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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Leeth family come from? What is the English Leeth family crest and coat of arms? When did the Leeth family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Leeth family history?

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It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Leeth are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Leeth 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," [1] 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. [2] 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. [2]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leeth 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 Leeth History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 77 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leeth Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Leeth or a variant listed above: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..

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  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Other References

  1. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  5. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  9. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Leeth Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Leeth 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 08:41.

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