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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Leeds family come from? When did the Leeds family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Leeds family history?

The ancestors of the Leeds surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in Leeds a well-known town in the West Riding of Yorkshire. This place-name was aHabitation name which forms a broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. Habitation names were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. In this case the surname Leeds denotes somone who came from Leeds.


Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Leeds include Leeds, Lead, Leed, Leads and others.

First found in Cambridgeshire 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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leeds research. Another 141 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1590, 1573, 1656, 1621, 1622, 1632, 1712, 1624, 1704, 1699 and 1738 are included under the topic Early Leeds History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 129 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leeds Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Leeds Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Timothy Leeds settled in Virginia in 1607
  • Timothy Leeds, who landed in Jamestown, Va in 1607
  • Richard Leeds with his wife Joanne and children settled in New England in 1637
  • Benjamin Leeds, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1645
  • Richard Leeds, who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1647

Leeds Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Sarah Leeds, who landed in North Carolina in 1701
  • Abraham Leeds, who landed in North Carolina in 1701
  • Elizabeth Leeds, who arrived in North Carolina in 1701
  • Elizabeth Jane, Leeds Jr., who arrived in North Carolina in 1701
  • Martha Leeds, who arrived in North Carolina in 1701

Leeds Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Ann Leeds arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1863


  • Thelma Leeds (1911-2006), born Thelma Goodman, an American actress
  • Stacy Leeds (b. 1971), American law professor
  • Phil Leeds (b. 1916), American film and television actor, known for his roles in Rosemary's Baby, All In The Family, Three's Company, Night Court, Wings, Ally McBeal, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Larry Sanders Show and many more
  • Morris E. Leeds (1869-1952), American electrical engineer, awarded the Edward Longstreth Medal in 1920, the ASME Medal in 1946, and the IEEE Edison Medal in 1948, founder of the Leeds & Northrup Company in 1899
  • Lila Leeds (1928-1999), born Lila Lee Wilkinson, an American film actress, known for her roles in The Show-Off (1946) and Lady in the Lake (1947)
  • Eric Leeds (b. 1952), American jazz and funk musician
  • Douglas "Doug" Leeds (b. 1968), American businessman, current Chief Executive Officer of Ask.com
  • Charles J. Leeds, American politician, 37th Mayor of New Orleans (1874-1876)
  • Anthony Leeds (b. 1925), American anthropologist
  • Andrea Leeds (1914-1984), born Antoinette Lees, an American Academy Award nominated film actress, best known for her performance in Stage Door (1937)




  1. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  2. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  3. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  5. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  6. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  7. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  10. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  11. ...

This page was last modified on 19 January 2015 at 09:12.

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