Skip to content
  • Start free trial

Origins of the Ellis surname

A collage of historical images including two family portraits and a postcard of people boarding a ship

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

I’ve managed to trace back to the mid-1500s! I can’t believe it! Utterly engrossing and I have uncovered some quite moving and heartbreaking stories attached to various ancestors. You don’t need any qualifications to start - just time patience, and some information.

SS
Stuart
TrustPilot review
1 of 3

Start your family tree

Trace your family back in time. Make new discoveries and see what other Findmypast family historians in our genealogy community have discovered about the Ellises.

Sign up to get started

Delve deeper into the Ellis family's history

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?

Smiths

&

Joneses

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
Dressmaker

1,987

Domestic Servant

1,082

Laundress

1,032

General Servant Domestic

1,021

House Servant

923

Common Male occupations for Ellises in 1921
Agricultural Labourer

1,761

Coal Miner

1,705

General Labourer

1,523

Farmer

1,436

Farm Labourer

1,131

An image of a census transcript and a picture of a dairy farmer holding two milk jugs

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

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

Trace your family back in time and see what other Findmypast family historians in our genealogy community have discovered about the Ellises.

Search for a relative in our family trees

Share your discoveries

Find out more about your family in our records

or try an advanced search

Start your family history journey

Start free trial

Start free trial