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Elleman Coat of Arms / Elleman Family Crest

The surname of ELLEMAN was an occupational name derived from the Old English 'oelemann' a seller of oil. In post Conquest documents (1066) the innumerable surnames of the occupational type were almost invariably in Latin. Other spellings of the name include ELLMAN, ELYMAN, ELLMANN and ALLMAN. The small villages of Europe, or royal and noble households, even large religious dwellings and monasteries, gave rise to many family names, which reflected the occupation or profession of the original bearer of the name. Following the Crusades in Europe in the 11th 12th and 13th centuries a need was felt for an additional name. This was recognized by those of gentle birth, who realised that it added prestige and practical advantage to their status.At what point they became hereditary is a difficult problem, but it was likely about the 12th century. Early records of the name mention Thomas Elyman who was recorded in the year 1377 in County Leicestershire and Ehelreda Elyman, was documented in 1381 in County Suffolk. Roger le Elymaker appears in 1344 in County Somerset. The name was originally from the medieval given name Elis meaning 'Jehovah is God' and was originally borne by a biblical prophet, but its popularity among Christians in the Middle Ages, was a result of its adoption by various early saints, as for example a 7th century bishop of Syracuse and a 9th century Spanish Martyr. In Wales this surname seems to have absorbed forms derived from the Welsh personal name Elisedd, meaning one who was kindly and benevolent. A notable member of this name was Richard ELLMANN (l9l8-87) American biographer and academic, born in Detroit, Michigan. He graduated from Yale University and after the war he lived in Dublin for a year, where he wrote his first book, 'Yeats: the man and the Mask' (l948). Some ten years later came his masterful biography of James Joyce, now accepted as one of the pinnacles of 20th century biography, as much for its elegant composition as its astute judgement and erudition. His biography of Oscar Wilde (l987) a 20 year labour of love, was published posthumously to universal acclaim.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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