The origins of the Ledbitter surname lie with the Anglo-Saxon
tribes of Britain. The name Ledbitter began when someone in that family worked as a worker in lead. Further research showed the name was derived from the Old English words lead
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 Ledbitter family
The surname Ledbitter was first found in 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 Ledbitter family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ledbitter research.Another 241 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1221, 1250 and 1328 are included under the topic Early Ledbitter History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ledbitter Spelling Variations
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations
under which the name Ledbitter has appeared include Leadbetter, Leadbater, Leadbeater, Leadbeter, Leadbetter, Leadbitter and many more.
Early Notables of the Ledbitter family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Ledbitter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ledbitter family to the New World and Oceana
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England
was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England
at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Ledbitter arrived in North America very early: 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..