Leke History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Of all the Anglo-Saxon names to come from Britain, Leke is one of the most ancient. The name is a result of the original family having lived in one of the places that was called Leake.
Early Origins of the Leke family
The surname Leke was first found in either Lincolnshire, Yorkshire or Nottinghamshire which all have parishes names Leake. For some of the first listings of the family, we must look to Lincolnshire where the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list the following: John de Lek; Roger de Leke; and Teobald de Lek as all living in that shire at that time.  Willie's Lyke-Wake is a Child Ballad, one of 305 traditional ballads from England and Scotland, and their American variants listed in the 1904 Houghton Mifflin edition. Lyke-Wake Dirge is a traditional English song that is thought to have originated in the Yorkshire area.
Early History of the Leke family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leke research. Another 64 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1334, 1581, 1655, 1627, 1679, 1660, 1633, 1681, 1656, 1720, 1710, 1712, 1708 and 1715 are included under the topic Early Leke History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Leke Spelling Variations
The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Leke has been spelled many different ways, including Leake, Leak, Leek, Leeke, Leyke and others.
Early Notables of the Leke family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Francis Leke, 1st Earl of Scarsdale (1581-1655) fought for the Royalist cause in the English Civil War; Sir Francis Leke, 1st Baronet (1627-1679), an English soldier, administrator and Member of Parliament, High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire for 1660; William Leake, the father (died...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Leke family
Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Lekes to arrive in North America: Augustine Leak, who came to Virginia in 1623; Winifred Leak, who arrived in Virginia in 1623; John Leak, who settled in Virginia in 1635; John Leak, who arrived in Barbados in 1658.
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The Leke 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: Agendo gnaviter
Motto Translation: By acting prudently.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)