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The surname Leavitt was first found in Suffolk where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. William Levett (ca.1200–ca.1270) was lord of the manor of the South Yorkshire village of Hooton Levitt. 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, [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
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. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Leuiet, held by a Norman noble who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Levet, Levett, Levitt, Leavett, Leavitt, Livett and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leavitt research. Another 215 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1700, 1495, 1554, 1594, 1655, 1586, 1630, 1711, 1693, 1746, 1668, 1725, 1608, 1691 and 1634 are included under the topic Early Leavitt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Levett ( ca. 1495-1554),was an English clergyman; Thomas Levett (1594-ca. 1655), High Sheriff of Rutland; Christopher Levett (1586-1630) was an English writer, explorer and naval captain; Sir Richard Levett (also spelled Richard Levet) (died 1711), Sheriff , Alderman and Lord Mayor of London...

Another 82 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leavitt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Leavitt Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Leavitt, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1634
  • Thomas Leavitt (1616–1696) was an English Puritan who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1635, one of the earliest permanent settlers of the Province of New Hampshire
  • Thomas Leavitt, who landed in New England in 1639

Leavitt Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • William B Leavitt, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Stephen Leavitt, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • J B Leavitt, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
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  • Harold J. Leavitt (1922-2007), American psychologist of management
  • Hart Leavitt (1809-1881), American merchant, landowner, legislator and prominent abolitionist
  • Capt. George Baker Leavitt Sr. (1860-1925), American mariner who captained several whaling vessels out of New Bedford, Massachusetts
  • Frank McDowell Leavitt (1856-1928), American engineer and inventor of the Bliss-Leavitt torpedo, the chief torpedo weapon used by United States Navy in World War I
  • Erasmus Darwin Leavitt Jr. (1836-1916), American mechanical engineer best known for his steam engine designs
  • Elisha Leavitt (1714-1790), American Loyalist landowner who owned several islands in Boston Harbor
  • Edward Chalmers Leavitt (1842-1904), American landscape painter
  • Dudley Leavitt (1772-1851), American publisher of Leavitt's Farmers' Almanack and Miscellaneous Yearbook
  • Rev. Dudley Leavitt (1720-1762), American Congregational minister
  • David Okerlund Leavitt (b. 1963), American criminal justice attorney and businessman from Utah
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  • An Index of Names of Leavitt by Julia Bumpus Brendt.
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Citations



  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  2. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  5. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  8. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  9. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  10. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Leavitt Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Leavitt 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 10 August 2015 at 13:01.

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