The surname Leefe has two distinct possible entomological origins. Firstly, the name could have been derived from the Old English personal name
"Leofa" and/or "Leofe", both meaning "Dear" or "Beloved." Secondly, the name could have been a topographical name for someone who lived in a densely foliated area from the Middle English word "leaf."
Early Origins of the Leefe family
The surname Leefe was first found in Norfolk
, where they held a family seat
from ancient times.
Early History of the Leefe family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leefe research.Another 125 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1198, 1273, 1279, 1318, 1327, 1377, 1677, and 1754 are included under the topic Early Leefe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Leefe 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 Leefe include Leaf, Leaff, Leaffe, Leafe, Leif, Lief, Life, Lef, Leof, Leefe, Leve and many more.
Early Notables of the Leefe family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Leefe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Leefe family to the New World and Oceana
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: John Leaff who sailed to Virginia in 1663; Henry Leaf who arrived in Barbados in 1663; Sarah Leaffe who arrived in Maryland in 1679; and Dennis Leaf who sailed to Pennsylvania in 1865..
Contemporary Notables of the name Leefe (post 1700)
- Paul Leefe, New Zealand bronze medalist wheelchair rugby player at the 2000 Paralympic Games
- John Gordon Leefe ECNS DCL (b. 1942), Canadian author, former educator and politician, Mayor of Region of Queens Municipality, Nova Scotia (2000-2012)