Leids History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Leids is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a product of when the family lived in Leeds a well-known town in the West Riding of Yorkshire. This place-name was aHabitation name which forms a broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. Habitation names were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. In this case the surname Leids denotes someone who came from Leeds.

Early Origins of the Leids family

The surname Leids was first found in Leeds, a parish, and liberty, in the West Riding of York, comprising the market-town and borough of Leeds. [1]

"At the Conquest, the manor of Leeds was given to Ilbert de Lacy, who erected a baronial castle here, which was besieged by Stephen, King of England, on his route to Scotland, and in which Richard II., after his deposition, was for some time confined, previously to his removal to the Castle of Pontefract, where he was inhumanly murdered." [1]

As far as the first listings of the family, we must look elsewhere. Paulinus de Ledes was listed in Cheshire in 1175-1176; Peter de Ledes was listed in the Feet of Fines for Kent in 1198; and Hugh de Leedes was listed in 1285. [2]

Taking a moment to explore, the aforementioned Kent listing, Leeds is also a parish found there in the union of Hollingbourne, hundred of Eyhorne, lathe of Aylesford. "The parish is said to have derived its name from Ledian, councillor to Ethelbert II., who built a fortress here in 978. Leeds Castle, one of the most stately castles in the kingdom, is seated in a beautiful park, and surrounded by a moat: the buildings, which are entirely of stone, are ranged round a spacious quadrangle, and though they exhibit the architecture of different periods, produce, as a whole, a most striking effect." [1]

Early History of the Leids family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leids research. Another 71 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1590, 1573, 1656, 1621, 1622, 1632, 1712, 1624, 1704, 1699, 1738, 1599, 1677, 1599 and 1677 are included under the topic Early Leids History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Leids 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. Leids has been spelled many different ways, including Leeds, Lead, Leed, Leads and others.

Early Notables of the Leids family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Edward Leeds (died 1590), an English clergyman from Benenden, Kent, Rector of Croxton in 1573; Sir John Leedes (died 1656), an English landowner and politician, Member of Parliament for New Shoreham (1621-1622); Thomas Osborne (1632-1712), an English statesman; Jane Ward Leade (1624-1704), a Christian mystic from Norfolk, England; and Titan Leeds (1699-1738), an American almanac publisher, a "good friend and fellow student" of Benjamin Franklin. Interestingly, Edward Courtney (1599?-1677), was an English Jesuit, "whose real name was Leedes, was the son of Sir Thomas Leedes, K.B., by Mary...
Another 94 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leids Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Leids 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 Leidss to arrive in North America: Richard Leeds with his wife Joanne and children settled in New England in 1637; Timothy Leeds settled in Virginia in 1607; 13 years before the "Mayflower.".



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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