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Home: Surnames: Elston Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Origins of the Elston name
Posted by: Ted Elston Date: August 02, 2001 at 05:02:11
In Reply to: Origins of the Elston name by Jim Elston of 867

Here's a description of the Elston Surname some one sent me 20 years ago.
Thought maybe you would like it.
Also have copy of Coat of Arms-(English) version. Will try to copy and send via email later.
Ted Elston

Surname: Elston

The most ancient surname of Elston makes an impressive claim to being one of the oldest
Anglo/Saxon surnames on record.
The history of the name is closely woven into the intricate tapestry of the ancient chronicles of
Professional researchers have carefully scrutinized such ancient manuscripts as the Domesday
Book (1086), the Ragman Rolls (1291-1296), the Curia Regis Rolls, The Pipe Rolls, the Hearth
Rolls, parish registers, baptismals, tax records and other ancient documents and found the first
record of the name Elston in Nottinghamshire where they were seated from very ancient times,
some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066
AD. Many different spellings were encountered in the research of the surname. Although your
name, Elston, occurred in many scripts and documents, from time to time the surname was also
officially spelled Elston, Elstone, Elliston, Elsden, Elsdon, and these variations in spelling
frequently occurred, even between father and son. Scribes and church officials, often travelling
great distances, even from other countries, frequently spelt the names they were recording as they
heard it. As a result the same person could find different spellings of the name recorded on birth,
baptismal, marriage and death certificates as well as the other numerous records such as tax and
census records.
The saxon race gave birth to many English surnames not the least of which was the surname
Elston. The Saxons were invited into England by the ancient Britons in the 5th century. They
were a race of fair skinned people living along the Rhine valley and as far Northeast as Denmark
They were led by General/Commanders Hengist and Horsa. The Saxons settled in the county of
Kent, on the south east coast of England. Gradually, they probed north and westward, and during
the next four hundred years forced the Britons back into Wales and Cornwall in the west,
Cumberland to the north. The Angles, on the other hand, occupied the eastern coast, the south
folk in Suffolk ,north folk in Norfolk. Under Saxon rule England prospered under a series of
High Kings, of which was Harold. In 1066, the Norman invasion from France occurred and their
victory at the Battle of Hastings. gently, many of the vanquished Saxon land owners forfeited
their land to Duke William and his invading Norman nobles.Generally , the Saxons who
remained in the south were not treated well under Norman rule, and many moved northward to
the Midlands, Lancashire and Yorkshire away from the Norman oppression.
The notable English family name, Elston, emerged as an influential name in the county of
Nottingham where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity seated at Elston with manor
and estates in that shire. They flourished in this county for several centuries and by the 13th
century they had established important branches at Brockholes in Lancashire, Foxton in Durham,
and Barham in Sussex. They intermarried with the distinguished families of those counties.
Notable amongst the family at this time was Richard Elston of Elston.
During the middle ages the surname Elston flourished and played an important role in local
affairs and in the political development of England. During the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th
centuries England was ravaged by plagues and relgious conflict.
Puritanism, the newly found political fervour of Cromwellianism, and the remnants of the Roman
Church rejected all non believers, each promoting their own cause. The conflicts between
Church groups, the Crown and political groups all claimed their followers,
and their impositions, tithes, and demands on rich and poor alike broke the spirit of men and
many turned away from religion. .Many families were freely "encouraged" to migrate to Ireland,
or to the "colonies 'Some were rewarded with grants of lands,
-and others were banished.
Some families were forced to migrate to Ireland where they became known as the Adventurers
for land in Ireland. Protestant settlers "undertook" to keep their faith, being granted lands
previously owned by the Catholic Irish. They were known as the
"Undertakers" There is no evidence that the family name migrated to Ireland, but this does not
preclude the possibility of their scattered migration to that country.
The New World offered better opportunities and some migrated voluntarily, some were
banished mostly for religious reasons.
Some left IreIand disillusioned, but many left directly from England, their home territories. Some
also moved to the European continent.
Members of the family name Elston sailed aboard the huge armada of three masted sailing ships
known as the "White Sails" Atlantic. These overcrowded ships such as the Hector, the Dove and
the Rambler, were pestilence ridden, sometimes 30% t0 40% of the passenger list never
reaching their destination, their numbers reduced by dysentery, cholera, small pox and typhoid.

In North America, included amongst the first migrants which could be considered a kinsman of
the surname Elston, or a of that family name was John Elston who settled in Salem Mass. in
1630; John and Sarah Elston settled in Belfast Maine in I82O.

From the port of entry many settlers made their way west, joining the wagon trains to the
prairies or to the west coast.
During the War of Independence, many loyalists made their way north to Canada about 1790, and
became known as the United Empire Loyalist.

Contemporary notables of this surname, Elston, include many distinguished contributors; The family
name continued to make important contribution to the political and cultural life of the societies on
both sides of the Atlantic.


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