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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.

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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 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 Lever research. Another 271 words(19 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Lever History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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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

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  • William Hesketh Lever (1851-1925), English Industrialist and colonialist, created 1st Viscount Leverhulme
  • Sir Christopher Lever, English historian and author of natural history books
  • Jeremy Lever, English Lawyer, QC, professor of Law at Oxford, knighted in 2002
  • John Kenneth Lever (b. 1949), English cricketer
  • Charles James Lever (1806-1872), Irish novelist and physician, of English descent
  • Harold Lever (1914-1995), British Lawyer, politician, Baron Lever of Manchester


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  1. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  4. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  5. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  6. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  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.
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This page was last modified on 25 November 2010 at 09:50.

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