ELMERS 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. Hereditary surnames were originally imported from France into England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the two centuries or so after the Conquest surnames were acquired by most families of major landholders, and many landed families of lesser importance. There appears to have been a constant trickle of migration into Britain between about the years 1200 and 150O, mostly from France and the Low Countries, with a small number of migrants from Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and the Iberian peninsular, and occasional individuals from further afield. During this period groups of aliens settled in this country as for example, the Germans who from the late 15th century onwards settled in Cumbria to work the metal mines. Immigration during this time had only a small effect on the body of surnames used in Britain. In many cases, the surnames of immigrants were thoroughly Anglicised. The late sixteenth century saw the arrival, mostly in London and the south-coast ports of large numbers of people fleeing from the war regions of France. 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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