Elliott Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Elliott Surname Meaning

The surname Elliott has been seen by some (but not by others) as being derived from the Anglo-Saxon personal name Aelfward or Elewald, meaning “elf ruler.” This may have applied to the Border Elliots in Scotland. Indeed many there believe that they were not related to the Elliots of various spellings that were to be found south of the border in England.

The early Elliot name in England could have come from the Scandinavian name Alyot.  But more recently it has been convincingly argued that these English Elliots, and possibly the Scottish Elliots as well, were of Breton origin.  Bretons bearing the name of Ellegouet and living around Finistere came with William the Conqueror in 1066.  Those Elliots who fought at Hastings were rewarded with lands around the country as sub-tenants of leading Breton barons and tenants-in-chief.

The Elliot name has come with many variants – Elliott, Elliot, Eliot and Ellot chiefly among them. The Elliotts are the most numerous today. But the other spellings have had their importance in the past.

Elliott Surname Resources on The Internet

Elliott, Elliot and Eliot Surname Ancestry

  • from Scotland (Borders) and from England
  • to Ireland (Ulster), America, Canada and Australia

Scotland.  The Elliots were one of the great riding clans of the western Scottish borders. There were different branches of the clan over time. But leadership resided initially with the Redheugh Ellots (Robert Ellot who fell at Flodden in 1513 had been their 12th chief). This clan built strong towers around their base in Liddesdale and held Hermitage castle south of Hawick at times as well. They were a rough and hardy sort, as this story might suggest:

“A visitor to Liddesdale found no churches there and remarked on it, asking: ‘Are there no Christians here?’ He received the reply: ‘Na, we’s a’ Elliots and Armstrongs.”

The Ellots of Redheugh were involved in much of the Border fighting during the 16th century.

After the pacification of the Borders in the early 1600’s, many Elliots were hanged, outlawed and banished, with a number heading to Ulster in the 1609 plantation.

The Redheugh Ellots became Stobs and then Minto. The Mintos took the right side during the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and were rewarded with knighthood and titles and became part of the political establishment. A clan history The Elliots: The Story of a Border Clan was written by Lady Eliott of Stobs and Sir Arthur Eliott.

The Borders themselves depopulated, with many Elliots drifting to Edinburgh and Glasgow. Elliot and Elliott became the main spellings,  with the older forms dying out.

Ireland. The Elliots, dispossessed in the Borders, settled as tenant farmers in Ulster, manly in Fermanagh. Here they formed a cohesive group, strong enough to ride out the 1641 rising. They perpetuated their Border traditions,  large closely-knit family groups with intense clan loyalties and ongoing feuds. Today the Elliotts, together with the Armstrongs and the Johnstons from the Borders, comprise three of the five most common names in Fermanagh.

Other Elliotts were to be found in county Donegal, to the north of Fermanagh. The first records of them there date back to the 1630’s. The main concentration was around Castlefin in Donaghmore parish. Some Elliotts are still farming the same lands there today. The Elliotts of Donegal Town used to have a rather fierce anti-Catholic reputation.

Many of these Scots Irish Elliotts emigrated in the 18th and 19th centuries, America and Canada being the principal destinations.

England.  Following the Norman Conquest, Elliots – sometimes as Alliots or Elyots – spread across eastern England, notably to Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire.  One early dispatch of Elliots under Count Brien of Penthievre was to the west country, mainly to Devon (from where the Eliots later moved to St Germans).

NE England.  One early sighting here was Thomas Ellot of Reperwick in Northumberland, a knight hospitaller who survived a hanging in 1310.

The name, generally Elliot, was present in Northumberland and in Durham as the coal industry started to attract miners there.  Sir George Elliot from Gateshead worked his way up in the business in the 19th century and became a rich and influential mine owner.

The Elliotts of Birtley grew up in a Durham mining town. The first of their numbers was a foundling. Jack Elliott, a coal miner himself, launched the family into folk singing and the Birtley Folksong and Ballad Club was begun by him in 1962 (it still runs today). According to a descendant Laura Elliott:

“My great grandfather was indeed a foundling. He was left on the doorstep of a family named Taylor in Gateshead with a tag around his neck which read: ‘My name is Frank Elliott. Please look after me.'”

The film Billy Elliot was based in a Durham coal town. Its fictional young hero sought a way out of mining through ballet dancing.

SW England.  Elliott has also been a name of the southwest of England. The early spelling here was Elyot. A William Elyot appeared in the Assize rolls for Somerset in 1327 and an Edmund Elyot was recorded there in 1417.

The Elyots were prominent in the town of Bristol around 1500, Hugh as merchant, John as bailiff, and Robert as abbot of St. Augustine. Hugh sponsored overseas exploration and claimed to have discovered Newfoundland before Cabot (although this is unlikely). Another Elyot family bought St. Germans in Cornwall later in the 1500’s. From this family came Sir John Eliot, an early defender of Parliament against the King.

“Sir John was one of the most prominent members of Parliament ‘who early and resolutely opposed the encroachments of the King and defended the Protestant religion against the Papacy.’ He died a martyr to the liberties of England.”

Sir John was imprisoned in the Tower of London and died there in 1632. Through his wayward second son Richard, a line of these Elliotts served abroad with the British army. However,  the main line stayed in Cornwall and later became very distinguished. Edward Eliot was raised to the peerage in 1784 and his son became the Earl of St. Germans.

Gradually the Elliott spelling displaced Eliot in this region.  Elliotts of that spelling were farmers and millers in Morbury in north Devon in the late 1600’s. By the time of the 1891 census the Eliot spelling had practically disappeared.

SE England.  Elliotts were also present in SE England. The starting point here appears to have been Ely in Cambridgeshire where the name was to be found around the year 1200.

William Elyot was parson of Worlingham church in Suffolk from 1382 to 1390; and Sir Thomas Elyot, a scholar and diplomat in the court of Henry VIII, probably came from that county. Edward Elliott held Newland Hall and a number of other estates in Essex during Elizabethan times (from his line came early immigrants to America, including the Rev. John Elliott, known as “the apostle to the Indians”).

The name had reached Sussex by the 14th century. John Elliot was born in the parish of Rotherfield around 1558. One family history began with a George Elliott, born in Hartfield in 1765.

America.  Early Elliotts in America were to be found in Newfoundland and Virginia, as well as the larger traffic into New England.

New England  The Andrew Eliot who left East Coker near Yeovil in Somerset for America sometime in the 1660’s was the forebear of a formidable Boston Brahmin family who became pillars of the American educational establishment:

  • Charles W. Eliot transformed Harvard from a college into a research institution.
  • and William G. Eliot founded one of America’s major universities, Washington University in St. Louis.

The Eliot ranks included several college presidents, a Nobel prize winner, and presidents of various American professional associations. The poet T.S. Eliot moved to England and his ashes were interred in East Coker. He wanted to be laid to rest in the original birthplace of his first American ancestor.

Henry Eliot Scott has chronicled the St. Louis side of this family’s genealogy in his 1988 book The Family of William Greenleaf Eliot and Abby Adams Eliot.

Quaker Elliotts.  Quakers arrived in the 1690’s, Thomas Elliott among those who came to the Quaker sanctuary in North Carolina at that time. He settled in Perquimans county. His descendants, still Quakers, moved onto Wayne county, Indiana in 1815 and then to Kansas. After the Civil War William Elliott and his wife raised fifteen children at their farm in Rice county.

Scots-Irish Elliotts.  Many Scots-Irish Elliotts embarked for America in the 18th century, mainly to Pennsylvania. They included:

  • James Elliott who came in the 1760’s and settled in Orange county, North Carolina
  • George Elliott and his wife Charity who came to York county, Pennsylvania in the 1770’s
  • John Elliott who arrived sometime in the 1780’s, married in Pennsylvania, and he and his wife Mary later moved to Remington, Ohio.
  • and Charles and Jane Elliott who came to Washington county, Pennsylvania around 1792

Many of these Elliotts distinguished themselves in the Revolutionary War.

Fannie Blaine Elliott was one intrepid lady who made the trip in 1816. Her husband John had died seven years prior, leaving her with the responsibility of a large family. At the age of fifty two she left her home in Donegal and embarked with eight of her thirteen children for Baltimore. They ended up settling in Coshocton county, Ohio where her remaining sons and their families joined her three years later. Earl Elliott’s 2003 book Fannie Blaine Elliott – Elliott Family History recounts this family story.

Jimmy Elliott was an Irish-American bare-knuckle boxer who briefly, from 1865 to 1868, staked the claim of being heavyweight champion of the world. The rest of his life was downhill. Two years later he was arrested and imprisoned for highway robbery. He was released in 1879 but was shot and killed by a gambler in a Chicago saloon in 1883.

Canada. There were Elliott Loyalists from America who crossed the border into Canada, most prominently Matthew Elliott. He was an Irish-born trader who had worked for the British as an Indian agent in the War of 1812 and subsequently settled towards the end of his life in Ontario.

Later Elliott immigration to Canada also had a Scots-Irish flavor. The arrivals included:

  • Jeremiah and Ann Elliott from Donegal to Drummond county, Quebec in 1835
  • John Elliott and his family from Donegal to Perth county, Ontario in the late 1830’s
  • and Robert and Mary Elliott from Fermanagh to Goderich, Ontario in the early 1840’s.

Australia. Richard Elliott from Westmeath in Ireland was an early convict in Australia, having been transported there in 1793. He was initially viewed with suspicion and described as a “notorious character.” His circumstances later improved and he settled with his family in Kissing Point, NSW. However, he met an untimely end there.

Among the later Elliott settlers were:

  • Sizar Elliott from New Brunswick in Canada (where his parents had emigrated twenty years prior). He arrived in 1835 to join his uncle in Tasmania. He moved onto Melbourne during the gold rush days and prospered as a merchant there.
  • Matthew Elliott on the Eden from Cumberland in 1838. He was one of the early settlers of South Australia.
  • Robert Elliott on the Upon Castle with his family from Newcastle in 1838. They arrived in Sydney and later moved to Gundagai, NSW.
  • Thomas and Mary Elliott from Fermanagh in the 1850’s. They settled with their children in Merino, Victoria.
  • and Joseph Elliott from Devon who came to Melbourne in 1857.

John Roderick Elliott, originally from Scotland, left Australia in the late 1800’s for Fiji where he worked as a coppersmith on the sugar mill at Ba. He married and settled down there and Elliotts are still living there.

Elliott Surname Miscellany

Elliott and Variations Thereof.  The Elliott name has come in many variants.  An old rhyme commemorates these differences:

  • “The double L and single T
  • Descent from Minto and Wolflee.
  • The double T and single L
  • Mark the old race in Stobs that dwell.
  • The single L and single T
  • The Eliot of St. Germains be.
  • But double T and double L
  • Who they are nobody can tell.”

Lady Elliot in her book The Elliots: The Story of a Border Clan made the following additional point:

“Around 1650 someone added an “i” to our name to make it Elliot, which was without a doubt unfortunate as it confuses the clan with a well-known English Norman family called Eliot who settled in West England and South Wales and whose name was derived from the Scandinavian alyot and to whom we are not related.

Does this mean that all Eliots are not related to Elliots, Eliotts, and Elliotts?  Not necessarily.   Yet there are some Eliots who are not clan, but descended from the Norman Alyots.”

Reader Feedback – Breton Origin of the Elliott Surname.  Communication with the late Peregrine Eliot, Earl of St Germans, revealed that his ancestors never had any proof of Norman ancestry. He was delighted to learn the results of the Elliot DNA project and their corroboration by now digitised French birth records.

Elliot and its coincidental Breton and British variants are exclusively of Breton, therefore Celtic Brythonic origin. Now digitised Hundred Years War muster rolls contain the names of over sixty Eliot fighters, mostly mounted archers, but with some men at arms and seamen.

The Elliots (Alliots, Elliots, Elyots) who fought at Hastings were awarded with lands as sub-tenants of leading Breton barons and tenants-in-chief, many with manors scattered mainly throughout Yorkshire (Count Alan’s great ‘honour of Richmond’), Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, some southern and southwestern counties.  The preferred spelling in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire was Alliot but neither spelling marked a difference in pronunciation.

Early dispatch of Elliots, under Count Brien of Penthievre (Morbihan) was to the west country, mainly to Devon from where the Eliots later moved to St Germans.  Other Eliots were later dispatched to Monmouthshire in south Wales and to the marcher counties where significant clusters of the name can be found today.

In 1310 Thomas Ellot of Reperwick in Northumberland was a knight hospitaller who survived a hanging. The Elliots enfeoffed with lands in Gowrie became Gaelicised and the Gaelic form of the name pronounced with a Gaelic slender L and slight velar fricative as Alicht or Elycht. They sided with Robert Bruce and led his militarisation of Liddesdale in the Borders.

It should be noted that large surviving clusters of Eliots in Normandy (Seine Maritime) today reflect a pre or post-conquest grant of lands; while the Alliots – found also in southern Brittany and the Loire Atlantique – had lands in the modern French departement of Aisne.

Keith Elliot Hunter (ke.hunter@btinternet.com)

Comment:  My own research of the Elliott name took in twenty variant spellings.  My surprise was that, of these top twenty variants, nine were most concentrated in France, names such as Eliot, Alliot, Dalliot and Heliot.   I was at a total loss to explain this until I discovered the work of K.E. Hunter.

Bob Elliott (r.p.elliott@gmail.com)

Reader Feedback – Elliotts in SE England.  The origin of the SE English name is in Ely, Cambridgeshire. The first recorded sign of the name related to Henry Elyot at the Priory of St Mary and St. Radegund in Cambridge in about 1180. An Elyat (or Elyot) was in Bury St. Edmunds in 1188. By 1220 Elyot was well-established in Cambridge in Great St Andrew’s Parish where a William Elyot appeared.  A William Eliot appeared in about 1270 in the same parish.

The name reached London quite soon after. In the Museum of London is “a bronze jug with three feet and three bands of lettering around the neck and body. The neck is straight with a pointed spout. The body is fat and bulbous. This fine bronze jug is inscribed:

There was a claim about a Geoffrey Eliot, Abbot of Hyde, having signed the 1215 Magna Carta, but his name did not appear in the EWAC list. The 1297 version confirmed by Edward I mentioned the Abbot of Hyde as a witness, but did not name him. My own search of the Internet has failed to turn this “Geoffrey Eliot” up. Hyde Abbey itself is near Winchester in Hampshire, not Hyde on the Sussex coast.

So the surname seemed to go into Sussex in the 14th century as Godefro Elyot at Thakham and William Elyot in Grinstead were listed in the Subsidy Rolls of 1327 and 1332. William Elyot was Constable of Horsham in 1401 and his grandson, Thomas Elyot (1420-67), was a filacer (issuer of the Royal writs) who was buried at Wonersh church in Surrey, not far north of Horsham.

William Elyot of Cheshunt north of London received land at Kingston-upon-Thames around this time.

The Surrey Elyots changed to Eliott in about 1500 and then changed to Elliott during the 1700’s.  Elliott versus Davenport in 1705 was a famous legal case about wills brought by the main family and settled on it by the end of the 18th century. It was not made easier by a member of the Eliot clan Stobs family, George Augustus Eliott, (1717–1790), the defender of Gibraltar, being made 1st Baron Heathfield, which is in Sussex, although he died childless.

Lady Elliot in The Elliots: The Story of a Border Clan said:

“Around 1650 someone added an “i” to our name to make it Elliot, which was without a doubt unfortunate as it confuses the clan with a well-known English Norman family called Eliot who settled in West England.”

That would exclude the idea that the Cornish Eliots set the clan up a few centuries earlier, but it is said that this was some means of expressing solidarity with John Eliot, who was regularly imprisoned by Charles I until his death in 1632.

Regards, David Hollins (david.a.hollins@btinternet.com)

Elliott and Variants in Scotland.  Elliot rather than Elliott has been the primary spelling of the name in Scotland.  But there have been many variants.  It is thought that the various Border branches gave themselves different spellings just to distinguish themselves.  The table below the numbers under the different spellings over time.

Numbers Elliott Elliot Eliot Eliott Ellot Total
Births at old parish records
  391   3,024   455   205   126   4,201
Births at new parish records
 7,284   8.919 20    14     –  16,237
1841 census   113  1,809    52    8    19   2,001
1901 census   965  3,260     6    3     –   4,234

The next table shows hos the percentages have changed over time.

Percent Elliott Elliot Eliot Eliott Ellot Total
Births at old parish records
9    72    11    5    3   100
Births at new parish records
  45    55     –    –    –   100
1841 xensus    5    92     2    –    1   100
1901 census   23    77     –    –    –   100

Elliot has been the main spelling, although Elliott has been catching up.  The older spelling forms have now died out.

From Sir John Eliot to Major General Granville Elliott.  The Eliot family have had a major presence in Cornwall since the mid-1500’s.  However, one line of this family took a very different path.

Sir John Eliot, who died in the Tower of London in 1632, had a wayward second son Richard.  He didn’t visit Sir John while Sir John was in the Tower and appears to have been the black sheep of the family.  He took off for Europe and later had a son George through Catherine Killigrew.  This illegitimate son was sent to Tangier to be the chirurgeon to the British garrison there.

George’s son Roger Elliott, born there in 1665, rose to be a Major General in the British Army and one of the earliest governors of Gibraltar.  His son Granville, also a Major General, died of his wounds at the Battle of Minden in 1759.  Granville had spent much time and effort trying to prove that Richard Eliot had married Catherine Killigrew, but without reward.

Curiously George Augustus Elliot, of the Scottish Minto Elliots, made his mark by the defense of Gibraltar against Spanish forces in 1779.

Elliott and Eliot in SW England.  By the late 19th century, the Elliott spelling had almost entirely displaced Eliot in SW England.  The table below shows the numbers from the 1891 census.

 Elliott  Eliot
Cornwall     234     5
Devon   1,217     4
Somerset     351    13
Total   1,802    22

Reader Feedback – Early Elliotts in America.  Elliotts were among the earliest in North America.  Bristol merchant Hugh Elyot and his partner Robert Thorne accompanied John Cabot on the voyage in 1497 when Newfoundland was discovered.  Thorne’s son maintained that his father and Hugh Elyot had actually discovered Newfoundland.  Supposedly, for years prior to Cabot’s voyage, Bristol ships would set sail to parts unknown and return with holds full of cod from no one knew where.

But then, no one likes to reveal their favorite fishing holes.   In any case, Hugh Elyot is documented to have received the very first shipment of salt cod from Newfoundland in 1502.  For the next 100 years or so, thousands of young English, French, Dutch, Basque and others sailed each spring to fish for cod off Newfoundland for the summer and returned each fall with hold full of salted cod for the European market.

Few realize that at the same time the Jamestown colony was established in 1607, the Virginia Company also sent settlers to the Popham colony at Sagadahoc, Maine. Among the 120 settlers who arrived in the two ships Mary & John and the Gift of God were at least two Elliotts, a Robert Elliott and John Elliot of Newland, Essex born in 1584.  John was master of the Gift of God on its return voyage to England.  Coincidentally, about 75 years later a Portsmouth, New Hampshire merchant named Robert Elliott also owned a ship named The Gift of God.  

Two Elliotts, Lieut. Richard and Capt. James rode with Royalist Prince Rupert’s Regiment of Horse against Cromwell’s Parliamentarians.  After Charles I was beheaded, these Elliotts remained with Rupert and his brother Maurice as they took to sea to pirate against Cromwell and Spanish shipping.  These Elliotts survived a shipwreck off the Virgin Islands in 1652 and after the restoration were both awarded pensions of 6,000 pound sterling by Charles II for their service to his father.

Lastly, Thomas Elliott was a Groom of the Bedchamber for Charles II both in exile and after the Restoration.  He also acted as a messenger, spy and confidant.  He was known to be a member of the Prince Rupert faction.  He was made sinecure Governor of Nova Scotia in 1660 and petitioned the king to establish copper mines in Nova Scotia and a bank in Barbados.  He also raced his horse Flatfoot against the king and Gilbert of Stobs at Newmarket.

I’m descended from a Daniel Elliot who testified in defense of the accused (a risky business!) at the Salem witch trials of 1692.   Daniel was born circa 1665 and married Hannah Cloyse whose step-mother Sarah Cloyse along with her two sisters, Mary Easty and Rebecca Nurse, were among those accused.  Rebecca and Mary were hung but Sarah escaped that fate with the help of her husband and step-son-in-law Daniel.

Soon the Elliot, Cloyse, Bridges and Towne families quit Salem for good – moving in the dead of winter inland to Salem’s End on the Danforth plantation near Framingham, Massachusetts.   The father of “Daniel of the Salem trials” was also named Daniel and he is thought to have been killed by natives at Casco Bay, Maine in 1690.  We have yet to discover where, when or why our ancestors caught the boat to the New World, but they were here by sometime in the mid 1600’s.

Bob Elliott (r.p.elliott@gmail.com)

Reader Feedback – Concerning Jacob Elliott who Died in Boston in 1651.  I think we have a tendency to make too much of the differences in spelling. As recently as several generations ago spelling was simply not standardized.

I have a copy of the last will and testament of Jacob Elliott who died in Boston in 1651. In this single document the name is spelled five different ways – Elliott, Elliot, Eliot, Eleott, and Elleott.

Mark Guy (markpatrickguy@gmail.com).

Reader Feedback – Elliotts in Barbados and South Carolina.  I descend from the Elliotts of Charleston in South Carolina – from William Elliott, born about 1660 in Cornwall, and Katherine Schenckingh, born about 1676 in Barbados.

Supposedly this William who settled in South Carolina had came to Barbados from Cornwall sometime in the late 1600’s with his brothers John and Thomas and maybe a brother Joseph or it could have been his father.  Further details are unknown.

Deborah Elliott (delliott7756@yahoo.com)

Reader Feedback – Elias Eliot from Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Elias Elliott, born around 1707 in old Dunstable, Massachusetts, married Ruth Lawrence and became the first miller of in Mason, Hillsborough in New Hampshire. They had a large family that spread far and wide.

Oliver Eliot was a Sargent in the Revolution.  William Eliot married Elizabeth Williams and they had sons William and John who married the Honey sisters Sarah and Elizabeth.

Elias’ parents are unsure because no birth certificate can be found. DNA evidence suggests he may be an illegitimate child of Anne Porter who then married William Eliot from the Andrew Eliot (East Coker) line.

Jesse Elliott (elliott.jesse96@yahoo.com).

The Eliot Family from Boston.  There are two main Eliot lines.   One line begins in Boston with Samuel Atkins Eliot.  The other begins in Boston with William Greenleaf Eliot and then moves to St. Louis with his son.

Samuel Atkins Eliot (1798-1862), the family patriarch – Charles Eliot Norton (1827-1908),  author, social critic, and professor of art (son of sister Catherine Eliot and her husband Andrew Norton)

  • – Charles William Eliot (1834-1926), President of Harvard University
  • — Charles Eliot (1859-1897), leading landscape artist
  • — Samuel Atkins Eliot (1862-1952), Unitarian minister
  • — Samuel Atkins Eliot Jr (1893-1984), theater writer 
  • — Charles W. Eliot (1899-1993), writer
  • — Thomas H. Eliot (1907-1991), Chancellor of Washington University, St. Louis

William Greenleaf Eliot (1781-1853), from Boston

  • – William Greenleaf Eliot (1811-1887), founder of Washington University, St. Louis
  • — Thomas L. Eliot (1841-1936), Unitarian minister and Oregon pioneer
  • — Grace Cranch Eliot (!875-1973), teacher and educator
  • — Henry W. Eliot (1843-1919), St. Louis businessman
  • — Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965), the famous poet
  • — Christopher R. Eliot (1856-1945), Unitarian minister
  • — Martha Mary Eliot (1891-1978), pediatrician and specialist in public health.

Long lives were a characteristic of this family.  Of the sixteen Eliots listed above, six lived beyond their ninetieth birthday.

Reader Feedback – Elliotts in the Revolutionary War.  I wish there was a place to add additions. There are some famous Elliotts listed but there are many more, such as Captain James Elliott and his brother Robert who were both at the Battle of Kings Mountain where the Scots Irish routed the British It is considered a turning point of the Revolutionary War in the state.

Also on the rolls on the Maryland 400 (really there were only about 300) were three Elliotts. The Maryland 400 was a volunteer group that stayed behind to slow the British advance while George Washington and his army retreated. This was a volunteer group because their chances of living were low.

Darren Elliott (plycoupe1936@msn.com)

Reports on the Death of Richard Elliott of Kissing Point, NSW.  The following accounts appeared in the Sydney Gazette on the death of Richard Elliott.

June 5, 1823

“An inquest was held within the last few days on the body of Richard Elliott, an old settler of Kissing Point, who was found dead near to Captain Kent’s farm.  Some of the apparel was discovered at a distance from the body, scattered in various directions.  A quantity of blood was clearly seen on the ground close to the spot on which the body lay, the position of which seemed to indicate the attitude of defence.  No other verdict was returned, however, than death by the visitation of God.”

June 12, 1823

“Reports that Old Elliott, whose mysterious death was mentioned in the last Gazette as having happened in the vicinity of Kissing Point, was a terrible drunkard; that when in this state he was in the habit – so his wife said before the inquisition – of sleeping in the woods however inclement the weather for the whole night and thus contracting excruciating pains in his body.  When in these seasons of inebriety it was no way unusual for him to engage a stump or a tree and then, overcome with the unequal contest, lie down alongside his hardy protagonist and become lost in sleep.

It could not be ascertained that a dispute had taken place between anyone and the deceased.  He indeed had nothing to attract a robber, having expended all his little substance, as fast as it came in, on miserable rum.  No mark of violence presented itself.

In short, there was not the least doubt in the minds of the jury, but that he ‘was drunk when he died.'”

June 19, 1823

“In the last report we thought that the truth, as near as could be obtained, was published.

During the last week, however, we have been respectfully informed that there were certainly mysterious circumstances attending the old man’s demise.  On examination of his head, it was discovered that he was not inebriated when he died.  It is thought that he must have received a blow which may have been slight and quite unintentional that caused his death.

We have been informed also that a man has been in custody upon the charge of killing him.”

Reader Feedback – Elliotts in Fiji.   There has been confusion about the Elliott families in Fiji.  Initially it appeared that Thomas Richard Elliott had came from Scotland via Australia to work the CSR mill in Rarawai Ba.

We found that out when we wanted to trace our roots and unearthed the Fiji death certificate of John RG Elliott.  It cited him as a John and not as a Thomas Richard as we had been told.  UK search has revealed that John had siblings whose descendants are around today, that his father was also named John Elliott.  He had come over from Ireland to Glasgow where he had married his Scots- born wife Margaret McKechnie.

Our ancestor John left Glasgow for the Pacific, landing in Australia.  He later came to Fiji where he was employed by the CSR sugar mills as a coppersmith.  He had seven children, including Thomas Richard Elliott from whom I am descended.  Others of his children were Celia Elliott (Mrs Thomas Green), John Robert, James Joseph, Caroline Elliot (Mrs Robinson), Isabella, Alice Elliott (Mrs Maharaj), and Ellen Naomi Elliott (Mrs Powell).

Susie Elliott (sue11iott12@gmail.com)

Elliott Names

  • Sir John Eliot was an early defender of the powers of Parliament against the King in the years before the Civil War.
  • Sir George Elliot was a successful Victorian miner owner from Durham who became adviser to Prime Minister Disraeli.
  • George Eliot was the pen-name of the Victorian novelist Mary Ann Evans.
  • T.S. Eliot came to England from America and made his reputation as a modern poet with The Waste Land in 1922.
  • Herb Elliott was the Australian athlete who won the Olympic 1,500 meter gold medal in 1960.

Elliott Numbers Today

  • 54,000 in the UK (most numerous in Yorkshire)
  • 55,000 in America (most numerous in California)
  • 47,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada).

Elliott and Like Surnames

The border between Scotland and England was a lawless area for well over three hundred years and the subject of many stories and hearsays.

Families on both sides of the border took part in the raids, attacking villages and stealing cattle on the way.  Eventually, following the unification of the Scottish and English crowns in 1603, the area was pacified.  There were mass executions and banishments, many to the new Protestant colony in Ulster.  These were some of the prominent Border family surnames at that time that you can check out.


Click here for return to front page

Written by Colin Shelley

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *