Show ContentsLeard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Leard family

The surname Leard was first found in Berwickshire, a lieutenancy area and historic county on the Scottish Borders. Literally, the surname means a "laird" or "landlord" and is obviously an occupational surname. Another sources claim the name means "lord" as in "Lord of the manor," [1] but we feel the former translation is more appropriate. The earliest record of the name was Roger Lawird or Lauird of Berwick who made an agreement with the Abbey of Kelso relating to his land in Waldefgat, Berwick in 1257. [2]

Early History of the Leard family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leard research. Another 98 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1552, 1781, 1782 and are included under the topic Early Leard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Leard Spelling Variations

The name Leard, appeared in many references, and from time to time, the surname was spelt Laird, Lairde and others.

Early Notables of the Leard family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Leard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Leard family to Ireland

Some of the Leard family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Leard migration to the United States +

The New World beckoned as many of the settlers in Ireland, known as the Scotch/Irish, became disenchanted. They sailed aboard the armada of sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. Some called them, less romantically, the "coffin ships." Amongst the early settlers who could be considered kinsmen of the Leard family, or who bore a variation of the surname Leard were

Leard Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Reuben Leard, aged 26, who immigrated to the United States, in 1893
Leard Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Robert H. Leard, aged 48, who landed in America from Cork, in 1904
  • G. Leard, who settled in America, in 1906
  • Jean Marie Leard, aged 32, who immigrated to the United States, in 1919
  • Joseph Leard, aged 35, who settled in America, in 1919
  • Yves Leard, aged 33, who immigrated to America, in 1920
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Leard 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:

Leard Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • G. Leard, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Northfleet" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand, Via Wellington and Lyttleton in February 1854 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Leard (post 1700) +

  • William Wallace "Bill" Leard (1885-1970), nicknamed "Wild Bill", American Major League Baseball player who played second base in three games for the 1917 Brooklyn Robins
  • M. K. Leard, American politician, Member of Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from Indiana County, 1899-1902 [4]
  • Edwin Leard Mechem (1912-2002), American Republican politician, Member of New Mexico State House of Representatives, 1947-48; Governor of New Mexico, 1951-55, 1957-59, 1961-62 [5]

The Leard 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: Spero meliora
Motto Translation: I hope for better things.

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 4) . Retrieved from on Facebook