The Elliott (And Border Reivers) DNA Project is actively seeking Ellwood participants.
The purpose of this project is to use DNA markers to identify different family groupings among males of an Anglo-Scottish ancestry who bear the surnames Elliott or Ellwood, among other variations. These DNA markers reside on the Y chromosome. They are passed from father to son, and change very little over time. This makes them an excellent tool for tracing paternal descent.
Y chromosome DNA markers may also be used to suggest ethnic descent or "deep ancestry", as certain patterns in these markers prevail among particular population groups.
Both the Ellwoods and a major branch of the Elliott family are reputedly descended from paternal ancestors in medieval Cumbria who were named Elewald, Elwald or Elwold. Many genealogists claim that Elwald is derived from the Anglo-Saxon forename "Aelfwald", which means "Elf-Ruler". But Elwald could just as easily have evolved from the Norse name "Alfvaldr", which also means "Elf-Ruler" - or from the Norse words "Allvaldr" or "Allvald", which can mean "king", "sovereign", "giant" or "powerful".
A Norse origin for some strains of the Ellwood and Elliott families is a definite possibility, considering the extensive Norse settlement of Cumbria, the long persistence of Norse dialect in that region, and recent DNA studies that have shown Penrith - the ancestral home of many Ellwoods and Elliotts - to have the highest known concentration of Norwegian Y chromosomes in England. It is also worth remembering that one of the first scholars to translate the Icelandic Sagas into English was a man named T.H. Ellwood from Cumbria.
Others have suggested that Elwald comes from "Eld-wealh", which can mean "Old Welshman" or "Old Foreigner". This suggests not only that a few of the original Elwalds may have been Welsh, but also that some of them may have been Roman troops stationed in the vicinity of Hadrian's Wall. Areas where Roman troops are known to have settled, such as Ribchester in Lancashire, exhibit many place names containing words derived from "wealh", and some scholars believe that this word was applied by the Anglo-Saxons to such troops and their descendants.
During the Border Reiver period, the descendants of the Elwalds were known as either Ellwoods or Elliotts, and the two names were used interchangeably. Since then, the Elwalds who remained in England became largely Ellwoods, while those who remained in Scotland became largely Elliotts. Our project aims to genetically reunite the two families.
The Elliott (And Border Reivers) DNA Project hopes not only to demonstrate a relationship between the Elliott and Ellwood families, but also to reach some intelligent conclusion about their possible ancestry, as well as their relationship to other Anglo-Scottish clans that rode as Border Reivers centuries ago.
Please visit our website below, to learn more about the relationship between the Elliotts and the Ellwoods, and their possible origins.
If you are a male Ellwood, and have always been curious about the potential of DNA genealogy, this is your chance to have your Y chromosome tested. If you join our project, you may order a Y chromosome test from Family Tree DNA at the group rate, which offers a substantial discount.
If you are interested in our project, or simply want more information, please contact James V. Elliott at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Elliott (And Border Reivers) DNA Project promises to be a fascinating genealogical journey, and we sincerely hope that you will join us.
James V. Elliott
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