The Leaper surname is thought to have evolved independently from two distinct sources. Some instances of the name come from the Middle English "le pere," from the Old English "le-ap," meaning "a basket;" in which case the name was occupational
for a basket maker. Other instances of the name come from the Old English "hle-apere," meaning a "dancer," "runner," or "courier," and the name would have been either occupational or nickname.
Early Origins of the Leaper family
The surname Leaper was first found in Warwickshire
where they held a family seat
as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy
, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron
, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England
to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. The first on record of the name appears to be Robert Lepere, who was listed as a Templar in Warwickshire
Early History of the Leaper family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leaper research.Another 175 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1295 and 1713 are included under the topic Early Leaper History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Leaper Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations
are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans
introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Leeper, Leaper, Leper, LePere, Lepere, Lepper, Leiper, Leyper, Peer, Pere, Peir and many more.
Early Notables of the Leaper family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Peer (died 1713), English actor. He owes the survival of his name to a humorous mention of his career... Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leaper Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Leaper family to Ireland
Some of the Leaper family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 74 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Leaper family to the New World and Oceana
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland
, North America, and Australia
in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England
. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Leaper or a variant listed above:
Leaper Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- John Leaper, who settled in Virginia in 1658
- John Leaper, who landed in Virginia in 1658 CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
Leaper Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Margret Leaper, who settled in Philadelphia in 1819
Leaper Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- James Leaper, who settled in Nova Scotia in 1815
- James Leaper, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1815
- James Leaper, aged 46, who landed in Pictou, Nova Scotia in 1815-1816
Contemporary Notables of the name Leaper (post 1700)
- Adrian Leaper (b. 1953), English orchestra conductor