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Elder Family Reunion

August 27th, 2023 – Fort Wayne, Indiana


The Elder Surname

In ancient Scotland, Elder was first used as a surname by the descendants of the Boernician tribe. It was a name for a person who was the elder of two people, bearing the same name or the name could have been derived from the Old English “ealdra,” meaning “elder.” Alternatively, the name could have a nickname for someone who was a “dweller at, or near, an elder tree.”

Early Origins of the Elder family

The surname Elder was first found in Edinburghshire, a former county, now part of the Midlothian council area. One of the first records of the family was John Eldar or Eldare de Corstorfin who was burgess of Edinburgh in 1423 and “the surname is also recorded in Aberdeen in 1447. John Elder, a renegade Scot, urged Henry VIII (‘Bagcheeks’) to invade Scotland, assuring him of the support of the Highland Clans. Andro Elder, was a reidare at Menmure in 1574.”

Further to the south, “this surname is derived from a nickname ‘the elder.’ The usual form in the Yorkshire Poll Tax is Senior, and this has become one of the strongly established surnames of that county.” However, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 does list Ricardus ye Elder.