Elsmore History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Elsmore family

The surname Elsmore 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." [1]

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 Elsmore family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Elsmore research. Another 61 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Elsmore History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Elsmore Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Elsmore have been found, including Ellesmere, Ellismere, Ellasmere, Ellysmere and others.

Early Notables of the Elsmore family (pre 1700)

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

United States Elsmore migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Elsmore, or a variant listed above:

Elsmore Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Daniel Elsmore, who arrived in Maryland in 1651 [2]
  • Eliza Elsmore, who landed in Virginia in 1653 [2]

New Zealand Elsmore 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:

Elsmore Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • J Elsmore, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • Thomas Elsmore, aged 28, a farm labourer, who arrived in Malborough aboard the ship "Gainsborough" in 1878 [3]
  • Martha Elsmore, aged 27, who arrived in Malborough aboard the ship "Gainsborough" in 1878 [3]
  • Annie Elsmore, aged 3, who arrived in Malborough aboard the ship "Gainsborough" in 1878 [3]
  • Emily Elsmore, aged 1, who arrived in Malborough aboard the ship "Gainsborough" in 1878 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Elsmore (post 1700) +

  • Philip Elsmore (b. 1937), British actor and director

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Clifford B L Elsmore (1919-2002), English Ordinary Seaman from England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [4]

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 3rd November 2011). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  4. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html

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