An English and Welsh surname of Ellis is from the old given name of Elis, which is a form of the name Elijah. In Wales, the Ellis surname also comes from the name 'Elisedd', which means kind, goodhearted and benevolent. In the Greek language the name is Elias which means 'Jehova is God'.
Spellings forms for Ellis include Elis, Eliss, Ellis, Ellys and Elliason.
The counties of Shropshire, Devon, Lancashire and Yorkshire have the highest number of Ellis families. There is large number in London and nearby Essex county. The Ellis surname is common in Scotland with most living in Aberdeenshire, Lanarkshire, Midlothian and the islands of Orkney.
The states of Tennessee, North Carolina, Texas, California, Washington, Massachusetts, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, and New York have many residents with the surname of Ellis within the United States.
Famous: Clough Williams-Ellis (architect from Wales), Dale Ellis (professional football player),
Daniel Ellis (Civil War Union captain), John M. Ellis (19th century and President of Oberlin College), Jimmy Ellis (champion world boxer), Henry Ellis (19th century explorer) and Fred Ellis (cartoonist).