My 4th g-grandmother was Anne Yelf b 25 Dec 1745 in Damerham, Wiltshire, England. She married William Flemington on the 26th of March 1769 in Edmondsham, Dorset, England.
In Social Historian Michael Wood's "The Story of England" on PBS he follows the history of the villages of Kibworth Leicestershire, from their ancient Iron Age roots to the modern-day.
In the segment during which he discusses the Viking invasion, he makes specific reference to the name Eilffe/Illiffe, and says it was originally brought to England with the Vikings as the Viking name "Iyolfe" (wolf), and in Kibworth can be traced back 15 generations.
The "Parish Registers of Broad Chalke Co Wilts, from 1538 to 1780" printed in 1881, Edited by the Rev Cecil Gulden Moore. M.A. Vicar. In his lengthy preface, Rev Moore explains that he copied the information from vellum sheets, unbound papers, some bound books, and a hodge-podge of records.
Moore talks about some of the names, this one in particular: "In the Baptismal Register for 1540, there appears the name of John Yellow. Yelow; in the Marriage Register for 1609, Christopher Eilfe marries Jane Randoll. In the Baptisms for 1611, there is the following entry: Jane Eilffe d. Christopher Eilffe, but in the original manuscript the name Yellow is first written, in each case, and then struck through and Eilffe written above. In 1615, 1619, and 1622 this same Christopher has his surname spelt in three different ways, 1st, Yekes; 2nd, Yellowes; and 3rd, Yelf. There must have been something very peculiar in the common pronunciation of this name which could render possible such different versions of it in writing."
In later records, the name is recorded as Yealf, Ayliff, and Iliffe. But it came to England with a Scandinavian warrior who came as an invader in the 10th Century, got as far as the village of Kibworth Leicestershire, cast away his sword, took up with an Anglo-Saxon girl and became a farmer.