Leese History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
On the western coast of Scotland and on the Hebrides islands the Leese family was born among the ancient Dalriadan clans. Their name comes from a devotion to Christianity. The Gaelic form of the name is M'A'Lios, which is a shortened form of Mac Giolla Iosa, meaning on of the servant of Jesus.  Cleish Castle is a 16th-century tower house in Kinross-shire, Scotland, west of the hamlet of Cleish.
Early Origins of the Leese family
The surname Leese was first found in Dumfriesshire where "Mychael M'Cleish or M'CIeisch was tenant of the Brewland cum le stallage' in Dumfriesshire in 1376." 
"Thomas M'Cleche was a voter in parish of Qwilton (Coylton), 1514, and Michaile M'Cleys, witness in Carrik, 1514. Duncan M'Cleish was servant to Dwgall M'Dugall in Deweldik, 1588, another Duncan M'Cleiche was admitted burgess of Glasgow, 1589, and a third Duncan M'Cleishe, burgess freeman in 1627." 
Early History of the Leese family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leese research. Another 149 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1613, 1638, 1580, 1665, 1686, 1745, 1806, 1870, 1797, 1803, 1806, 1811, 1872 and 1844 are included under the topic Early Leese History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Leese Spelling Variations
In various documents Leese has been spelled Since medieval scribes still spelled according to sound, records from that era contain an enormous number of spelling variations. MacLeish, MacCleish, MacLise, MacLish, MacGillies, MacGleish, MacGillis, MacLeash and many more.
Early Notables of the Leese family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Robert M'Gleish, burgess of Irvine, 1686; and John M'Cleish, burgess, 1745. 
Daniel MacLise (1806-1870), historical painter, was the son of Alexander McLeish, McLish, McClisse, or McLise, a Scottish highlander, once a private soldier in the Elgin fencibles, but at the time of the artist's birth engaged in tanning or shoemaking at Cork, where his regiment had been quartered in 1797. On 24 Dec. in that year Alexander McLish married Rebecca Buchanan, 'daughter of Mrs. Buchanan, Almshouse,' as she is described in the register of the presbyterian (now unitarian) church, Princes Street, Cork, where...
Dalriadan families proliferated in North America. Their descendants still populate many communities in the eastern parts of both the United States and Canada. Some settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, in the wake of the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border have recovered much of their heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and highland games. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Leese or a variant listed above:
Leese Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Leese Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Leese Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Leese Settlers in United States in the 20th Century