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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The origins of the Leitch surname lie with the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name Leitch began when someone in that family worked as a doctor. Throughout the Middle Ages, doctors were known as "leaches" as the practice of bleeding sick people was the generally accepted manner of curing them. There are countless people in the Middle Ages who died thanks to the common cold; not because the virus killed them, but because they bled to death on the advice of their physicians. Bleeding was accomplished by placing a dozen or so leaches on the person who was ill so that they could remove the poisons that were making them ill, hence the name "leach" for the occupation of doctor. It is small wonder that illness was so feared in the medieval period; many people died from illnesses that would not have otherwise killed them because their doctors were weakening them through loss of blood.
The surname Leitch was first found in Cheshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Leitch has appeared include Leach, Leech, Leche, Leitch, Leich, Leetch and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leitch research. Another 287 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1150 and 1325 are included under the topic Early Leitch History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Leitch Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Leitch family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 136 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Leitch arrived in North America very early:
Leitch Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Leitch Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Leitch Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
Leitch Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
Leitch Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Leitch Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The Leitch Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Leitch Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 1 September 2015 at 17:55.