Leiper History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
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 where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book,  indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. The first on record of the name appears to be Robert Lepere, who was listed as a Templar in Warwickshire in 1185.
Important Dates for 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.
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:
Typical Leiper Emigration from the United Kingdom to North America
Leiper Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Thomas Leiper, who arrived in Maryland in 1763 
Contemporary Notables of the name Leiper (post 1700)
- George Gray Leiper (1786-1868), American Democrat 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.)
You May Also Like
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ 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)