This interesting surname has three origins. Firstly, it may be of German origin, being either a locational name from places in the North Rhine and Moselle areas, so called from an old stream-name "Elera, Alira", possibly of Celtic origin, or a topographical name for someone who lived by an "alder tree", from the Low German "elre, alre", meaning "alder". Secondly, it may be an East Ashkenazic variant of Heller, itself coming from the Germanic "hell", meaning "light, bright", a nickname for a person with fair hair or a light complexion, from an inflected form, used before a male given name. Thirdly, it may be of Italian origin, being a Venetian form of the given name Hilary, itself coming from the Latin "Hilarius", a derivative of "hilaris", meaning "cheerful, glad". The surname dates back to the early 17th Century (see below), and variations in the idiom of the spelling include Ellor, Ellur, Ellar and Elleyr. Recordings from London Church Registers include: the marriage of Elizabeth Ellar and John Reignolds on September 25th 1611, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, and the marriage of Sarah Ellor and Thomas Cooke on April 14th 1706, at St. Bride's, Fleet Street. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margaret Eller, which was dated 1603, christened at St. Katherine by the Tower, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.