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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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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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.

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.


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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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  • Daniel Parkhurst Leadbetter (1797-1870), American state senator in Ohio
  • Phil Leadbetter (b. 1962), one of the American leading players of the resonator guitar
  • Danville Leadbetter (1811-1866), career U.S. Army officer
  • Wallace R. Leadbetter, American politician, Member of California State Assembly 16th District, 1880-81
  • John S. Leadbetter, American politician, Mayor of Marquette, Michigan, 1994, 2002
  • 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
  • Archie Leadbetter, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for U.S. Representative from Michigan 13th District, 1950
  • 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

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  1. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  2. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  3. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  4. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  5. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  6. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  8. 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.
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. 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 28 January 2016 at 13:14.

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