What is the origin of the last name Ellison?

The last name Ellison has its origin in both English and Scottish roots. In England, the name Ellison originated as a patronymic surname derived from the given name "Ellis," which is itself a variant of the name "Elijah." "Elijah" is a biblical name of Hebrew origin meaning "My God is Yahweh." Alternatively, the Scottish variant of Ellison is a locational surname derived from the place name "Elphinstone" in East Lothian. "Elphinstone" is a compound name derived from the Old English word "ælf," meaning "elf," and the Old Norse word "steinn," meaning "stone." Thus, the surname Ellison has diverse origins rooted in both biblical and geographical contexts.

Countries of origin for the last name Ellison

The last name Ellison is a relatively common surname in the United States. It has its origins in England, and can be traced back to the medieval period. The name is of patronymic origin, which means that it indicates a person’s descent from a male ancestor. In the case of Ellison, it signifies “the son of Ellis” or “the son of Elias”.

The personal name Ellis itself is derived from the Hebrew name “Elijah”, meaning “my God is Yahweh”. It was a popular name in medieval England, particularly among the Jewish community, and gradually evolved into the surname Ellison. This suggests that early bearers of the surname may have had Jewish ancestry.

Evidence of the surname Ellison can be found in various historical records. For instance, there are records of individuals named William Ellison and John Ellison living in Yorkshire, England, in the 13th century. These records indicate that the surname was already in use during this time and was likely passed down through generations.

The migration of people with the Ellison surname to the United States began in the 17th century, as part of the broader European migration to the Americas. Many Ellison families settled in the Southern states, such as North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. This geographic distribution suggests that the surname may have been more prevalent in these regions.

Over time, the descendants of these early Ellison settlers spread across the country, leading to the surname’s presence in various states. Today, Ellison is a relatively common surname in the United States, with a significant number of individuals bearing the name.

As with many surnames, there are variations in spelling and pronunciation of Ellison. These variations can be attributed to factors such as regional accents, transcription errors, and individual preferences. Some common variants of Ellison include Elison, Elyson, and Elleson.

In conclusion, the last name Ellison has its roots in medieval England and is of patronymic origin. It likely originated from the personal name Ellis, which itself derived from the Hebrew name Elijah. The surname Ellison can be found in historical records, and its migration to the United States occurred in the 17th century. Today, it remains a relatively common surname in the country. Despite the wealth of information available, there are still gaps in our knowledge of specific individuals and their stories associated with the Ellison surname. These gaps serve as a reminder of the ongoing possibilities for further research and discovery.

Interesting facts about the last name Ellison

  • Ellison is a surname of English and Scottish origin.
  • The name is derived from the medieval personal name ‘Elisant’ which means ‘noble spirit’.
  • It can also be traced back to the Gaelic personal name ‘Elisneach’, meaning ‘son of Elisneach’ or ‘son of the chosen one’.
  • Ellison is a patronymic surname, indicating that it originally referred to the son of someone named Ell or Elisant.
  • According to the 2010 United States Census, Ellison is the 1,251st most common surname in the United States.
  • Famous individuals with the surname Ellison include American novelist Ralph Ellison, co-founder of Oracle Corporation Larry Ellison, and American actress Jennifer Ellison.
  • The Ellison family has roots in various parts of England, including Yorkshire, Lancashire, Durham, and Suffolk.
  • The surname Ellison may also have Jewish origins, with some individuals adopting it after emigrating to England.
  • The name has variants such as Elliss and Elickson.
  • Ellison is also a common given name for boys in some English-speaking countries, although it is more frequently used as a surname.

Name Rank


There are around 42827 people with the last name Ellison in the US

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