Leadlay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the bearers of the Leadlay family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found in Leeds a well-known town in the West Riding of Yorkshire. This place-name was aHabitation name which forms a broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. Habitation names were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. In this case the surname Leadlay denotes someone who came from Leeds.

Early Origins of the Leadlay family

The surname Leadlay was first found in Leeds, a parish, and liberty, in the West Riding of York, comprising the market-town and borough of Leeds. [1]

"At the Conquest, the manor of Leeds was given to Ilbert de Lacy, who erected a baronial castle here, which was besieged by Stephen, King of England, on his route to Scotland, and in which Richard II., after his deposition, was for some time confined, previously to his removal to the Castle of Pontefract, where he was inhumanly murdered." [1]

As far as the first listings of the family, we must look elsewhere. Paulinus de Ledes was listed in Cheshire in 1175-1176; Peter de Ledes was listed in the Feet of Fines for Kent in 1198; and Hugh de Leedes was listed in 1285. [2]

Taking a moment to explore, the aforementioned Kent listing, Leeds is also a parish found there in the union of Hollingbourne, hundred of Eyhorne, lathe of Aylesford. "The parish is said to have derived its name from Ledian, councillor to Ethelbert II., who built a fortress here in 978. Leeds Castle, one of the most stately castles in the kingdom, is seated in a beautiful park, and surrounded by a moat: the buildings, which are entirely of stone, are ranged round a spacious quadrangle, and though they exhibit the architecture of different periods, produce, as a whole, a most striking effect." [1]

Early History of the Leadlay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leadlay research. Another 71 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1590, 1573, 1656, 1621, 1622, 1632, 1712, 1624, 1704, 1699, 1738, 1599, 1677, 1599 and 1677 are included under the topic Early Leadlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Leadlay 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 Leadlay include Leeds, Lead, Leed, Leads and others.

Early Notables of the Leadlay family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Edward Leeds (died 1590), an English clergyman from Benenden, Kent, Rector of Croxton in 1573; Sir John Leedes (died 1656), an English landowner and politician, Member of Parliament for New Shoreham (1621-1622); Thomas Osborne (1632-1712), an English statesman; Jane Ward Leade (1624-1704), a Christian mystic from Norfolk, England; and Titan Leeds (1699-1738), an American almanac publisher, a "good friend and fellow student" of Benjamin Franklin. Interestingly, Edward Courtney (1599?-1677), was an English Jesuit, "whose real name was Leedes, was the son of Sir Thomas Leedes, K.B., by Mary...
Another 94 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leadlay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Leadlay 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 Leadlay or a variant listed above: Richard Leeds with his wife Joanne and children settled in New England in 1637; Timothy Leeds settled in Virginia in 1607; 13 years before the "Mayflower.".



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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