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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Elton family come from? What is the English Elton family crest and coat of arms? When did the Elton family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Elton family history?

Of all the Anglo-Saxon names to come from Britain, Elton is one of the most ancient. The name is a result of the original family having lived in the village of Elton, which was in the county of Cheshire.


The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Elton has been spelled many different ways, including Elton, Eltone, Helton, Ellton and others.

First found in Cheshire, at Elton, a village and civil parish which dates back to the Domesday Book where it was listed as Eltone. [1] There are at least five other villages named Elton scattered throughout Britain but this locale seems to be the oldest. The name has various different origins, but the most prominent meaning is "farmstead where eels are caught." Others include: "farmstead of the princes;" "farmstead of a man called Ella;" and "farmstead associated with a man called AEthel."


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Elton research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Elton History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Elton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Eltons to arrive in North America:

Elton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Ann Elton, who landed in Maryland in 1638
  • Ed Elton settled in Virginia in 1653
  • John Elton, who arrived in Maryland in 1661
  • Anthony Elton settled in West New Jersey in 1664
  • Jno Elton, who landed in Virginia in 1665

Elton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • William Elton arrived in Pennsylvania in 1771

Elton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Miles Elton, aged 22, landed in Maryland in 1813

Elton Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Luther Elisha Hall Elton, who arrived in Canada in 1841

Elton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Henry Elton arrived in Port Phillip aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1849

Elton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Edward Elton landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840


  • Geoffrey Rudolph Elton (1921-1994), English historian
  • Charles Isaac Elton (1839-1900), English lawyer and antiquary
  • Charles Sutherland Elton (1900-1991), English zoologist and animal ecologist awarded the Darwin Medal in 1970
  • Ben Elton (b. 1959), English comedian, author, playwright and television director
  • Oliver Elton (1861-1945), English literary historian
  • Lewis Richard Benjamin Elton (b. 1923), British physicist
  • Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Cockayne Elton (1832-1888), English recipient of the Victoria Cross


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: Artibus et armis
Motto Translation: By arts and arms.


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  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)

Other References

  1. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  2. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  6. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  8. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  10. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  11. ...

The Elton Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Elton Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 21 March 2014 at 11:00.

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