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

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

The name Lever is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a product of when the family lived in the township of Great Lever in Lancashire as well as in Little Lever the chapelry in the parish of Bolton in Lancashire. According to history the Lever family were industrialists and millers, perhaps giving rise to the modern city of Liverpool, from their own Leaver's Port.


The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Lever has been spelled many different ways, including Lever, Leaver, Leyver and others.

First found in Lancashire at Little Lever, now a large village in the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton in Greater Manchester. Great Lever, a township nearby "was long held by the family of Lever, but in the 6th year of Edward IV., Sir Rauff Assheton, Knt., sued out a 'write of right of warde' against Roger Lever, for the recovery of the manor, and obtained judgment against him at the assizes of Lancaster. Lever, however, with a number of dependants of his name, and a large concourse of persons, many of whom had been outlawed, riotously broke into Lancaster Castle, and carried off the record of recovery. Sir Rauff complaining of this outrage to the two houses of parliament, they ordained that the copy of the record which was annexed to his petition should be of the same force and efficacy as the original; and the justices thereupon ordered execution to issue, and reinstated him in the possession, which, notwithstanding, was not undisturbed until some time after. " [1] The village's name was derived from the Old English word "laefre," which means "place where the rushes grow." [2] The first listing of the place name was found in 1212 when it was listed as Parua Lefre. [2] Nearby is Darcy Lever which was the ancestral home of the D'Arcy family since 1590.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lever research. Another 171 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1521, 1577, 1551 and 1553 are included under the topic Early Lever History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Lever Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Levers to arrive in North America:

Lever Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Ashton Lever and James Lever, who settled in Maryland in 1775

Lever Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Adam, James, John, Lawrence, and William Lever, who all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860

Lever Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • John Lever arrived in Canterbury aboard the ship "Hastings" in 1856


  • Henry Work Lever (1883-1980), American sportsperson and educator, 8th head coach of the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs in 1911
  • Richard Hayley Lever (1875-1958), Australian-born, American painter, etcher, lecturer and art teacher
  • Lafayette "Fat" Lever (b. 1960), retired American professional NBA basketball player, gold medalist at the 1979 FIBA U19 World Championship
  • Asbury Francis "Frank" Lever (1875-1940), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from South Carolina (1901-1919)
  • Peter Lever (b. 1940), former English cricketer, brother of Colin Lever
  • Mark Lever (b. 1970), English former professional footballer who played from 1988 to 2004
  • Laurie Lever (b. 1947), English-born, Australian equestrian at the 2008 Summer Olympics when he was 60 years old, making him the oldest member of Australia's 2008 team
  • John Orrell Lever (1824-1897), English shipping owner and politician, Member of Parliament for Galway Borough (1859-1865) and from (1880-1885)
  • Sir Samuel Hardman Lever KCB (1869-1947), 1st Baronet, nicknamed "Sammie," an English accountant and civil servant, Financial Secretary to the Treasury (1916-1921)
  • Eddie Lever, English manager of the football club Portsmouth F.C. from 1952-1958




  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)

Other References

  1. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. 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).
  4. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  5. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  8. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  9. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  10. 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.
  11. ...

This page was last modified on 15 July 2015 at 08:58.

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