This interesting surname is of early medieval English origins. It derives either as a locational name from the place called Ely in Cambridgeshire, or it is a short form of the ancient hebrew 'Elijah'. In the first case the development is from the Old English pre 7th Century 'oel' meaning 'eel' plus 'ge', a region or district. It is said that Ely received its name from the large number of eels caught in the nearby fens. The second origin may be derived from the Old French personal name Elie, itself from the given name Elijah. This was first introduced by the Normans after the 1066 Invasion...
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