Show ContentsLeith History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Leith family

The surname Leith was first found in the county of Edinburgh at Leith, a burgh and sea-port town. "This place, which is of considerable antiquity, formerly belonged to the abbey of Holyrood, and, in a charter of David I. to the monks of that establishment, is noticed under the designation of Inverleith, from its position near the influx of the river or Water of Leith into the Frith of Forth." 1

Early History of the Leith family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leith research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leith History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Leith Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Leith, Leyth, Lethe and others.

Early Notables of the Leith family

Notable amongst the family at this time was

  • James Leith of Leith Hall

Leith Ranking

In the United States, the name Leith is the 9,814th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 2

United States Leith migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Leith Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • James Leith, who arrived in Maryland in 1665 3
Leith Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Leith, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 3
  • Alexander Leith, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 3
  • Alexander Leith, who settled in Annapolis in 1760
  • James and John Leith, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1768
Leith Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Hein. Leith, from Germany who arrived in Galveston, Texas aboard the ship "Weser" in 1844
  • Henry Leith, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1846 3
  • J C F Leith, aged 58, who landed in New York, NY in 1867 3

Canada Leith migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Leith Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Henry Leith, aged 30, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Leslie Gault" in 1834

Australia Leith migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Leith Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Frederick Leith, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840 4
  • William Leith, aged 27, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" 5

New Zealand Leith migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Leith Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • George Leith, aged 27, a labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Reiherstieg" in 1864

Contemporary Notables of the name Leith (post 1700) +

  • Thomas S. Leith, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Governor of Michigan, 1950
  • Isaac L. Leith, American politician, Delegate to Illinois State Constitutional Convention Fayette and Effingham counties, 1862
  • Ethel M. Leith, American Republican politician, Member of Michigan Republican State Central Committee, 1949-51
  • Sarah Leith, American slalom canoer
  • William Leith (1873-1940), American professional baseball player
  • Charles Kenneth Leith (1875-1956), American geologist
  • John Haddon Leith (1919-2002), important American Presbyterian theologian and ordained minister
  • Virginia Leith (b. 1932), American film and television actress
  • Emmett Leith (1927-2005), American professor of electrical engineering
  • Lloyd R Leith (1902-1974), American basketball referee and high school coach
  • ... (Another 12 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Robert Leith, English Telegraphist from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and survived the sinking by escaping in life boat 15 6

The Leith Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Trustie to the end
Motto Translation: Trustworthy to the end

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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)
  4. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) JOHN from London 1840. Retrieved from
  5. South Australian Register Wednesday 15th March 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Pestonjee Bomanjee 1854. Retrieved
  6. Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from on Facebook