Ely Name Meaning

English: habitational name from the cathedral city on an island in the fens north of Cambridge. It is so named from Old English ?l ‘eel’ + ge ‘district’. Probably also an Americanized form of German Eley.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

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

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Ely Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Ely name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Ely. The Ancestry® ethnicity regions shown are top five most common on average for these people.

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  • England & Wales


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Germanic Europe


  • Norway


  • Eastern Europe & Russia


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Ely Family Origin

Where is the Ely family from?

Ely Family Occupations

What did your Ely ancestors do for a living?

In 1881, the most common Ely occupation in the UK was Agricultural Labourer. 6% of Ely's were Agricultural Labourers. Agricultural Labourer, Coal Miner and Farmer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Ely. A less common occupation for the Ely family was Bricklayer.

View Census data for Ely | Data not to scale

  • Agricultural Labourer

  • Coal Miner

  • Farmer

  • Bricklayer


Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Ely ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

Ely Historical Records

What Ely family records will you find?

Census Record

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 1891 UK census records for Ely

Passenger List

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

View all Ely immigration records

Draft Card

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.

Ely Life Expectancy

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

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Ely ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Famous Ely Family Ancestors

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