The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burke's General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. This English surname of ELLINGTON is a habitation name from places in Cambridge, Kent, Northumberland and north Yorkshire; most are so called from the Old English ELLINGTUN (settlement). The name is also spelt ELINGTON. Habitation names were originally acquired by the original bearer of the name, who, having lived by, at or near a place, would then take that name as a form of identification for himself and his family. When people lived close to the soil as they did in the Middle Ages, they were acutely conscious of every local variation in landscape and countryside. Every field or plot of land was identified in normal conversation by a descriptive term. If a man lived on or near a hill or mountain, or by a river or stream, forests and trees, he might receive the word as a family name. Almost every town, city or village in early times, has served to name many families. Early records of the name include John de ELLINGTON, who was recorded in Lincolnshire in 1273, and Ricardus de Elyngton of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Later instances of the name include Paull Wright and Ann ELLINGTON, who were married at St. Peter, Cornhill, London in the year 1640. A notable member of the name was Duke Edward Kennedy ELLINGTON (1899-1974) the American pianist, composer and bandleader, born in Washington DC. He received his only formal musical lessons as a child through elementary piano lessons, but was influenced while young by church music and burlesque theatre. After forming bands to play at parties he led his first regular group, the Washingtonians in New York in 1924. He became one of the most important of jazz composers, producing about 2,000 works. From the 1930's his orchestras were usually composed of around sixteen musicians. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.
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