A locational name which derives from the villages of Ellerby in Yorkshire and Ellesborough, Lincoln or from residence by a hill of alder trees originally from the Norse-Viking pre 9th century 'Elri' and the Olde English 'bur' - the latter meaning a hill or sometimes a hill fort. The name has had many alternative spellings, but essentially the origins and meaning remain the same. These include Ellaby, Ellerby, Elsbury, Ellesborough etc. Locational names were usually given to people after they moved to another area, this system in itself leading to considerable spelling corruption. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richarde Ellabye. which was dated 1620 Married Katherine Pellam, London. during the reign of King James 1 of England and VI of Scotland 1603 - 1625. 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.