The surname of ELLMER was a baptismal name 'the son of Aylmer' an ancient and popular font name, now forgotten. The name was derived from the Old English word 'Aeoelmar' meaning 'battle-famous' and Ailmar (without surname) listed in the Domesday Book as a tenant-in-chief, appears to be the first of the name on record. Godwinus filius Elmari, was documented in the year 1115, and Ailmerus le Bercher was recorded in Berkshire in the year 1208. Following the crusades in Europe in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, a need was felt for a family name to replace the one given at birth, or in addition to it. This was recognized by those of noble birth, and particularly by those who went on the Crusades, as it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification. Other records of the name mention Eylmer filius Sirich, 1273, County Oxford. Elmericus de Besye, was documented in the County of Suffolk, ibid. Walter Elmer was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) and William Elmar of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Richarde Carter and Cecily Ellmar were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1574.
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