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What does your surname mean?

As every genealogist knows, we're all the product of our family's history. But genetics aren't the only thing that we pass down the generations. Used to identify our familial bonds, surnames link us to even our most distant ancestors. If your curious about your family history, doing a surname search is a great place to start.

The origin of your last name can reveal a lot about your earliest ancestors' birthplaces, occupations and more.

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Surname of the Week


If you meet a Ellis, tell them...

Ellis is an English and Welsh surname, having been seen in documents dating back as early as the 1200s. It was a popular personal name of the medieval period and the surname Ellis derives from those who were the son or descendant of a person named Ellis, Elwys or Elias. Another, rarer hypothesised origin is from the French 'fleur-de-lys', being given to those who used the heraldic symbol in their coats of arms.

Interesting facts about Ellises

How common is your surname?

67th most common surname in the UK

We have 448,000 records for the Ellis surname. The oldest one dates back to 1220.

Who were Ellises most likely to marry?




Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Ellises.

What are the most common Ellis first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

Our birth record sets tell us the names of Ellis family members

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