According to "The Lost Tales" legends, the Teleri (singular ‘Teler’) were descended from Enel, the third Elf to awake in Cuiviénen, his spouse Enelyë and their 72 companions. The Teleri were the third and largest group of elves to awaken by Cuivínen. The Vala Oromë discovered the elves and escorted the Teler Elwë and two other tribal leaders to Valinor and back to urge their people to make their way to Valinor. Many, including Enel did not attempt the Great March.
The Teleri were the last (tella means "last" in Elvish, whence “Teleri”) tribe to set out toward Aman. So great were their numbers, they had two lords: Elwë Singollo (which signifies Greymantle) and his brother Olwë. The History of Middle-earth, states: '…Olwë beget many children', suggesting other unnamed children apart from Eärwen. While traveling West to Aman, groups of Teleri (notably the Sindar and the Nandor) stopped and settled along the way, including Elwë. Each sundered group took its own name and language over time.
When Olwë and his followers were ready to leave Middle Earth over the sea, the Valar Ulmo (who had already escorted other, faster Elves to Aman) uprooted The Lonely Isle called Tol Eressëa from the Bay of Balfalas. Once on the island, Ulmo transported the Teleri to the bay of Eldamar in the Blessed Realm but stopped short and rooted the island in the sea within sight of Aman at their request, long ages before the rising of the Sun and Moon.
The elves of Aman and Tol Eressëa are usually known simply as "Teleri", but they are properly just the branch of the Teleri people that travelled farthest west across the ocean. The Teleri tongue is Telerin or Lindalambë (tongue of the Lindar (singers)), a dialect of Quenya similar to Common Telerin (whence Sindarin and Nandorin were also derived) and Common Eldarin. From their love of the ocean, these sea-crossing Elves were given the particular, rarely used name Falmari, (from the Quenya word falma, meaning [crested] wave, loosely translated as 'Sea-elves' ), for they had became enamored with the sea and made music beside the breaking waves.
After many years on the island of Tol Eressëa, at the request of the other Vala, the great Maia Ossë taught the Teleri the art of ship-building, and many Teleri finally sailed to the shores of Aman itself.
There, they dwelt on the starlit beaches of the Undying Lands and built their chief city of Alqualondë, (Swan Harbour) walled and built in a natural harbour under a natural rock arch. It features the great harbours where the Teleri swan-ships were moored, and it housed the tower of King Olwë, The city was covered with pearls which the Teleri found in the seas and jewels given by the Noldor. From the skimming of their ships over the starlit waves, these Terleri also acquired the name of “the Foam-riders, folk of waters, Elves of the endless echoing beaches".