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Origins of the Ellis surname

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What does the name Ellis mean?

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.

Alternative variations of the name Ellis

Ellis, Ellys, Elis, Elliss, Elias

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Where do most Ellises live?

In 1921, most Ellises lived in Yorkshire.

Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

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

Common jobs for Ellises

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for Ellises in 1921


Domestic Servant




General Servant Domestic


House Servant


Common Male occupations for Ellises in 1921
Agricultural Labourer


Coal Miner


General Labourer




Farm Labourer


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Census records provide incredible detail on names, ages, marital statuses, occupations and more.

We found over 400,000 family trees with the Ellis surname

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