Leedy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Leedy name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It comes from when the family 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 Leedy denotes someone who came from Leeds.

Early Origins of the Leedy family

The surname Leedy 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 Leedy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leedy 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 Leedy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Leedy 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 Leedy were recorded, including Leeds, Lead, Leed, Leads and others.

Early Notables of the Leedy 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 Leedy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Leedy migration to the United States +

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 Leedy family emigrate to North America:

Leedy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Leedy, aged 36, who landed in New York in 1812 [3]
Leedy Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • R.B. Leedy, aged 34, who immigrated to the United States, in 1904
  • Edna Leedy, who immigrated to America, in 1907
  • Emma Leedy, aged 36, who immigrated to New York, NY, in 1907
  • Charles Leedy, aged 23, who landed in America from Brookline, Massachusetts, in 1923

Contemporary Notables of the name Leedy (post 1700) +

  • Harold Gavin Leedy (1892-1989), American president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (1941 to 1961)
  • John Whitnah Leedy (1849-1935), American politician, the 14th Governor of Kansas
  • Charles Denoe Leedy (1900-1964), American classical pianist, music educator and music journalist
  • Douglas Leedy (b. 1938), American composer, performer and music scholar

USS Arizona
  • Mr. David Alonzo Leedy, American Fire Controlman Second Class from Iowa, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [4]


  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)
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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