Leetham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Leetham is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a product of when the family lived in Latham in the West Riding of Yorkshire, in Lathom in Lancashire and Laytham in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The place-name Latham was originally derived from the Old Norse word hlathum, which is the plural form of hlath, which means a barn. Therefore the original bearers of the Leetham surname were dwellers at the barns.  
Early Origins of the Leetham family
The surname Leetham was first found in Lancashire at Lathom, a village and civil parish about 5 km northeast of Ormskirk. The place name dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was listed as Latune  and later as Lathum in 1200, and Lathom in 1223. One of the earliest records of the name was Robert Fitzhenry de Lathom who held lands throughout south Lancashire in 1189. The lands were "bestowed by Robert de Lathom upon the newly-founded priory of Burscough in 1189." 
Presumably one of his descendants, Robert de Lathom in 1292 was sued by Richard, son of John de Burscough concerning a tenement in Burscough, but the case was non-suited." 
"This place was the seat of the Lathom family, of whom Robert de Lathom, in the reign of Edward I., received the grant of a weekly market and an annual fair, and whose baronial mansion of Lathom House, remarkable for its extent and magnificence, and formidable for its strength, afterwards became so conspicuous in history. " 
At Whiston in the parish of Prescot, "in the reign of Richard II. the Lathoms had estates here, which descended through several generations; and the Torbocks, of whom the Lathoms were a branch, were, at a very remote period, possessed of Rudgate, in this manor." 
The parish of Huyton was another ancient family seat. "The Lathoms were early proprietors, being mentioned in the reign of Henry III. The original church was of considerable antiquity, having been granted to the priory of Burscough, at the time of its foundation, by the first (aforementioned) Robert de Lathom." 
Early History of the Leetham family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leetham research. Another 106 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1610, 1677 and are included under the topic Early Leetham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Leetham Spelling Variations
The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Leetham has been spelled many different ways, including Latham, Lathem, Lathom and others.
Early Notables of the Leetham family (pre 1700)
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leetham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Leetham family to Ireland
Some of the Leetham family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Leetham family
Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Leethams to arrive in North America: William Latham, who settled in Plymouth Massachusetts in 1620 after arriving on the "Mayflower"; Carey Latham settled came to New London Conn in 1630.
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 Translation: Equanimity
- Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
- Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- 'Townships: Scarisbrick', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, ed. William Farrer and J Brownbill (London, 1907), pp. 265-276. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/lancs/vol3/pp265-276 [accessed 21 January 2017].
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.