It the age of Twilight the races awoke. The elves were the second to awake, and they settled in the southeast forests of Ansalon. These were the Kagonesti, the children of the wild. Later in the Age of Light a few of these elves starting building a kingdom. However dragons threatened this budding elven nation, so Silvanos, a high powered elf, called the first Synthal-Elish, The Council of the High Ones. Here the many houses of the former Kagonesti allied under Silvanos and renamed themselves the Silvanesti, children of Silvanos. Silvanos became the first Speaker of the Stars.
The Kagonesti had spread out to many of the forests of Krynn and stayed away from their now civilized brethren. The Silvanesti shunned anyone who wasn’t Silvanesti. When the Graygem crossed the world, House Mariner of Silvanos, the elves that had a great love of the sea, became the Sea Elves. There are two races of Sea Elf, the shoal elves, or Dimernesti who follow the Speaker of the Sea; and the deep elves, or Dargonesti, who follow the Speaker of the Moon.
Eventually the arrogance of the Silvanesti resulted in the grandson of Silvanos, Kith-Kanan, to lead a branch of elves to settle a western forest. They became the Qualinesti, and Kith-Kanan became Speaker of the Sun. As well, all races of elves exile the darker side of elven blood, these elves are the Dark Elves, and are not allowed within any kingdom of elf.
Taladas, the lost continent of Krynn, has its own breed of Elves. There are the Armach-Nesti, the elves who lost there way in the migration to Qualinesti. As well there is the barbaric Huldrefolk, a wild and vicious race of elf. Taladas also has its own variations of sea elf, which are also known as Dargonesti and Dimernesti. These elves live near a chain of islands between Ansalon of Taladas, and it is written that they arose from a natural evolution of sea loving elves on Taladas. Given the relatively short span of time that this evolution would have had to occur, this is unlikely.