laitch History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Anglo-Saxon name laitch comes from when its first bearer worked as a doctor. Throughout the Middle Ages, doctors were known as "leaches" as the practice of bleeding sick people was the generally accepted manner of curing them. There are countless people in the Middle Ages who died thanks to the common cold; not because the virus killed them, but because they bled to death on the advice of their physicians. Bleeding was accomplished by placing a dozen or so leaches on the person who was ill so that they could remove the poisons that were making them ill, hence the name "leach" for the occupation of doctor. It is small wonder that illness was so feared in the medieval period; many people died from illnesses that would not have otherwise killed them because their doctors were weakening them through loss of blood.
Since the 1970s, Hirudo medicinalis, better known as the European medicinal leech has been routinely used to drain blood after reconstructive surgery, particularly in finger reattachment and reconstructive surgery of the ear, nose, lip, and eyelid.
Early Origins of the laitch family
The surname laitch was first found in Oxfordshire where the earliest records of the family were found as Edmund le Leche and William le Leche who were both listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. A few years later, Robert le Leche was listed in the Writs of Parliament of 1307. 
Further north in Scotland, many records were found including: Henry Leche held a tenement in Glasgow in 1325. "Henry Leche, is later referred to in a safe conduct by Edward III of England in 1348 as "Hector medicus David de Bruys." From another reference to him in 1369, he turns out to be a MacBeth, perhaps one of the family of hereditary doctors of that name so famous in West Highland history. Wilham de Lech or Leche was burgess of Aberdeen, 1362. He may be William Leche, merchant of Aberdeen, whose goods were plundered in England, 1370, when his ship was driven ashore in Kirklee Rode, Suffolk."  They also settled in Monteith where they gave their name to Leitchtown.
Early History of the laitch family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our laitch research. Another 61 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1150 and are included under the topic Early laitch History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
laitch Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name laitch include Leach, Leech, Leche, Leitch, Leich, Leetch and others.
Early Notables of the laitch family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early laitch Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the laitch family to Ireland
Some of the laitch family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the laitch family
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name laitch or a variant listed above: John Leach arrived in Barbados in 1679; with his servants; Lawrence Leach settled in Salem in 1628; Margaret Leach settled in Boston in 1635; Rebecca Leach settled in Virginia in 1639.
Related Stories +
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)