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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the German Leatherman family come from? What is the German Leatherman family crest and coat of arms? When did the Leatherman family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Leatherman family history?

The surname Leatherman was an occupational name for a tanner, derived from the German word "lederaere," meaning "leather worker." While patronymic and metronymic surnames, which are derived from the name of the father and mother respectively, are the most common form of a hereditary surname in Germany, occupational surnames also emerged during the late Middle Ages. Many people, such as the Leatherman family, adopted the name of their occupation as their surname.

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In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Leatherman include Lederer, Leder, Lederman, Ledermann, Lederle and others.

First found in Austria, where the name was anciently associated with the tribal conflicts of the area. They declared allegiances to many nobles and princes of early history, lending their influence in struggles for power and status within the region. Chronicles first mention Heynke Lederer of Liegnitz in 1372, and Sigfrid der Ledergaerwe of Schorndorf in 1302. The family branched into many houses, and their contributions were sought by many leaders in their search for power.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leatherman research. Another 321 words(23 lines of text) covering the years 1723, 1778, 1795, 1842, and 1860 are included under the topic Early Leatherman History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 99 words(7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leatherman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Austria was made a republic after the First World War. The Austro-Hungarian Empire was broken up by the Treaty of Versailles and many of its people found themselves in the new nation of Czechoslovakia. Many other Austrians and expatriate Austrians made their way to North America in the 20th century. Most landed in Philadelphia, later continuing on to the states of Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Some Austrian settlers also went to western Canada and Ontario. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Leatherman or a variant listed above:

Leatherman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Dewalt Leatherman, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1727
  • Tewalt Leatherman, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1727
  • Jacob Leatherman, aged 32, landed in Pennsylvania in 1741

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  • Stephen P. Leatherman, the American director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University
  • Russ Leatherman, American voice actor, the famous voice of Moviefone
  • Hugh K. Leatherman Sr., American Republican member of the South Carolina Senate
  • Sheila Leatherman CBE, American research professor
  • Janie L. Leatherman (b. 1959), scholar from the United States
  • Timothy S. Leatherman, American co-founder of the Leatherman Tool Group in 1983


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  1. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Hopeful Journeys German Immigration, Settlement, and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
  2. Rupp, Daniel L. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2000. Print. (ISBN 978-0806303024).
  3. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  4. Strassburger, Ralph B. German Pioneers The Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 3 Volumes. Baltimore: Picton Press, 1992. Print. (ISBN 978-0929539980).
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Bahlow, Hans and Edda Gentry. Translation Dictionary of German Names 2nd Edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2002. Print.
  7. Strassburger, Ralph B. Pennsylvania German Pioneers The Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 3 Volumes. Baltimore: Picton Press, 1992. Print. (ISBN 978-0929539980).
  8. Steed, Henry Wickham . The Hapsburg Monarchy. London: Constable and Company, 1919. Print.
  9. Preuss, Otto. Die Lippischen Familiennamen mit Berücksichtigung der Ortsnamen. Detmold: Meyer'sche Hofbuchh, 1887. Print.
  10. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  11. ...

The Leatherman Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Leatherman Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 6 March 2015 at 11:49.

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