Leader History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The many generations and branches of the Leader family can all place the origins of their surname with the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name reveals that an early member worked as a drover; a driver of a cart or vehicle carrying cargo of one kind or another. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Old English word lædere, which meant leader, because of course the driver had to lead the horses pulling the cart. [1] Occupational names that were derived from the common trades of the medieval era transcended European cultural and linguistic boundaries. Occupational names have remained fairly common in the modern period. This is attested to by the continuing appearance of occupational suffixes at the end of many English surnames. Some of these suffixes include: herd, monger, maker, hewer, smith, and wright. Similarly, surnames of office, which include military, judicial, papal and other positions of authority, are widespread throughout Europe. Those who were involved in the military, or feudal armies, were given names such as the English surname Archer, the French name Chevalier and the German name Jeger, which means hunter. Names that were derived from judicial and papal titles, such as Bailiff, Squire and Abbott, are still commonly seen with the same surname spelling today.

Early Origins of the Leader family

The surname Leader was first found in Durham where one of the first records of the name was Ralph Ledere who was listed in the Assize Rolls of 1243. Later, Henry le Leeder was listed at Pichbeck, Suffolk in 1328. [2]

From these early entries for the family, we move forward many years to find Richard Ledar, rector of Fouldon, Norfolk in 1519 and Thomas Leader held lands in Norfolk in 1654. [3] Leeder was the name of the rector of Hale church in 1566. [4]

Early History of the Leader family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leader research. Another 111 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1243, 1553, 1558, 1601, 1771, 1688, 1767, 1828, 1823, 1826, 1812, 1818, 1810, 1903, 1798 and 1885 are included under the topic Early Leader History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Leader 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 Leader were recorded, including Leader, Leeder and others.

Early Notables of the Leader family (pre 1700)

Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leader Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Leader Ranking

In the United States, the name Leader is the 8,278th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Leader family to Ireland

Some of the Leader family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Leader migration to the United States +

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Leader family emigrate to North America:

Leader Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Leader, who settled at Lynn Massachusetts in 1630
  • Thomas Leader, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1647 [6]
  • John Leader, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1652 [6]
  • Richard Leader, who landed in New England in 1652 [6]
  • George Leader, who landed in New England in 1654 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Leader Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Anne Leader, who settled in Savannah, Georgia in 1825

Australia Leader migration to Australia +

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

Leader Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Leader, (b. 1825), aged 18, Irish farm labourer who was convicted in Cork, Ireland for 10 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Constant" on 9th May 1843, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • H.F. Leader, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John Mitchell" in 1849 [8]
  • T.R. Leader, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John Mitchell" in 1849 [8]
  • John Leader, aged 30, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Lord Hungerford"
  • Catherine Leader, aged 18, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "Escort"

New Zealand Leader 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:

Leader Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Margaret Leader, (b. 1836), aged 27, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship " Lancashire Witch" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 13th October 1863 [9]
  • Mr. Patrick Leader, (b. 1837), aged 26, British smith travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship " Lancashire Witch" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 13th October 1863 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Leader (post 1700) +

  • Joyce Ellen Leader (b. 1942), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Guinea, 1999 [10]
  • Joshua Leader, American Democratic Party politician, Postmaster at Mt. Joy, Pennsylvania, 1853-61 [10]
  • Henry B. Leader, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1960 [10]
  • Guy Alvin Leader, American Democratic Party politician, Member of Pennsylvania State Senate 28th District, 1943-50; Candidate for Presidential Elector for Pennsylvania, 1956 [10]
  • George Michael Leader (1918-2013), American Democratic Party politician, Chair of York County Democratic Party, 1946-50; Member of Pennsylvania State Senate 28th District, 1951-54; Governor of Pennsylvania, 1955-59 [10]
  • Adam H. Leader, American politician, Mayor of Reading, Pennsylvania, 1899-1902 [10]
  • George Michael Leader (1918-2013), American politician, 36th Governor of Pennsylvania from 1955-1959
  • Anton Leader, American film director
  • Zoe Leader, American voice actress best known for providing the voice of Sarafina in the 1994 Disney animated film The Lion King
  • Bill Leader, American-English recording engineer and producer
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Archie Leader (d. 1912), aged 22, English Confectioner from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [11]
  • Dr. Alice Leader, (née Farnham), aged 49, American First Class passenger from New York City, New York who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat 8 [11]


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/constant
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The JOHN MITCHELL 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849JohnMitchell.htm
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 28) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  11. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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