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

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

The saga of the name Leadbetter follows a line reaching back through history to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes in Britain. It was a name for someone who worked as a worker in lead. Further research showed the name was derived from the Old English words lead and beatere, meaning literally "he who beats lead." Metallurgy was not an advanced art in the Middle Ages; the metal in modern cutlery is far harder and has more resiliency than that in the best sword in medieval times. It was a common sight during a battle in the early Middle Ages to see a soldier hit someone with a sword, then put it on the ground and step on it to straighten out the bend it had just acquired. Lead was a popular metal to work with thanks to its malleability, making it easy to work. Of course, its toxic properties were not known; in fact, its sweet taste led to its use in antiquity as a condiment in some places, though usually not for long. Lead was commonly found in jewelry as a metal mixed with gold, and in pewter, an amalgam of lead and tin, used for drinking cups and cutlery. This made the occupation of leadbeater an important one in the Middle Ages.

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Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Leadbetter were recorded, including Leadbetter, Leadbater, Leadbeater, Leadbeter, Leadbetter, Leadbitter and many more.

First found in Durham 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 Leadbetter research. Another 241 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1221, 1250 and 1328 are included under the topic Early Leadbetter History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Leadbetter family emigrate to North America: Albert Leadbeater settled in Philadelphia in 1848; Ann Leadbeater settled in Annapolis in 1725; John Leadbeter arrived in Philadelphia in 1811; T. and R. Leadbater arrived in New York in 1822..

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  • Danville Leadbetter (1811-1866), career U.S. Army officer
  • Phil Leadbetter (b. 1962), one of the American leading players of the resonator guitar
  • Daniel Parkhurst Leadbetter (1797-1870), American state senator in Ohio
  • David Leadbetter (b. 1952), English leading golf instructor
  • Mike Leadbetter (1946-2009), English rugby union international
  • David Leadbetter, British Undersecretary of State
  • Stiff Leadbetter (1705-1766), British architect and builder
  • James Hunter "Jimmy" Leadbetter (1928-2006), Scottish footballer
  • David "Dave" Leadbetter (1934-2006), figure in Scottish politics


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  1. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  2. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  3. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  5. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  6. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  7. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  9. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  10. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  11. ...

The Leadbetter Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Leadbetter 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 29 May 2013 at 16:30.

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