ELLERBY, ELLABY, ELLERBEE, etc.
Origin of the ELLERBY Name
The origin of ELLERBY as a place name is Scandinavian. It comes from "Aelfweard's farm", and over the years it transformed - "Aulerdebi", "Ewardeby", "Elwardby," "Elerdebey". The Normans brought the ELLERBY name to northeastern England, and several villages in Yorkshire still carry the name.
As a surname, a number of variations are found: ELLABY, ELEBY, ELERBY, ELLERBE, ELLERBEE, ELLERBIE, ELLERBY, ELLIBEE, ELLOBIE, ELLOBY, ELLOPIE, ELLOWBIE, HELLOWBIE, etc.
In the USA, the name appears to have mainly come from England with one or more early colonial settlers who settled and spread into the southeastern coastal states. Since these southern states allowed slave ownership until the Civil War in the 1860s, the name also spread to the African-American population. ELLERBE, ELLERBEE, ELEBY, and ELLERBY are among the most common variations of the name, with the ELEBY spelling appearing to be exclusively African-American. The ELLIBEE family appears to be a branch of the southern ELLERBE(E) family who moved to Indiana and Ohio in the early 1800s. For more information on the ELLERBEE/ELLERBE/ELLIBEE and related families in the USA, see the book, The Ellerbe Family History by Ronald William Ellerbe (Baltimore: Gateway Press, Inc., 1986). Unfortunately, the book is now out of print, but it is available in the major genealogy libraries in the USA. With just a couple of exceptions, all of theELLABYs in the USA belong to a single family, of which I am a descendant. This ELLABY family arrived in the USA from England circa 1830, settling in the Louisville, Kentucky area by 1834.
ELLERBY is the most common spelling in Canada. There appear to be more than one line of the name in Canada, due to several separate families emigrating from England at different times from the 1830s and later.
While rare, a few ELLERBYs and ELLABYs are also found in Australia, and New Zealand. I do not have much family information as yet on the name in these locations. As in England, the ELLERBY spelling is found more frequently than ELLABY.
And, naturally, the ELLERBY surname is found in Scandanavia. I have not done much research on the name is this area of the world as yet, so I have little information on spelling variations in the Scandanavian countries. ALLERBY and ELLEBY are two common spellings I have come across in American immigration records, while ELLEBY and ELLEBYE appear to be the official spellings in Denmark.
ELLERBY One-Name Project
I am collecting information on the ELLERBY, ELLABY, ELEBY, ELLERBEE, etc. families worldwide, and I now have about 10,000 individuals in my database. Please feel free to inquire if I have information on your ancestors. If you would like to share your family data with me, I'd be pleased to put you in contact with anyone else I come across researching the same line!
The information on the origins of the ELLERBY name came from information shared with me by Conrad Plowman of England, and from information posted to the Ellerbee Family Genealogy Forum. Alison Fernandes provided data on the frequency of ELLABY and ELLERBY in Australia.
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Last updated Friday, 08-Aug-2008 20:31:09 MDT
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