Event considering the poorly recorded nature of medieval Scottish history, the sudden appearance of the Elliots as a distinct clan in the late 15th century is strange even by Scottish standards.
This is likely due to a fire at Stobs Castle – the former family estate – in 1712, that destroyed a lot of the family records and the clan itself is thought to have originated in Angus, moving to Roxburghshire in the borders around the time of Robert the Bruce.
It is in the borders that the clan rose to prominence and the formal history begins in 1476 when Robert Ellot of Redheugh appears as the tenth chief. During this time he is known to have constructed a strong tower overlooking a ford on Hermitage Water in Liddesdale, one of around 100 constructed in the area by the Elliots
By this time, the family were one of the great Border Reiver clans and were constantly carrying out raids across the border into England along with the Armstrongs, another of the great riding clans.
However, this reputation as a formidable force on the border was ended in 1603 as the union of the crowns marked the end of the Border Reivers as they were cracked down on following both Scotland and England falling under a common monarchy.
The present clan chief is Madam Margaret Eliott of Redheugh.