Show ContentsLeask History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Leask family were part of an ancient Scottish tribe called the Picts. They lived in the old lands of Leask, which were in the parish of Slains in Aberdeen; this place is now called Pitlurg. The surname Leask belongs to the category of habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Leask family

The surname Leask was first found in Aberdeenshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen, located in the Grampian region of northeastern Scotland, where they held a family seat. William de Laskereske was listed on the Ragman Rolls and rendered homage to King Edward I of England in 1296. Following this early entry, William of Lask, dominus ejusdem, was granted a yearly gift of a pound of wax, from his land of Logy iuxta Elone, to the church of St. Mary of Ellon in 1380. A relative of his, Thomas de Lask or Laysk was a baillie (equivalent to a court bailiff) in the barony of Fyndon in 1390 and in 1391, he witnessed a charter by the Earl of Orkney, Henry St. Clair. [1]

Early History of the Leask family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leask research. Another 322 words (23 lines of text) covering the years 1405, 1413, 1445, 1438, 1461, 1963, 1968, 1438 and 1445 are included under the topic Early Leask History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Leask Spelling Variations

In medieval Scotland, names were more often spelled according to sound than any regular set of rules. An enormous number of spelling variations were the result. Over the years, the name Leask has been spelled Leask, Laysk, Laisk, Lask, Lowsk, Lowask and others.

Early Notables of the Leask family (pre 1700)

Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leask Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Leask migration to the United States +

In such difficult times, Ireland, Australia, and North America looked like better homes for many Scots. The trips were expensive and grueling, but also rewarding, as the colonies were havens for those unwelcome in the old country. That legacy did not die easily, though, and many were forced to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. The Scottish legacy has resurface in more recent times, though, through Clan societies, highland games, and other organizations. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the old Scottish name of Leask:

Leask Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Leask, aged 4, who arrived in America from Stirling, in 1892
Leask Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Thomas Leask, aged 19, who arrived in America from Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1907
  • E. M. Leask, aged 35, who arrived in America, in 1908
  • Jack Leask, aged 4, who arrived in America from Felling on Tyne, England, in 1910
  • Annie Leask, aged 32, who arrived in America from Felling on Tyne, England, in 1910
  • Catherine Leask, aged 1, who arrived in America from Felling on Tyne, England, in 1910
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Leask migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Leask Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Alfred Leask, aged 55, who immigrated to Vancouver, Canada, in 1918

New Zealand Leask 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:

Leask Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Leask, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "New Great Britain" arriving in Bluff, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 10th August 1863 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Leask (post 1700) +

  • Samuel III Leask, American politician, Mayor of Santa Cruz, California, 1967-68 [3]
  • William Keith Leask (1857-1925), Scottish writer and a classics lecturer at the University of Aberdeen
  • Lieutenant General Sir Henry Lowther Ewart Clark Leask KCB, Scottish Colonel Commandant Scottish Division of Infantry in 1968, Perthshire, Scotland, Governor of Edinburgh Castle
  • Lyndsey Alison Leask QSM (1935-2021), New Zealand softball player, coach and administrator, manager of the New Zealand women's team at two world championship tournaments, in 1978 and 1982, the first woman to serve as president of the New Zealand Softball Association from 1993 to 1997
  • Nigel Leask (b. 1958), British author and Regius Professor of English language and literature at the University of Glasgow
  • Air Vice-Marshal Kenneth Malise Saint Clair Graeme Leask (1896-1974), English World War I flying ace credited with eight aerial victories
  • Derek Leask (b. 1948), New Zealand diplomat, High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (2008-), Ambassador to Ireland and High Commissioner to Nigeria
  • Madam Anne Leask of Leask (d. 2008), born Moira Anne Helgesen, 22nd Chief of the Clan Leask (1968-2008)
  • Richard Leask, Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering, McGill University
  • Rob Leask (b. 1971), Canadian professional hockey player
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Leask 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: Virtute cresco
Motto Translation: I grow by virtue.

  1. 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)
  2. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  3. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from on Facebook