The name Leighty was spawned by the ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture that ruled a majority of Britain. It comes from the baptismal name Lettice,
a popular girls name in medieval times. This personal name
was originally derived from the Latin laetitia,
which means gladness and joy.
Baptismal names began to appear as surnames relatively late in the growth of the naming tradition. This is a little surprising, given the popularity of biblical figures in the Christian countries of Europe. Nevertheless, surnames derived from baptismal names grew in popularity during the Middle Ages, and have become one of the foremost sources for surnames.
Early Origins of the Leighty family
The surname Leighty was first found in Gloucestershire
, where they held a family seat
as Lords of the manor of Lett, before the taking of the Domesday Book
Early History of the Leighty family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leighty research.Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1086 and 1273 are included under the topic Early Leighty History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Leighty Spelling Variations
Leighty has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred
years, spelling variations
in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Leighty have been found, including Lett, Layt, Laite, Layte, Let, Lete, Latt, Leyt, Letts, Lettson and many more.
Early Notables of the Leighty family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Leighty Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Leighty family to Ireland
Some of the Leighty family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 97 words (7 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 Leighty family to the New World and Oceana
In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England
, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Leightys to arrive on North American shores: John, Leonard and Thomas Lett, who settled in Virginia in 1651; Elizabeth may have been a wife or child of one of the foregoing; Thomas Lett arrived in Barbados in 1635.
Contemporary Notables of the name Leighty (post 1700)
- W. H. Leighty, American politician, Mayor of Brookings, South Dakota, 1909-13, 1917-20
- Norma J. Leighty, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 2000
- Jacob D. Leighty (1839-1912), American Republican politician, Member of Indiana State House of Representatives, 1886; U.S. Representative from Indiana 12th District, 1895-97
- E. C. Leighty, American politician, Member of Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from Westmoreland County, 1879-80
- John A. Leighty, American chemist for Eli Lilly, eponym of Leighty Commons at Purdue University
- Osa Leighty (1894-1953), birth name of Osa Helen Johnson, American adventurer and documentary filmmaker who with her husband Martin Elmer Johnson were photographers, explorers, marketers, naturalists and authors who went on safaris, big game hunts and both founded the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum in Chanute, Kansas
- Jacob D. Leighty (1839-1912), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana (1895-1897), Member of the Indiana House of Representatives (1886-1888)