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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The Pictish clans of ancient Scotland were the ancestors of the first people to use the name Lesley. It comes from in the barony of Leslie in the county of Aberdeen. The surname Lesley belongs to the category of habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Lesley Early Origins



The surname Lesley was first found in Aberdeenshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen, located in the Grampian region of northeastern Scotland, where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity seated on the lands of Leslie. "This place is said to have derived its name from a family who held the lands so early as the eleventh century." [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

It is generally believed the the family was descended from Bartholomew Leslyn, son of Walter de Leslyn, a Flemish knight who attended Queen Margaret when she arrived to marry King Malcolm of Scotland in 1067.

According to legend, the wife of King Malcolm III was thrown from her horse while crossing a river and nearly drowned, but Leslyn, gripping the horses bridle, saved her. She frequently cautioned him to 'grip fast' and afterwards commanded that he retain those words as his family motto. He later married the sister of Malcolm Ceanmore, and so was appointed Governor of Edinburgh Castle and made Lord Leslie. [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Sims, Clifford Stanley The Origin and Signification of Scottish Surnames. 1862. Print.

Malcolm Leslie of Garioch in Aberdeenshire, son of Bartolf, received a feudal charter confirming his lands from a grant made to his name-father, Lord Leslie. Malcolm's grandson, Sir Andrew de Lesly, was one of the signatories of the 1320 'Arbroath Declaration of Independence' to the Pope, which affirmed Scotland's sovereignty and included the words: "as long as one hundred Scotsmen still live they would never submit to English rule."

Another source claims the family "trace their origin to Bartholomew, a Flemish chief, who settled with his followers in the district of Garioch, in Aberdeenshire, in the reign of William the Lion. He took the name of De Lesley from the place where he settled. The heralds, however, have an old legend representing the first man of the family as having acquired distinction and a name at once, by overcoming a knight in battle, at a spot between a less lee (meadow) and a greater." [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Whichever origin the reader chooses, all agree that one of the first records of the family was "Earl David, brother of William the Lion, granted c. 1171-1199 the lands of Lesslyn in the Garioch to Malcolm son of Bartholf. " [4]CITATION[CLOSE]
Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)

As far as the origin of the Coat of Arms is concerned perhaps this quote will shed some light: "Sir Norman de Lechelyn of Aberdeenshire rendered homage in 1296. His seal bears six shields in a circle conjoined in base, each charged with 3 round buckles on a bend." [4]CITATION[CLOSE]
Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
It's a little different that the one anciently used by the family but it is significant in that it notes that the family was using a variant of the same as far back as the 13th century.


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Lesley Spelling Variations


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Lesley Spelling Variations



Translation has done much to alter the appearance of many Scottish names. It was a haphazard process that lacked a basic system of rules. Spelling variations were a common result of this process. Lesley has appeared Leslie, Lesley, Lessely, Lessley, Lesslie and others.

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Lesley Early History


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Lesley Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lesley research. Another 353 words (25 lines of text) covering the years 1411, 1562, 1680, 1340, 1680, 1850, 1711, 1527, 1596, 1580, 1661, 1635, 1661, 1661, 1571, 1671, 1641, 1650, 1722, 1580, 1661, 1641, 1607, 1667, 1600, 1682, 1661, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Lesley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Lesley Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Lesley Early Notables (pre 1700)



Notable amongst the Clan at this time was John Lesley (1527-1596) Scottish bishop, historian, and statesman, ecclesiastical adviser to Mary Queen of Scots; Henry Leslie (1580-1661) Scottish-born, Church of Ireland Bishop of Down and Connor (1635 to 1661) and briefly Bishop of Meath (1661); John Leslie (1571-1671), a Scottish royalist bishop...

Another 92 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Lesley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Lesley In Ireland


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Lesley In Ireland



Some of the Lesley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 150 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



Many Scots left their country to travel to the North American colonies in search of the freedom they could not find at home. Of those who survived the difficult voyage, many found the freedom they so desired. There they could choose their own beliefs and allegiances. Some became United Empire Loyalists and others fought in the American War of Independence. The Clan societies and highland games that have sprung up in the last century have allowed many of these disparate Scots to recover their collective national identity. A search of immigration and passenger ship lists revealed many early settlers bearing the Lesley name:

Lesley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Nicholas Lesley, who settled in Virginia in 1650
  • Nico Lesley, who landed in Virginia in 1650
  • Thomas Lesley, who landed in Maryland in 1660

Lesley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Alexander Lesley, who arrived in South Carolina in 1716
  • Ben j Lesley, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1764

Lesley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Samuel Lesley, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808

Lesley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Barbara Lesley, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1757
  • Marcus Lesley, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1757
  • Margereta Lesley, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1757

Lesley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John Lesley arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Isabella Watson" in 1846

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Contemporary Notables of the name Lesley (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Lesley (post 1700)



  • J. Peter Lesley (1819-1903), American geologist, secretary and librarian of the American Philosophical Society from 1858 till 1885, one of the original members of the National Academy of Sciences
  • M. L. Lesley, American politician, Mayor of Easley, South Carolina, 1953
  • James Lesley Jr., American politician, U.S. Consul in Lyon, 1861-65
  • George Lesley, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Rensselaer County 1st District, 1850-51
  • Lorna Lesley (b. 1959), English-born, Australian two-time AFI Award nominated actress, known for Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002), Resistance (1994) and Aftershocks (1998)

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Lesley Family Crest Products


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Lesley Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Sims, Clifford Stanley The Origin and Signification of Scottish Surnames. 1862. Print.
  3. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)

Other References

  1. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  5. Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3).
  6. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  7. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  8. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Lesley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Lesley 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 7 October 2016 at 12:27.

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