ELLIOT - HISTORY OF SURNAME

Entry in Black's

ELLIOT, ELIOT, ELIOTT, ELLIOTT. The early form of this well-known border name was Elwald, or Elwold, for the full OE. Aelfwald, and until the end of the fifteenth century the spelling and the name was fairly regular. Elwald and Elwold were common in OE. times and the name continued in use as Christian name down to the period when surnames became common. It was a common name on the borders, the original home of the Elliots. The form Elliot is used by the Minto family and most of the others on the Border, and Eliott is used by the family of Stobo. The four forms of the name are thus referred to in an old rhyme:

The double L and single T

Descend 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 Eliots of St. Germains be,

But double T and double L

Who they are, nobody can tell.



For a different view :

Entry in The Scottish Nation

ELLIOT, ELIOT, or ELLIOTT, a surname of considerable antiquity both in Scotland and England, possessed by a border clan which resided mainly in the eastern districts of the border. Willis, the antiquary, mentions persons of this name having been seated in Devonshire about the reign of King John, and having branched out into several families, chiefly in the west of England, some of them being of importance to Edward the First. Of the same stock is descended Eliot of Port Eliot in Cornwall, settled there about 1540. There were families of this name in Suffolk and Surrey.

The Scottish Elliots appear to have been originally settled on the river and village of Eliot or Elot, in Forfarshire, hence the word Arbirlot, a contraction of Aber-Eliot, the river entering the sea at the parish of that name. As most of the surnames in Scotland were local, it is probable, and this has ever been the opinion of the Elliots themselves, that they had their name from this river. During the reign of Robert the Third, about the year 1395, they were induced to remove, in a body, into Liddesdale, by the family of Douglas, to strengthen their interest on the borders, toward England.

Eminent Elliot Families

to be continued

Entry in Scottish Surnames by Donald Whyte

ELIOTT Some seventy spellings of this name have been recorded, the most prolific being Eliot, Eliott and Elliott. The name was originally Elwald or Elwold, in Old English Aefwald, and anciently was used frequently as a forename. The Border clan of the Middle March had a chief in the late 15th century called Robert Elwald, who was Captain of Hermitage Castle. His son was slain at Flodden, 15 13, and his son Robert was also Captain of Hermitage Castle. His brother Archibald was ancestor of the Elliots of Arkleton. The main forms of the name appear in an old rhyme:

The double L and single T

Descend 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 Eliots of St Germains be,

But double T and double LL

Who they are nobody can tell.

The Stobo branch are held to be the senior line of the Border clan, descended from Gavin Eliott, who lived in the late 16th century. The next heir; Gilbert of Stobo, celebrated as Gibbie wi' the gowden gartens, married a daughter of Scott of Harden, and his fourth son, Gavin Eliott of Grange, was father of Sir Gilbert Eliott, 1st Baronet (cr. NS, 1700) of Headshaw and Minto. The 4th Baronet, Sir Gilbert, an eminent ambassador; was created Earl of Minto in 1751. This line is now represented by Gilbert Edward George Lariston Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 6th Earl, who resides at Minto House, Hawick. The 11th Baronet of Stobo, Sir Arthur Francis Augustus Boswell Eliott, the family historian, died in 1989, and was succeeded by his cousin, Charles Joseph Alexander Eliott, born 1937. Some of the surname may have derived from the village of Eliot, in Angus.

The Rt Hon. Walter Elliot, 1888-1958, son of William Elliot, Muirglen, Lanark, was a distinguished politician, who was Secretary of State for Scotland, 1926-29, and the recipient of many honours. His second wife, Katharine, 1903-94, daughter of Sir Charles Tennant, Baronet, was active in public life, and was created CBE in 1946 and DBE in 1958. She was also created Baroness Elliot of Harwood of Rulewater; Roxburghshire in 1958.


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Tom Paterson
(last updated 9th Sep 2000)