Show ContentsLeiper History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Leiper surname is thought to have evolved independently from two distinct sources. Some instances of the name come from the Middle English "le pere," from the Old English "le-ap," meaning "a basket;" in which case the name was occupational for a basket maker. Other instances of the name come from the Old English "hle-apere," meaning a "dancer," "runner," or "courier," and the name would have been either occupational or nickname.

Early Origins of the Leiper family

The surname Leiper was first found in Warwickshire the first on record of the name appears to be Robert Lepere, a Knights Templar in Warwickshire in 1185. Later in Essex, Geoffrey Lepere was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls for 1221. Richard le Lepor was recorded in 1298. [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Geoffrey le Lepere, Oxfordshire; Walter le Lepere, Buckinghamshire; and Robert Leper, Lincolnshire. In Yorkshire, Alicia Lepar was listed there in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. William le Poure was found in the Close Rolls, 1 Edward I (during the first year of the reign of King Edward I.) [2]

Early History of the Leiper family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leiper research. Another 59 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1295 and 1713 are included under the topic Early Leiper History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Leiper Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Leiper are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Leiper include Leeper, Leaper, Leper, LePere, Lepere, Lepper, Leiper, Leyper, Peer, Pere, Peir and many more.

Early Notables of the Leiper family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Peer (died 1713), English actor. He owes the survival of his name to a humorous mention of his career...
Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leiper Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Leiper migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Leiper, or a variant listed above:

Leiper Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Leiper, who arrived in Maryland in 1763 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Leiper (post 1700) +

  • George Gray Leiper (1786-1868), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 1822; U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania 4th District, 1829-31; State Court Judge in Pennsylvania, 1843
  • Alexander G. Leiper, American politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from New London, 1930
  • Henry Smith Leiper (1891-1975), American missionary
  • John Henry Thomas "Jack" Leiper (1867-1960), American Major League Baseball player for the Columbus Solons during the 1891 season
  • Thomas Leiper (1745-1825), Scottish-born, American merchant and local politician, the first American to construct a permanent working railway named the Leiper Railroad, a horse drawn railroad that operated between 1810 and 1828
  • David Paul Leiper (b. 1962), American Major League Baseball relief pitcher who played from 1984 to 1996
  • George Gray Leiper (1786-1868), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania (1829-1831)
  • Timothy Joseph Leiper (b. 1966), American professional baseball coach and manager of the Toronto Blue Jays
  • John Morton "Jack" Leiper (1921-2006), English cricketer for Essex, grandfather of England Test cricketer Chris Leiper
  • Robert Leiper (b. 1961), English former cricketer for Essex
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  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. 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) on Facebook