The Ellis family were living in county Cavan in the 18th century. In 1770 Richard Ellis of Abbeyfeale, county Limerick and Drumnalee, county Cavan, married Mary Hilliard of county Kerry. Caleb Powell states in his list of Jurors that Richard Ellis sold his estate in county Cavan and purchased the Abbeyfeale estate in 1791 from a Mr Meredith and that his son Thomas added to the estate by purchasing a further 1,700 acres from Sir Robert Shaw. In 1804 Thomas Ellis, Member of Parliament for Dublin, married Dymphna Monsell of Tervoe. At the time of Griffith's Valuation their two eldest sons Richard and Cunningham held lands in the parish of Abbeyfeale, barony of Glenquin. In the 1870s Richard Ellis of Glensharone Abbey, Fuerty, owned 2,055 acres in county Limerick, while his younger brother Cunningham Ellis of Dublin owned 1,550 acres.