- This unusual name is English but ultimately probably French. Recorded as Eleanor, Ellinor, Elener and possibly others, there are two possible origins. The first is that it is a derivative of the pre 7th century Olde English personal name "Adelnod." This translates as "Noble-Daring", and is usually found in the modern spelling as Allnutt, Alner, Elaugh and Elnough. The second that it is a variant of Eleanor, popularised by Eleanor of Aquataine, and the later Eleanor of Castile (1244 -1290), the wife of King Edward 1st (1272 - 1307). It is unclear when the surname was first recorded but examples of recordings taken from surviving church registers recordings in the city of London include Rath Ellnor who married Thomas Grastock at St James church, Duke Street, Westminster in 1689, and Margaret Eliner who married William Armstead on November 11th 1753, by Civil Licence in London. The first recorded spelling of the family name in the registers is that of Jane Ellner. This was dated 1629, when she married William Kellett on June 20th by special Licence, during the reign of King Charles 1st. He was known as "The Martyr", and reigned from 1625 to 1649. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was often known as the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.