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Frequency of Surname ELY (and Variations) in the U.S. Census
 
I'm extracting U.S. Census records of surname ELY, its variations, and similar surnames in support of the ELY Y-DNA Surname Project.  Searching the online index at Ancestry.com is complicated by the many spelling variations of these surnames.  As an aid to systematically searching the index, I've compiled the two tables below.

The first table lists selected variations, their rank, and their count in the 2000 census, as extracted from a file at the United States Government census site.  This file did not contain names that occurred fewer than 100 times.

The second table is a compilation of the frequencies of these surnames and additional ones in the 1790 through 1940 censuses as extracted using the online index at Ancestry.com.

In the bottom rows of the latter table, I included frequencies for variations of surname ALLEY, which has it's own Y-DNA Surname Project, in case DNA evidence ever indicates any of these surname variations have a common biological origin with any variation of ELY.  I'm not extracting the records of these variations unless and until there is a genetic connection. 

It would probably be useful to redo this table a decade from now, after users at Ancestry.com have had that much time to correct errors in their index.  In that vein, please correct errors when you find them.

An abrupt change in numbers from one year to the next, especially a drop in numbers, may reflect a change in spelling, not in the number of individuals.

The entire 1890 census was lost, except for a few fragments.

 
Frequency in the 2000 Census
The file at the www.census.gov site did not list surnames occurring fewer than 100 times.
I've added the missing surnames ranked by their count in 1940 [in brackets].
Order by Rank
Surname Rank Count
ELY 2583 12884
ELEY 6664 4675
EALY 7163 4296
ELIE 12796 2209
EALEY 13128 2135
ELI 17799 1450
EHLE 22283 1079
EHLY 42916 475
YELLE ? [425]
ELA 53782 360
ELLEY 54020 358
EHLI 57544 331
HELE ? [320]
ELAY ? [256]
ELLA 74398 242
ELLIE 87729 197
ELLE 88083 196
ELLY 88461 195
ELE 89549 192
EHLEY 128797 122
HELY ? [109]
EALLEY ? [80]
IHLI ? [56]
EALLY ? [55]
ELEA ? [45]
ELYE ? [35]
ELEE ? [25]
EYLEY ? [11]
EALLE ? [9]
ELLAY ? [5]
EHLA ? [4]
EAHLEY ? [0]
EAHLY ? [0]
Alphabetical Order
Surname Rank Count
EAHLEY ? [0]
EAHLY ? [0]
EALEY 13128 2135
EALLE ? [9]
EALLEY ? [80]
EALLY ? [50]
EALY 7163 4296
EHLA ? [4]
EHLE 22283 1079
EHLEY 128797 122
EHLI 57544 331
EHLY 42916 475
ELA 53782 360
ELAY ? [256]
ELE 89549 192
ELEA ? [45]
ELEE ? [25]
ELEY 6664 4675
ELI 17799 1450
ELIE 12796 2209
ELLA 74398 242
ELLAY ? [5]
ELLE 88083 196
ELLEY 54020 358
ELLIE 87729 197
ELLY 88461 195
ELY 2583 12884
ELYE ? [35]
EYLEY ? [11]
HELE ? [325]
HELY ? [109]
IHLI ? [56]
YELLE ? [425]


Frequency of ELY (and Variations) in the 1790-1940 Censuses

I extracted these numbers by doing searches at Ancestry.com on the entire U.S. Census at once, which means the numbers are slightly inflated.  That is, because Ancestry has added a lot of secondary guesses to their index, a search on any name produces extra, bogus hits. 
Legend to "Other Schedules"
NP Non-population Schedules (e.g., Agricultural and Industrial Schedules), 1850-1880.
D 1880 Schedules of "Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes" (e.g., orphans).
Df Deaf Family Marriages and Hearing Relatives, 1888-1895 (divide by 2 as both husband and wife are counted).
Vet 1890 Veterans' Schedules
IRS U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918.
Ind Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940.
 
SURNAME Decennial Censuses Population Schedules   Other Schedules
Number of Households   Number of Individuals   Number of Individuals
1790 1800 1810 1820 1830 1840   1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940   NP D Df Vet IRS Ind
ELY 91 141 174 278 408 542   3603 4332 5570 6613   8392 8625 8932 9347 9194   859 40 2 132 2355 511
ELEY 9 20 23 32 51 83   580 695 897 1301   2143 2289 2560 2856 2522   125 4   19 97  
EALY 2 5 6 23 31 33   214 279 499 477  5 946 1328 1492 1606 1636   77 1   15 28  
ELIE   3 5 6 7 6   60 68 160 129   371 410 579 548 450   7 1   2 9 10
EALEY 3 2 2 10 12 20   89 158 207 290   504 625 955 878 999   30 20   5 10  
ELI 21 5 13 18 37 35   117 248 498 364   712 696 852 834 787   89 7   24 56 253
EHLE1 [9] 5 15 16 29 29   252 267 380 473   686 740 736 832 743   57 4   14 100  
EHLY       1 2 1   16 24 44 65   150 192 278 316 343   2       4  
ELA 10 12 11 14 21 34   230 214 251 233   362 326 492 323 233   28 1   6 74 30
ELLEY   4 7 5 12 12   71 71 184 114   312 386 546 371 393   40 4   1 23 1
EHLI               3 3 18 13   31 32 85 140 140         6 2  
ELLA     1 2 3 6   54 53 129 93 1 531 591 682 491 511   31 6 2   26 59
ELLIE     2 2   3   4 47 85 44   380 483 569 257 1086   59 6     12 21
ELLE   2   4 3 8   14 34 96 36 6 406 434 531 349 229   35       22 2
ELLY 3 4 7 10 20 7   57 115 119 74   256 316 342 362 180   39     6 15 6
ELE2 1 1 5 1 9 6   7 44 44 25   176 191 223 158 123   16     1 21 50
EHLEY               5 13 22 50 2 58 65 27 92 87   7 2     2  
ELAY     1   3 1   14 18 15 9   32 58 63 52 256   8     1 2  
HELY   4 1 2 1 10   43 35 91 107   140 108 90 70 109   16       15 6
EALLEY     1   1     8 7 8     6 29 32 27 80   2          
IHLI                     6   28 55 50 60 56              
EALLY     4 1 3     9   25 6   12 22 14 44 55   5          
ELEA3       1       1 1 3 21   19 23 42 42 45   1          
ELYE                 5 20 13   35 49 17 31 35   2       2  
ELEE     1   2     15 25   14   14 16 7 28 25   2          
EYLEY                 8 5 9   3 18 11 10 11   1          
EALLE                         1 11 11 2 9   4          
ELLAY           1       14 1   10 12 1 7 5   1       1  
EHLA                 1 4 2   30 21 11   4           1  
EAHLEY                     2   1     2                
EAHLY                         4                      
 
Footnotes for ELY table:
1.  In the 1790 census, nine of the ten AYLEs (see below) were in the same village in NY; they were EHLE in later censuses.
2.  At least some ELEs must pronounce their surname in two syllables because a variation (from year-to-year in the same family) is ELI. 
3.  At least one son in a branch of an ELE family converted to ELEA.


Frequency of ALLEY (and Variations) in the 1790-1940 Censuses

 
SURNAME Decennial Census Population Schedules   Other Schedules
Number of Households   Number of Individuals   Number of Individuals
1790 1800 1810 1820 1830 1840   1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940   NP D Df Vet IRS Ind
AILEY 2 1 1 2 6 3   76 84 97 72 1 273 295 289 327 378   24 2     5  
AILY1           1   27 2 2 4   8 6 6 9 8   1          
ALEY 1 3 6 12 30 25   167 275 280 351   549 678 721 649 585   51 3   14 87  
ALLEE   4     4 36   225 307 344 559   828 966 1085 1185 1206   10     6 153  
ALLEY 47 55 93 141 237 279   1911 2397 3026 3636   5342 6157 6811 7599 7898   438 33 2 55 372 318
ALLI           1   3   13 6   68 108 256 249 288   2       2  
ALLIE   2 4 3 5 11   24 80 159 175   773 1041 1134 1306 1151   24     3 17 7
ALLY 4 7 14 18 42 42   387 324 303 210   357 388 417 385 305   59 3   4 26 4
AYLAY                                 5              
AYLE2 10 1     2 1     6 26 9 53   74 79 79 59 139   11     1 6  
AYLEY   1       1         1   18 6 6 1     2          
AYLIE                     1   4 6 5                  
 
Footnotes for ALLEY table:
1.  In 1850, all of the 27 AILYs are in TN, and all of them have been corrected to either AILEY or ALLEY by users.
2.  In 1790, nine of the ten AYLEs were in the same village in NY; they were EHLE in later censuses.
3.  In 1900, the Mary V. AYLI indexed in Union Co., NJ, is actually AYLIFFE (see clearly in 1880).  So, no one indexed in any census was actually surnamed, AYLI.
 

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