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

Origins Available: English, Irish

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

When the Anglo- Normans began to settle in Ireland, they brought the tradition of local surnames to an island which already had a Gaelic naming system of hereditary surnames established. Unlike the Irish, the Anglo- Normans had an affinity for local surnames. Local surnames, such as Ledwith, were formed from the names of a place or a geographical landmark where the person lived, held land, or was born. The earliest Anglo-Norman surnames of this type came from Normandy, but as the Normans moved, they created names that referred to where they actually resided. Therefore, English places were used for names when the Normans lived in England, and then Irish places after these particular Anglo- Normans had been settled in Ireland for some time. Originally, these place names were prefixed by de, which means from in French. However, this type of prefix was eventually either made a part of the surname, if the place name began with a vowel, or it was eliminated entirely. The Ledwith family originally lived in the settlement of Ledwyche in the English county of Shropshire, or in a place called Ledwich or Leftwich in the neighboring county of Cheshire. The surname Ledwith belongs to the large category of Anglo-Norman habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

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Medieval scribes and church officials spelled the names as they sounded, so a name was often spelled many different ways during the lifetime of a single person. The investigation of the origin of the name Ledwith revealed many spelling variations including Ledwich, Ledwidge, Ledwedge and others.

First found in Cheshire, where they held a family seat from early times. They are conjecturally descended from Walter de Vernon who was granted the lands by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. They held a family seat at Ledwich or Leftwich in that county.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ledwith research. Another 329 words(24 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1200, 1270, 1329, 1598, 1737, 1823, and 1858 are included under the topic Early Ledwith History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Ireland experienced a dramatic decrease in its population during the 19th century. This was in a great measure, a response to England's imperialistic policies. Hunger and disease took the lives of many Irish people and many more chose to leave their homeland to escape the horrific conditions. North America with its promise of work, freedom, and land was an extremely popular destination for Irish families. For those families that survived the journey, all three of these things were often attained through much hard work and perseverance. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name Ledwith:

Ledwith Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Garrett Ledwith, who arrived in Virginia in 1696

Ledwith Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Morris Ledwith, who landed in America in 1851

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  • Michael Ledwith (1874-1929), American Major Legaue Baseball catcher who played one game for the Brooklyn Atlantics in 1874
  • Thomas A. Ledwith (1840-1898), American lawyer and politician, Member of the New York State Assembly (1863)
  • Dr. Michael Ledwith, Irish author and teacher at Ramtha's School of Enlightenment
  • Anthony Ledwith CBE, FRS (b. 1933), British chemist, President of the Royal Society of Chemistry from 1998 to 2000
  • Martin Ledwith, Scottish actor, known for Comes a Bright Day (2012) and Heartbeat (1992)


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  1. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  2. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  3. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  5. 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).
  6. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  7. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  9. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  10. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  11. ...

The Ledwith Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ledwith 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 27 May 2013 at 08:50.

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