Origins Available: English
The many generations and branches of the Leedge family can all place the origins of their surname with the ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture. Their name reveals that an early member worked as a doctor. Throughout the Middle Ages, doctors were known as "leaches" as the practice of bleeding sick people was the generally accepted manner of curing them. There are countless people in the Middle Ages who died thanks to the common cold; not because the virus killed them, but because they bled to death on the advice of their physicians. Bleeding was accomplished by placing a dozen or so leaches on the person who was ill so that they could remove the poisons that were making them ill, hence the name "leach" for the occupation
of doctor. It is small wonder that illness was so feared in the medieval period; many people died from illnesses that would not have otherwise killed them because their doctors were weakening them through loss of blood.
Since the 1970s, Hirudo medicinalis, better known as the European medicinal leech has been routinely used to drain blood after reconstructive surgery, particularly in finger reattachment and reconstructive surgery of the ear, nose, lip, and eyelid.
Early Origins of the Leedge family
The surname Leedge was first found in Oxfordshire
where the earliest records of the family were found as Edmund le Leche and William le Leche who were both listed in the Hundredorum Rolls
of 1273. A few years later, Robert le Leche was listed in the Writs of Parliament of 1307. CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
Further north in Scotland, many records were found including: Henry Leche held a tenement in Glasgow in 1325. "Henry Leche, is later referred to in a safe conduct by Edward III of England in 1348 as "Hector medicus David de Bruys." From another reference to him in 1369, he turns out to be a MacBeth, perhaps one of the family of hereditary doctors of that name so famous in West Highland history. Wilham de Lech or Leche was burgess of Aberdeen, 1362. He may be William Leche, merchant of Aberdeen, whose goods were plundered in England, 1370, when his ship was driven ashore in Kirklee Rode, Suffolk." CITATION[CLOSE]
Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3) They also settled in Monteith where they gave their name to Leitchtown.
Early History of the Leedge family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leedge research.Another 128 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1150 and are included under the topic Early Leedge History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Leedge Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred
years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations
are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon
surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Leedge were recorded, including Leach, Leech, Leche, Leitch, Leich, Leetch and others.
Early Notables of the Leedge family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Leedge Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Leedge family to Ireland
Some of the Leedge family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 117 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Leedge family to the New World and Oceana
To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England
went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Leedge family emigrate to North America: John Leach arrived in Barbados in 1679; with his servants; Lawrence Leach settled in Salem in 1628; Margaret Leach settled in Boston in 1635; Rebecca Leach settled in Virginia in 1639.