History of your Surname
Get access to Ely family records.Start a 14-Day Free Trial

Ely Family History

Ely Surname Meaning

English: habitational name from Ely a cathedral city on an island in the fens north of Cambridge so named from Old English ǣl ‘eel’ + ‘district’. English French and Breton (Finistère): from the Middle English Old French personal name Elie Hely (Elijah in the King James Bible); see Ellis and Elias . English: variant of Healey . German: variant of Eley and in North America probably also an altered form of this.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022

Similar surnames: Bly, Elm, Ply, Ell, Eley, Els, Eld, Goy, Elk, Eby

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

Black & white image of a young woman scientist

Where is the Ely family from?

You can see how Ely families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Ely family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Ely families were found in USA in 1880. In 1891 there were 316 Ely families living in London. This was about 19% of all the recorded Ely's in United Kingdom. London had the highest population of Ely families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Ely surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Ely ancestors do for a living?

In 1939, General Labourer and Unpaid Domestic Duties were the top reported jobs for men and women in the United Kingdom named Ely. 15% of Ely men worked as a General Labourer and 70% of Ely women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named Ely were Postman and Incapacitated. .

View Census Data for Ely | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations In 1939

  • General Labourer
  • Farm Labourer
  • Farmer
  • Postman

Top Female Occupations In 1939

  • Unpaid Domestic Duties
  • Housewife
  • Unpaid Domestic
  • Incapacitated
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Ely family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 128,000 census records available for the last name Ely. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Ely census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Australian census records for Ely

Passenger Lists

There are 11,000 immigration records available for the last name Ely. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Australia, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Ely immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 30,000 military records available for the last name Ely. For the veterans among your Ely ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Ely military records

You've only scratched the surface of Ely family history

Discover More

What is the average Ely lifespan?

Between 1941 and 2004, in the United States, Ely life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 1992. The average life expectancy for Ely in 1941 was 68, and 75 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Ely

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Ely family tree

Explore Your Tree

Browse profiles of historical people with the Ely last name

Search for another surname
Enter last name/surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial