Show ContentsLeadbetter History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The saga of the name Leadbetter follows a line reaching back through history to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes in Britain. It was a name for someone who worked as a worker in lead. Further research showed the name was derived from the Old English words lead and beatere, meaning literally "he who beats lead." Metallurgy was not an advanced art in the Middle Ages; the metal in modern cutlery is far harder and has more resiliency than that in the best sword in medieval times. It was a common sight during a battle in the early Middle Ages to see a soldier hit someone with a sword, then put it on the ground and step on it to straighten out the bend it had just acquired. Lead was a popular metal to work with thanks to its malleability, making it easy to work. Of course, its toxic properties were not known; in fact, its sweet taste led to its use in antiquity as a condiment in some places, though usually not for long. Lead was commonly found in jewelry as a metal mixed with gold, and in pewter, an amalgam of lead and tin, used for drinking cups and cutlery. This made the occupation of leadbeater an important one in the Middle Ages.

Early Origins of the Leadbetter family

The surname Leadbetter was first found in Durham 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.

Early History of the Leadbetter family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leadbetter research. Another 121 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1221, 1250 and 1328 are included under the topic Early Leadbetter History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Leadbetter Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Leadbetter were recorded, including Leadbetter, Leadbater, Leadbeater, Leadbeter, Leadbetter, Leadbitter and many more.

Early Notables of the Leadbetter family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Leadbetter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Leadbetter Ranking

In the United States, the name Leadbetter is the 14,011st most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

Australia Leadbetter migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Leadbetter Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Sarah Leadbetter, (b. 1780), aged 20, British Convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Earl Cornwallis" in August 1800, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, she died in 1830 [2]
  • Mr. Benjamin Leadbetter, English convict who was convicted in Stafford, Staffordshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Equestrian" on 27th August 1852, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Island) [3]

New Zealand Leadbetter migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Leadbetter Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Leadbetter, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865

Contemporary Notables of the name Leadbetter (post 1700) +

  • Phil Leadbetter (1962-2021), American resonator guitar player
  • Wallace R. Leadbetter, American politician, Member of California State Assembly 16th District, 1880-81 [4]
  • John S. Leadbetter, American politician, Mayor of Marquette, Michigan, 1994, 2002 [4]
  • Daniel Parkhurst Leadbetter (1797-1870), American politician, Representative from Ohio 13th District, 1837-41; Delegate to Ohio State Constitutional Convention from Holmes County, 1850-51 [4]
  • Archie Leadbetter, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for U.S. Representative from Michigan 13th District, 1950 [4]
  • Daniel Parkhurst Leadbetter (1797-1870), American state senator in Ohio
  • Danville Leadbetter (1811-1866), career U.S. Army officer
  • Mike Leadbetter (1946-2009), English rugby union international
  • David Leadbetter (b. 1952), English leading golf instructor
  • David "Dave" Leadbetter (1934-2006), figure in Scottish politics
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Cornwall
  • Ronald Edward Leadbetter (d. 1942), British Engine Room Artificer 5th Class aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [5]

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  2. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th August 2021). Retrieved from
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th May 2022).
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 28) . Retrieved from
  5. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from on Facebook