Leede History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Leede surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in Leeds a well-known town in the West Riding of Yorkshire. This place-name was aHabitation name which forms a broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. Habitation names were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. In this case the surname Leede denotes someone who came from Leeds.

Early Origins of the Leede family

The surname Leede was first found in Leeds, a parish, and liberty, in the West Riding of York, comprising the market-town and borough of Leeds. [1]

"At the Conquest, the manor of Leeds was given to Ilbert de Lacy, who erected a baronial castle here, which was besieged by Stephen, King of England, on his route to Scotland, and in which Richard II., after his deposition, was for some time confined, previously to his removal to the Castle of Pontefract, where he was inhumanly murdered." [1]

As far as the first listings of the family, we must look elsewhere. Paulinus de Ledes was listed in Cheshire in 1175-1176; Peter de Ledes was listed in the Feet of Fines for Kent in 1198; and Hugh de Leedes was listed in 1285. [2]

Taking a moment to explore, the aforementioned Kent listing, Leeds is also a parish found there in the union of Hollingbourne, hundred of Eyhorne, lathe of Aylesford. "The parish is said to have derived its name from Ledian, councillor to Ethelbert II., who built a fortress here in 978. Leeds Castle, one of the most stately castles in the kingdom, is seated in a beautiful park, and surrounded by a moat: the buildings, which are entirely of stone, are ranged round a spacious quadrangle, and though they exhibit the architecture of different periods, produce, as a whole, a most striking effect." [1]

Early History of the Leede family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leede research. Another 71 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1590, 1573, 1656, 1621, 1622, 1632, 1712, 1624, 1704, 1699, 1738, 1599, 1677, 1599 and 1677 are included under the topic Early Leede History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Leede Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Leede include Leeds, Lead, Leed, Leads and others.

Early Notables of the Leede family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Edward Leeds (died 1590), an English clergyman from Benenden, Kent, Rector of Croxton in 1573; Sir John Leedes (died 1656), an English landowner and politician, Member of Parliament for New Shoreham (1621-1622); Thomas Osborne (1632-1712), an English statesman; Jane Ward Leade (1624-1704), a Christian mystic from Norfolk, England; and Titan Leeds (1699-1738), an American almanac publisher, a "good friend and fellow student" of Benjamin Franklin. Interestingly, Edward Courtney (1599?-1677), was an English Jesuit, "whose real name was Leedes, was the son of Sir Thomas Leedes, K.B., by Mary...
Another 94 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leede Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Leede family

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: Richard Leeds with his wife Joanne and children settled in New England in 1637; Timothy Leeds settled in Virginia in 1607; 13 years before the "Mayflower.".


Contemporary Notables of the name Leede (post 1700) +

  • Edward Horst "Ed" Leede (1927-2018), American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics (1949-1951)


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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