Show ContentsLeakes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Leakes is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when a family lived in one of the places that was called Leake. The name literally means "place at the brook," from the Scandinavian word "loekr." The Lincolnshire, Yorkshire or Nottinghamshire parishes all date back to the Domesday Book of 1086 [1] where they were listed as Leche, Lec(h)e and Lec(c)he respectively. [2]

Early Origins of the Leakes family

The surname Leakes was first found in either Lincolnshire, Yorkshire or Nottinghamshire which all have parishes names Leake. For some of the first listings of the family, we must look to Lincolnshire where the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list the following: John de Lek; Roger de Leke; and Teobald de Lek as all living in that shire at that time. [3]

Willie's Lyke-Wake is a Child Ballad, one of 305 traditional ballads from England and Scotland, and their American variants listed in the 1904 Houghton Mifflin edition. Lyke-Wake Dirge is a traditional English song that is thought to have originated in the Yorkshire area.

Other early rolls included the following entries for the family: Walter de Lek in the Assize Rolls for Lincolnshire in 1202; Ralph de Lek in the Assize Rolls for Yorkshire in 1219; Henry de Leek in the Assize Rolls for Cheshire in 1290; John Leke in Lincolnshire (no date); and Ralph Leecke in the Hundredorum Rolls for Bedfordshire in 1279. [4]

Early History of the Leakes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leakes research. Another 64 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1334, 1581, 1627, 1633, 1655, 1656, 1660, 1679, 1681, 1708, 1710, 1712, 1715 and 1720 are included under the topic Early Leakes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Leakes Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Leakes family name include Leake, Leak, Leek, Leeke, Leyke and others.

Early Notables of the Leakes family

Notables of this surname at this time include: Francis Leke, 1st Earl of Scarsdale (1581-1655) fought for the Royalist cause in the English Civil War; Sir Francis Leke, 1st Baronet (1627-1679), an English soldier, administrator and Member of Parliament, High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire for 1660; William Leake, the father (died...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leakes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Leakes family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Leakes surname or a spelling variation of the name include : Augustine Leak, who came to Virginia in 1623; Winifred Leak, who arrived in Virginia in 1623; John Leak, who settled in Virginia in 1635; John Leak, who arrived in Barbados in 1658.



The Leakes Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Agendo gnaviter
Motto Translation: By acting prudently.


  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. 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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