Anglo-Saxon society of old Britain. The name was thought to have been used for someone who once worked as a worker in lead. Further research showed the name was derived from the Old English words lead and beatere, meaning literally "he who beats lead." Metallurgy was not an advanced art in the Middle Ages; the metal in modern cutlery is far harder and has more resiliency than that in the best sword in medieval times. It was a common sight during a battle in the early Middle Ages to see a soldier hit someone with a sword, then put it on the ground and step on it to straighten out the bend it had just acquired. Lead was a popular metal to work with thanks to its malleability, making it easy to work. Of course, its toxic properties were not known; in fact, its sweet taste led to its use in antiquity as a condiment in some places, though usually not for long. Lead was commonly found in jewelry as a metal mixed with gold, and in pewter, an amalgam of lead and tin, used for drinking cups and cutlery. This made the occupation of leadbeater an important one in the Middle Ages.
Early Origins of the Ledbiter family
Durham where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.
Early History of the Ledbiter family
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Ledbiter Spelling Variations
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Ledbiter include Leadbetter, Leadbater, Leadbeater, Leadbeter, Leadbetter, Leadbitter and many more.
Early Notables of the Ledbiter family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Ledbiter family to the New World and Oceana
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Ledbiter were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Albert Leadbeater settled in Philadelphia in 1848; Ann Leadbeater settled in Annapolis in 1725; John Leadbeter arrived in Philadelphia in 1811; T. and R. Leadbater arrived in New York in 1822..
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