Ely History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Ely family migrated to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The surname Ely is based on Fitz Elie, the name of a distinguished Norman family who came to England in 1066 with William the Conqueror's invasion.

Early Origins of the Ely family

The surname Ely was first found in Cambridgeshire at Ely, a city, and the head of a union, in the Isle of Ely. [1] [2]

"This place, which is the capital of an extensive district in the Fens, comprising the greater part of the northern division of Cambridgeshire, is supposed to have derived its Saxon name Elig either from the British Helyg, a willow, with which tree, from the marshy nature of the soil, it especially abounded, or, according to Bede, from Elge, an eel, for which fish it was equally remarkable. Ethelreda, daughter of Anna, King of the East Angles, founded a monastery here, in 673, for monks and nuns." [3]

The earliest records of the family were not from here, but in elsewhere at the time of the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273: Reginald filius Elye, Lincolnshire; and Gilbert Elye, Kent. [4]The Placita de Quo Warranto, temp. Edward I-III also listed John filius Elie, Lincolnshire, 20 Edward I (during the twentieth year of King Edward I's reign) In Norfolk, Nicholas de Ely was bailiff of Norwich, 1227. [5]

Nicholas of Ely (d. 1280), was Chancellor and successively Bbishop of Worcester and Winchester, and "may have derived his name from the fact that about 1249 he was appointed Archdeacon of Ely. He was also a few years later Prebendary of St. Paul's. There is, however, a Nicholas of Ely mentioned as prior of the Cluniac monastery of Daventry in Northamptonshire between 1231 and 1264. " [6]

Early History of the Ely family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ely research. Another 81 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1609, 1604, 1605, 1675, 1634 and 1656 are included under the topic Early Ely History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ely Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Ely include Ely, Elie, Ealy and others.

Early Notables of the Ely family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Ely (d. 1609), was an English Catholic divine, brother of Dr. Humphrey Ely and as born in Herefordshire, and educated at Brasenose College, Oxford. His brother, Humphrey Ely (d. 1604), was also an English Catholic divine and a native...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ely Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Ely family to Ireland

Some of the Ely family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Ely migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Elys to arrive on North American shores:

Ely Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mr. Ely, who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620 [7]
  • Walter Ely, who settled in Virginia in 1621
  • Elzabeth Ely, who landed in Virginia in 1622 [7]
  • Mrs. Ely, who arrived in Virginia in 1623 [7]
  • Elizabeth Ely who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Ely Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jane Ely, who landed in Virginia in 1711 [7]
  • Hans David Ely, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1732 [7]
  • Christien Ely, aged 49, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1732 [7]
  • David Ely, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1754 [7]
Ely Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • F Ely, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1803 [7]
  • G E Ely, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [7]
  • H C Ely, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [7]
  • H G Ely, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [7]
  • Mrs. C Ely, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [7]

Australia Ely migration to Australia +

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

Ely Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

Contemporary Notables of the name Ely (post 1700) +

  • John Daniel Ely (b. 1986), American contemporary Major League Baseball right-handed starting pitcher
  • Harry Ely, American Major League Baseball player who for the Baltimore Orioles in 1892
  • Harry A. Ely, American football and baseball coach, active from 1892 to 1893
  • Dudley Pettibone Ely (1817-1895), American politician, 1st and 3rd Mayor of South Norwalk, Connecticut (1870-1872), (1876-1877)
  • Arthur V. Ely (1912-1942), United States Navy officer who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his actions in combat during World War II
  • Richard Theodore Ely (1854-1943), American economist, founder and the first Secretary of the American Economic Association
  • Janet Ely (b. 1953), American gold and silver medalist diver in 1975
  • Eugene Burton Ely (1886-1911), American aviation pioneer, credited with the first shipboard aircraft take off and landing on November 14, 1910
  • Ronald Pierce "Ron" Ely (b. 1938), stage name of Ronald Pierce, American film actor, best known for having portrayed Tarzan in the 1966 NBC series Tarzan and for his starring role in the 1975 film Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze
  • Melvin Anderson Ely (b. 1978), American professional basketball player from Harvey, Illinois
  • ... (Another 61 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


Suggested Readings for the name Ely +

  • 2333 Descendants of William Ely and Richard Ely: Sons of Richard Ely, 1610-1685: With Some Account of the Elys of Wonston by Moses S. Beach.

  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  6. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/henry-tanner
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) TROUBADOUR 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Troubadour.gif


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