The surname of ELLISON was a baptismal name 'the son of Ellis or Elias'. The name was derived from the Old French Elisson. Early records of the name mention Elis Kneyt, 1273 County Buckinghamshire. Johannes Elynson of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll tax of 1379. Ellis Pigot of Didsbury, Manchester, was listed in the Wills at Chester in 1597. Ellis Pollard married Johanna Chapman in London in the year of 1548. The names introduced into Britain by the Normans during and in the wake of the Invasion of 1066, are nearly all territorial in origin. The followers of William the Conqueror were a pretty mixed lot, and while some of them brought the names of their castles and villages in Normandy with them, many were adventurers of different nationalities attached to William's standard by the hope of plunder, and possessing no family or territorial names of their own. Those of them who acquired lands in England were called by their manors, while others took the name of the offices they held or the military titles given to them, and sometimes, a younger son of a Norman landowner, on receiving a grant of land in his new home dropped his paternal name and adopted that of his newly acquired property. A notable member of the name is Ralph Waldo Ellison, born in 1914, the American novelist. Bookish as well as musical, he studied music. He has also published two books of Essays 'Shadow and the Act' (1964) and 'Going to the Territory'. 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. The eagle depicted in the arms is emblematical of fortitude and magnanimity of mind. The Romans used the figure of an eagle for their ensign, and their example has been often followed. It is the device of Russia, Austria, Germany and the United States of America.
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