Show ContentsLeeson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Leeson has a rich and ancient history. It is an Anglo-Saxon name that was originally derived from the baptismal name for the son of Levison, which was a form of Lewis. Baptismal names are forms of patronymic surnames, and derive from either the religious or the vernacular given name traditions. In this case, the surname Leeson was originally derived from the given name of the father of the bearer.

Early Origins of the Leeson family

The surname Leeson was first found in Northumberland where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Leeson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leeson research. Another 84 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1332, 1379, and 1524 are included under the topic Early Leeson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Leeson 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 Leeson include Leeson, Leason and others.

Early Notables of the Leeson family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Leeson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Leeson Ranking

In the United States, the name Leeson is the 12,798th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

Ireland Migration of the Leeson family to Ireland

Some of the Leeson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Leeson migration to the United States +

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:

Leeson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hester Leeson, who settled in Virginia in 1723
  • Elizabeth Leeson, who settled in Virginia in 1749
Leeson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George, James, Thomas and William Leeson all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860

Canada Leeson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Leeson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Bridget Leeson, aged 28 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Aberdeen" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in July 1847 [2]

Australia Leeson migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Leeson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Leeson, English convict from Nottingham, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • Miss Elizabeth Leeson, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Diana" on 4th December 1832, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Miss Sophia Leeson, (b. 1811), aged 26, Irish servant who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Diamond" on 29th November 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Miss Lydia Leeson who was convicted in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Emma Eugenia" on 16th November 1843, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Miss Mary Leeson, (b. 1835), aged 15, Irish childs maid, from County Wicklow travelling from London aboard the ship "Slains Castle" arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 25th January 1851 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Leeson (post 1700) +

  • David Leeson (1957-2022), American reporter who won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography, recipient of the RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award, the National Headliner Award, and a regional Emmy Award in 2004
  • Lynn Hershman Leeson (b. 1941), American artist and filmmaker, recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship Award (2009)
  • Cecil Leeson (1902-1989), American musician and teacher
  • Nicholas "Nick" Leeson (b. 1967), English former derivatives trader whose unsupervised speculative trading caused the collapse of Barings Bank, the United Kingdom's oldest investment bank
  • Patrick George Leeson (1915-1997), English cricketer
  • Joseph Leeson (1701-1783), 1st Earl of Milltown, Baron Russborough, Irish peer and politician
  • John Leeson (b. 1943), British actor, best known as the voice of K-9 on the television series Doctor Who (1977 to 1979)

Halifax Explosion

The Leeson Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Clarior e tenebris
Motto Translation: The brighter from previous obscurity.

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 39)
  3. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1826 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th July 2021). Retrieved from
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 1st July 2021). Retrieved from
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 31st March 2022). Retrieved from
  7. The Argus News Paper 27th January 1852 Page 2 (Retrieved 26th April 2019). Retrieved from
  8. Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from on Facebook