The Elliots appear as a clan with a chief in the Scottish Borders around the 15th century, with territory around Upper Liddesdale. They were notorious Border Reivers – families, from both England and Scotland, who raided the Border lands.
The Elliots are said to be of Breton origin, coming to Britain with William the Conqueror’s invading army in 1066. Elliots – with many varied spellings of the name -- settled all over the British Isles. They are based at Glenshee in Angus – Elliots gave their name to Elliot Water in Angus – but made a move to Teviotdale in the Borders around the time of Robert the Bruce.
The principal family in the early 15th century was Elliot of Redheugh. In 1426, a John Elwalde of Teviotdale is recorded. In 1476, Robert Ellot of Redheugh appears as the 10th chief of the clan. Robert Ellot built a strong tower on a cliff overlooking the ford on Hermitage Water in Liddesdale in 1470. This was just one of about 100-strong towers around Liddesdale which belonged to the Ellots and which they shared with the Clan Armstrong, another Border Reiver clan.
The Elliots of Stobs, also in the Borders, can be traced back to Gawain Elliot of Stobs in the late 16th century, who was descended from the Elliots of Redheugh.
Elliot is an adapted version of the old English name Elwold. There is also a theory that it is derived from the name of an old Breton tribe, Halgoët, based on the Breton word for willow or saugh tree. The names Elwald, Elwalde and Ellot were common variations.