern seaboard, from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands.
Contemporary Notables of the name Elsmere (post 1700) +
- Brigadier Arthur Elsmere McCausland (1897-1984), Australian Director of Engineer Stores, Army Headquarters in 1945 
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