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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, French

Leger is a name that was brought to England by the ancestors of the Leger family when they emigrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Leger comes from the name of the famous St. Leger.


The surname Leger was first found in Kent where Robert St. Leger was granted estates at Ulcombe and became Lord of the Manor of Ulcombe. "Ulcombe Place and manor belonged to the family of St. Leger, of whom Sir Robert, of an ancient house in Normandy, is said to have supported the Conqueror with his hand when landing on the Sussex coast. The present edifice, [(church)] which is in the later English style, contains some very old monuments to the St. Legers." [1] He also held estates at Bexhill in Sussex. Another source claims that Robert actually assisted William, Duke of Normandy from the boat which brought him to England in 1066 prior to the Battle of Hastings.

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include St.Leger, Leger, Legere, Sallinger, Sellinger, St. Ledger and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leger research. Another 347 words (25 lines of text) covering the years 1767, 1540, 1631 and 1678 are included under the topic Early Leger History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leger Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Leger family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 39 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Leger or a variant listed above:

Leger Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Jno Leger, who landed in Virginia in 1664

Leger Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Joseph Leger, who landed in South Carolina in 1755
  • Francois Leger, who arrived in Connecticut in 1763
  • Angelique Pinel Leger, aged 44, landed in New Orleans, La in 1785

Leger Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Jean Leger, who arrived in Louisiana in 1805-1809
  • Urbin Leger, who landed in Mississippi in 1849
  • Jacob Leger, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1866

Leger Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century

  • César Léger married in Quebec in 1644
  • Maurice Leger, who arrived in Montreal in 1653
  • Morice Leger, who arrived in Montreal in 1653
  • François Léger married in Beaubassin, Nova Scotia in 1686

Leger Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • François Léger married in Port-Royal in 1714


  • Walter “Walt” J. Leger III, American politician, Speaker pro tempore of the Louisiana House of Representatives
  • Omer Léger (b. 1931), American-born, Canadian merchant and politician
  • Richard "Dick" Leger (1925-1999), American Square Dance Caller known as the 'Man with the Guitar', inducted into the International Square Dance Hall of Fame in 1978
  • Joseph Ernest Roger Leger (1919-1965), Canadian professional NHL ice hockey player who played 187 games
  • Nicole Léger (b. 1955), Canadian politician and the Member of the National Assembly of Quebec
  • Marcel Léger (1930-1993), Canadian politician, supporter of Quebec sovereignty, and founder of the polling firm Leger Marketing
  • Louis Léger (1843-1923), French writer and pioneer in Slavic studies
  • Jacques Nicolas Léger (1859-1918), Haitian lawyer, politician, and diplomat
  • Édouard H. Léger (1866-1892), Canadian physician and politician, Member of the Canadian Parliament for Kent, New Brunswick (1890-1892)
  • Aurel D. Léger (1894-1961), Canadian politician, Member of the Canadian Parliament for Kent, New Brunswick (1940-1961)



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: Haut et bon
Motto Translation: High and good.


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  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. 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.
  3. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  6. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  7. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  8. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  9. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Leger Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Leger 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 15 May 2016 at 10:23.

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