A surname of territorial origin from the lands of
Elphinstone in the parish of Tranent, meaning 'of Elphinstone.'
This name is of Scottish descent and is found in many ancient manuscripts in
the above country. Examples of such are a John de Elphinstone who witnessed
a grant by Roger de Quincy to the monks of Dryburgh of the wood of Gladswood
in 1250.Aleyn de Elfinestone of Berwickshire rendered homage in the year
1296. Names were recorded in these ancient documents to make it easier for
their overlords to collect taxes and to keep records of the population at
any given time. When the overlords acquired lands by either force or gifts
from their rulers, they created charters of ownership for themselves and
their vassals. Other examples of this name were found in the person of
George Elphistun, a saddler in Aberdeen in 1581 and Port Elphinstone is
named after the family branch in Logie-Elphinstone.