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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015
Where did the English Leete family come from? What is the English Leete family crest and coat of arms? When did the Leete family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Leete family history?
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Leete include Leete, Leeth, Leety, Lety and others.
First found in Cambridge where there is some dispute over the origin on the name. One reference claims the name is a location name meaning "a meeting of crossroads" as in "court-leet and borough-leet,"  while another claims the name was a baptismal name "the son of Lettice" (Latin laetitia, gladness) from the nickname Lete. Lettice was a very popular girl's name in its day but was rare by the late 1800s.  Regardless of the origin, the first records of the name were in Cambridge where Letia (no surname) was listed there in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The same rolls list Nicolas filius Lete in Bedfordshire; Walter Lete in Suffolk and Roge Lete in Oxfordshire. 
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leete research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1455, 1487, 1612, 1683, 1612, 1661, 1665, 1676 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Leete History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leete Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Leete or a variant listed above:
Leete Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Leete Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Leete Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
The Leete Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Leete Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 11 September 2013 at 08:44.