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

Where did the English Leadbetter family come from? What is the English Leadbetter family crest and coat of arms? When did the Leadbetter family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Leadbetter family history?

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.

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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.

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leadbetter research. Another 241 words(17 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.

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

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Leadbetter Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Leadbetter arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865

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  • Danville Leadbetter (1811-1866), career U.S. Army officer
  • Phil Leadbetter (b. 1962), one of the American leading players of the resonator guitar
  • Daniel Parkhurst Leadbetter (1797-1870), American state senator in Ohio
  • David Leadbetter (b. 1952), English leading golf instructor
  • Mike Leadbetter (1946-2009), English rugby union international
  • David Leadbetter, British Undersecretary of State
  • Stiff Leadbetter (1705-1766), British architect and builder
  • James Hunter "Jimmy" Leadbetter (1928-2006), Scottish footballer
  • David "Dave" Leadbetter (1934-2006), figure in Scottish politics


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  1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  2. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  3. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  4. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  5. 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).
  6. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  7. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  8. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  9. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The Leadbetter Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Leadbetter Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 29 May 2013 at 16:30.

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