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2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

I have been collecting all references worldwide to the names ELWICK and ELLWICK since 1989. My grandfather Robert Imbrey ELWICK disappeared in 1922 and I was trying to find his death. Initially I wrote to many people with the name in the telephone books of England and US and as a result have drawn up many trees but still not found out what happened to my grandfather.

Variant names

The most common variations are ELWICK, ELWICKE, ELLWICK or ELLWICKE but I have found instances of ELSWICK and HELWICK being used for known ELWICK families. In the USA the name ELSWICK is quite common and is not part of my study.

Name origin

According to 'A Dictionary of English Surnames' by P.H.Reaney & R.M.Wilson the name ELWICK is thought to derive from a village of the same name but there are 2, one in Durham and the other in Northumberland.

Historical occurrences of the name

The earliest reference I have found is a John ELLISWYK mentioned as receiving a pension of ?20 per year in 1468 in the Registers of the Archdeaconry of Richmond.

In the US the earliest reference I have found is of a John ELWICK in 1653. He is mentioned as one of 20 persons being imported from York England to land in Lancaster County owned by Charles GRYMES.

The most famous ELWICK must be Nathaniel ELWICK, he was a Director of the East India Company and was Governor of Bombay 1721-1725.

Second place must go to Edward ELWICK who was a furniture maker of Wakefield from 1745-1771 and whose chairs are on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Name frequency

In the 1881 UK Census there were 172 people with the name

In the 1880 US Census there were just 41 people with the name

In September 2002 in the UK there were 368 ELWICK's according to an Office of National Statistics database, which contains a list of surnames in use in England, Wales and the Isle of Mann.

In the 1995 USA phonebooks there were 39 ELWICK's listed

In the 1995 Canada phonebooks there were just 4 ELWICK's listed

In the 1995 Australian phonebooks there was just 1 person listed

Distribution of the name

The 1585 Visitation of Yorkshire mentions ELWICK's of Elwick Tower Northumberland but the name is found in Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and London throughout the 16th century.

By the end of the 18th century it is found mainly in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire, Durham and London with one family in Hampshire.

Today the largest clusters are still in Durham, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.


Amongst my files I have:

  • the ELWICK entries from the GRO indexes for all Births 1837-2005
  • the ELWICK entries from the GRO indexes for all Deaths 1837-2005
  • the ELWICK entries from the GRO indexes for all Marriages 1837-2005
  • many baptisms, burials and marriages from parish registers.
  • copies of most of the ELWICK Wills found in PRO, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire pre 1858.
  • all ELWICK references from the post 1858 Wills.
  • all Census references for the years 1871,1881,1891, 1901 and 1911 in UK are here
  • all US Census entries
  • many ELWICK references in Chancery cases
  • all ELWICK references in the SSDI


At last I'm able to set up an Elwick DNA project, it is in the early stages but any male Elwick's interested please contact me.