Show ContentsLeggett History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Leggett is derived from the Middle English and Old French word "legat," and the Latin legatus [1] meaning "ambassador, deputy." [2]

"Often a pageantname. In 1377, in the procession for the entertainment of Richard, the young son of the Black Prince, was ‘one stately attired like a pope, whom followed twenty-four cardinals, and after them eight or ten with black visors, not amiable, as if they had been legates from some foreign prince’ " [3]

Early Origins of the Leggett family

The surname Leggett was first found in Somerset where the Latin entry Hugolinus Legatus was recorded in 1084, two years before the Domesday Book of 1086.

However, another source explores this previous entry in more detail. "At the date of the Domesday Survey, Hervey Legatus was a tenant in capite in co. Bucks, and Richard Legatus had the same tenure in co. Gloucester." [1]

Peter Legat was recorded in the Pipe Rolls for Cornwall in 1199 and later, Ralph le Legat was listed in the Assize Rolls for Northumberland in 1279. Richard Leget was found in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 include: Geoffrey le Legat, Devon; Robert Legat, Cambridgeshire; and Thomas Legat, Norfolk. [2]

Hugh Legat (fl. 1400), was a Benedictine, a native of Hertfordshire, was not improbably a member of the family which held a manor at Abbots Walden in that county, belonging to the monks of St. Albans. Bale says that Hugh Legat was brought up in the monastery school at St. Albans, displayed a strong love for learning, and went with the abbots leave to pursue his studies at Oxford, where, in the Benedictine hostelry of Gloucester Hall, St. Albans, like other abbeys of its order, had a house for its own scholars. [4]

In Scotland, "Adam Legate who rendered to Exchequer the accounts of the bailies of Stirling in 1406 appears again in 1412 as burgess of the town. Walter Leget or Legat of Scotland had safe conducts into England in 1421-1422, and Master John Legat had a safe conduct to pass to Rome in 1448. Thomas Legat of Tayn witnessed a notarial instrument, 1477." [5]

Early History of the Leggett family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leggett research. Another 131 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1403, 1406, 1407, 1408, 1412, 1540, 1549, 1574, 1575, 1586, 1588, 1589, 1590, 1591, 1597, 1602, 1604, 1608, 1609, 1611, 1612, 1620, 1635, 1651, 1660, 1668, 1669, 1670, 1671, 1672, 1676, 1685, 1693, 1708, 1710, 1715, 1716, 1730, 1755, 1780, 1797, 1809 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Leggett History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Leggett Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Legat, Leggat, Leggatt, Leggate, Legatt, Legget, Liggat, Ligget, Liggett and many more.

Early Notables of the Leggett family

Notable among the family at this time was Helming Leget (died 1412), of Tottenham, Middlesex and Black Notley, Essex, an English politician, appointed Sheriff, Essex and Hertfordshire for...
Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leggett Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Leggett Ranking

In the United States, the name Leggett is the 2,311st most popular surname with an estimated 12,435 people with that name. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Leggett family to Ireland

Some of the Leggett family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Leggett migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Leggett Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Gabriel Leggett, who arrived in New York in 1640 [7]
Leggett Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph R Leggett, aged 40, who landed in New York in 1812 [7]
  • William Leggett, who landed in New York in 1824 [7]

Australia Leggett migration to Australia +

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

Leggett Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Leggett, English convict who was convicted in Hertford, Hertfordshire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Eden" on 30th September 1848, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Island) [8]

New Zealand Leggett migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Leggett Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Leggett, aged 37, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballochmyle" in 1874
  • Ann Leggett, aged 38, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballochmyle" in 1874
  • William Leggett, aged 10, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballochmyle" in 1874
  • Kate Leggett, aged 6, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballochmyle" in 1874
  • Ruth Leggett, aged 4, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballochmyle" in 1874
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Leggett (post 1700) +

  • Sir Anthony James Leggett KBE, FRS (b. 1938), British world leader in the theory of low-temperature physics and co-winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize for Physics
  • William Henry Leggett (1816-1882), American botanist and journalist who founded the Torrey Botanical Bulletin
  • Robert Louis Leggett (1926-1997), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California (1963-1979)
  • Maurice Lamar "Mo" Leggett (b. 1986), American football cornerback for the CFL Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2017-) from McKeesport, Pennsylvania
  • Isiah "Ike" Leggett (b. 1944), American politician, 6th Executive of Montgomery County, Maryland (2006-), Chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party (2002-2004)
  • Jordan Kristopher Leggett (b. 1995), American football tight end for the New York Jets (2017-)
  • Jack Leggett (b. 1954), American head college baseball coach of the Clemson Tigers from 1994 to 2015
  • Christopher Leggett, American producer of films, television, documentaries, music videos, and commercials from Wellesley, Massachusetts
  • William Leggett (1802-1839), American poet, fiction writer, and journalist from New York City, known for Leisure Hours at Sea (1825); Tales and Sketches of a Country School Master (1835); Naval Stories (1835); and Political Writings
  • Jay Michael Leggett (1963-2013), American actor and improv comedian who died of a heart attack on November 23, 2013, at the age of 50
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Cyril A Leggett (b. 1913), English Ordinary Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Wandsworth, London, England, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking [9]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. John Goldie Leggett, American Boatswain's Mate Second Class from Washington, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [10]

The Leggett 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: Jesus hominum salvatore
Motto Translation: Jesus. The savior of mankind.

  1. Lower, 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)
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th November 2021). Retrieved from
  9. H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from
  10. Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from on Facebook