Ledger History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change, including many immigrants with new names. Among these were the ancestors of the Ledger family, whose name comes from St. Leger. "The St. Legers came from Caen in Normandy (Chron. of Battel Abbey, p. 59), and a family tradition asserts that the patriarch, Robert, was not only present at William's invasion in 1066, but actually supported him with his hand as he quitted the ship! There are six places bearing this name mentioned in the Itin. de la Normandie. Its Latinization is De Sancto." [1]

Another source notes that it was a "name of a warlike king of the Saxons in the Nibelungen Lied, which occurs in some local names in Anglo-Saxon charters, as Ludegarsttin and Lutegáreshale, which latter Kemble thinks may be Ludgershall, in Wiltshire." [2]

Saint Leodegar (or Leger), known as Leodegar of Poitiers (Latin: Leodegarius; French: Léger; c. 615-679) was a martyred Burgundian Bishop of Autun.

Early Origins of the Ledger family

The surname Ledger was first found in Kent where Robert St. Leger was granted estates at Ulcombe and became Lord of the Manor of Ulcombe. "Ulcombe Place and manor belonged to the family of St. Leger, of whom Sir Robert, of an ancient house in Normandy, is said to have supported the Conqueror with his hand when landing on the Sussex coast. The present edifice, [(church)] which is in the later English style, contains some very old monuments to the St. Legers." [3] He also held estates at Bexhill in Sussex.

Early History of the Ledger family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ledger research. Another 220 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1767, 1540, 1440, 1483, 1441, 1483, 1596, 1475, 1536, 1544, 1560, 1555, 1558, 1559, 1563, 1563, 1571, 1571, 1583, 1584, 1585, 1631, 1678, 1476, 1526, 1535, 1613, 1496, 1559, 1589, 1571, 1572, 1600, 1618, 1619, 1627, 1600, 1665, 1621, 1650 and 1665 are included under the topic Early Ledger History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ledger Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled St.Leger, Leger, Legere, Sallinger, Sellinger, St. Ledger and many more.

Early Notables of the Ledger family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Thomas St Leger KB (c. 1440-1483) second son of Sir John St Leger (d.1441) of Ulcombe, Kent, and his wife, Margery Donnet. He was executed on 13 November 1483, at Exeter Castle, despite the offer of large sums of money on his behalf. Sir John St Leger (died 1596), of Annery in the parish of Monkleigh, Devon, was an English landowner who served in local and national government. He was the son of Sir George St Leger (c.1475-1536), of Annery, by his wife, Anne Knyvett, daughter of Sir Edmund Knyvett of Buckenham. He...
Another 182 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ledger Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Ledger family to Ireland

Some of the Ledger family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 249 words (18 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Ledger migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Ledger or a variant listed above:

Ledger Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Ledger, aged 47, who arrived in Connecticut in 1812 [4]
  • G Ledger, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1855 [4]
  • Thomas Ledger, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1866 [4]
  • Edward Ledger, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1875 [4]

Australia Ledger migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Ledger Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Ledger, English convict who was convicted in West Riding, Yorkshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Mr. Henry Ledger, British Convict who was convicted in Durham, England for life, transported aboard the "Asia" on 20th July 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1878 [6]
  • Charles Ledger, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [7]
  • William J. Ledger, aged 22, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Himalaya" [8]
  • William Ledger, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Himalaya" in 1849 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Ledger 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:

Ledger Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • H. O. Ledger, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Wild Duck" in 1860
  • Walter Ledger, aged 27, a carpenter, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1878
  • James Ledger, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cape Finisterre" in 1879

Contemporary Notables of the name Ledger (post 1700) +

  • Robert Hardy "Bob" Ledger (1937-2015), English professional footballer who played from 1955 to 1970
  • Robert Hardy "Bob" Ledger (b. 1937), English former professional footballer
  • Jennifer Carole "Jen" Ledger (b. 1989), English drummer and backing vocalist for the Grammy Award-nominated Christian rock/hard rock band Skillet
  • Septimus "Sep" Heyns Ledger (b. 1917), South African rugby union player
  • Heath Andrew Ledger (1979-2008), Australian Golden Globe Award winning BAFTA and Academy Award winning television and film actor, best known for his role as the Joker in The Dark Knight (2008)
  • Peter Ledger (1945-1994), Australian award winning artist and illustrator, eponym of The Ledger Awards
  • Sir Phillip Ledger CBE (b. 1937), British Director of Music, Cambridge from 1974-1982 and Conductor of the Cambridge University Musical Society from 1973-1982

RMS Lusitania


The Ledger 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: Haut et bon
Motto Translation: High and good.


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th February 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1837
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anson voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1843 with 499 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/anson/1843
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The HIMALAYA 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Himalaya.htm
  9. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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