Eliot's parents were americans, but the Eliot family was supposed as the American branch of one of several British families to hold this surname.
Thomas Stearns Eliot was born on September 26, 1888. He was descended from a distinguished New England family that had relocated to St. Louis, Missouri. Thomas Eliot's paternal grandfather, William Greenleaf Eliot, had moved to St. Louis, Missouri to establish a Unitarian Christian church there. His father, Henry Ware Eliot, was a successful businessman, president and treasurer of the Hydraulic-Press Brick Company in St Louis; his mother, Charlotte Champe Stearns, wrote poetry and was a social worker, a new profession in the early 20th century. Eliot was the last of six surviving children; his parents were both 44 years old when he was born.