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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Leach family come from? What is the English Leach family crest and coat of arms? When did the Leach family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Leach family history?

The name Leach is rooted in the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It is a name for someone who worked as a doctor. Throughout the Middle Ages, doctors were known as "leaches" as the practice of bleeding sick people was the generally accepted manner of curing them. There are countless people in the Middle Ages who died thanks to the common cold; not because the virus killed them, but because they bled to death on the advice of their physicians. Bleeding was accomplished by placing a dozen or so leaches on the person who was ill so that they could remove the poisons that were making them ill, hence the name "leach" for the occupation of doctor. It is small wonder that illness was so feared in the medieval period; many people died from illnesses that would not have otherwise killed them because their doctors were weakening them through loss of blood.

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It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Leach are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Leach include: Leach, Leech, Leche, Leitch, Leich, Leetch and others.

First found in Cheshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leach research. Another 287 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1150 and 1325 are included under the topic Early Leach History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Leach Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Leach family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 136 words(10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Leach or a variant listed above:

Leach Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Lawrence Leach settled in Salem in 1628
  • Lawrence Leach, who landed in New England in 1628
  • Margaret Leach, aged 15, landed in America in 1635
  • Margaret Leach settled in Boston in 1635
  • Roger Leach, who landed in Virginia in 1635


Leach Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Archibald Leach, who arrived in North Carolina in 1794

Leach Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Leach, who landed in America in 1800
  • George Leach, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1806
  • Dugald Leach, aged 30, arrived in North Carolina in 1812
  • Isaac Leach, who landed in New York, NY in 1827
  • Wm Leach, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850


Leach Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Thomas Albert Lorue Leach, who arrived in Michigan in 1903

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  • Archibald Alexander Leach (1904-1986), original name of American actor Cary Grant named the second Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute
  • Rick Leach (b. 1964), American former professional tennis player and a coach
  • James Albert Smith "Jim" Leach (b. 1942), American politician, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Iowa
  • Michael E. Leach (b. 1960), American former collegiate and ATP Tour professional tennis player, winner of the NCAA singles championship (1982)
  • Terry Hester Leach (b. 1954), American former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Brent Leach (b. 1982), American Major League Baseball pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers
  • John Michael Leach (b. 1976), American NFL football long snapper for the Arizona Cardinals
  • Bernard Howell Leach CBE, CH (1887-1979), British studio potter and art teacher
  • Sir Edmund Ronald Leach (1910-1989), British social anthropologist
  • William Elford Leach (1790-1836), English naturalist

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  • Leach-Leech Family by Anna Laura Griffith.
  • William Adams (also Leach), 1594-1661, of Ipswich, Massachusetts by Kenneth L. Bosworth.
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  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  4. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  6. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  8. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  9. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  10. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  11. ...

The Leach Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Leach Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 9 September 2014 at 17:21.

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