in J.R.R. Tolkien's works, the Elder Children of Illúvatar, the Quendi, etc. Awoke in the east of Middle Earth at the Cuivénen (Water of Awakening) long before the First Age in the Years of the Trees (the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings took place during the late Third Age and early Fourth Age). Elves are immune to illness and death (sort of).

several different "breeds" of Elves exist (or existed) .. including the Noldor, Teleri, Sindar, etc.