Leslie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

Today's generation of the Leslie family inherits a name that was first used by the Scottish tribe known as the Picts. The first family to use the name Leslie lived in the barony of Leslie in the county of Aberdeen. The surname Leslie belongs to the category of habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Leslie family

The surname Leslie 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]

It is generally believed 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. [2] [3]

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. [3]

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." [4]

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. " [5]

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." [5] 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.

Important Dates for the Leslie family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leslie research. Another 309 words (22 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 Leslie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Leslie Spelling Variations

Repeated and inaccurate translation of Scottish names from Gaelic to English and back resulted in a wide variety of spelling variations with single names. Leslie has appeared Leslie, Lesley, Lessely, Lessley, Lesslie and others.

Early Notables of the Leslie family (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 of Clogher, known as the "fighting bishop" for his resistance to the Irish rebellion of 1641 and the parliamentarian forces; and...
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leslie Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Leslie family to Ireland

Some of the Leslie family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 86 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Leslie migration to the United States

Many Scottish families suffered enormous hardships and were compelled to leave their country of birth. They traveled to Ireland and Australia, but mostly to the colonies of North America, where many found the freedom and opportunity they sought. It was not without a fight, though, as many were forced to stand up and defend their freedom in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of these Scots abroad have rediscovered their heritage in the last century through the Clan societies and other organizations that have sprung up across North America. Immigration and passenger ship lists show some important early immigrants bearing the name Leslie:

Leslie Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Leslie, who settled in the Barbadoes in 1678 with his son
  • Margaret Leslie, who settled in New Jersey in 1685
  • Andrew Leslie, who landed in New Jersey in 1685 [6]
  • Margaret Leslie, who arrived in New Jersey in 1685 [6]
Leslie Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Leslie, who landed in America in 1745 [6]
  • George Leslie, who landed in New York in 1784 [6]
Leslie Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Leslie, aged 22, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1803 [6]
  • William Leslie, aged 20, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1803 [6]
  • James Leslie, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808 [6]
  • Alexander, Leslie Jr., who arrived in America in 1809 [6]
  • William Leslie, who landed in America in 1812 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Leslie Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • D B Leslie, who arrived in Mississippi in 1904 [6]

Leslie migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Leslie Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Samual Leslie U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 467 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York, USA [7]
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Leslie U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 521 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York, USA [7]
  • Miss.Lucy Leslie U.E. (b. 1772), aged 11 who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 609 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York, USA [7]
  • Master.James Leslie U.E. (b. 1770), aged 13 who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 608 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York, USA [7]
  • Master.Robert Leslie U.E. (b. 1767), aged 16 who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 607 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York, USA [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Leslie Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Leslie, aged 45 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Christiana" departing 8th April 1847 from Londonderry, Ireland; the ship arrived on 10th June 1847 but he died on board [8]
  • Miss. Margaret Leslie, aged 8 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Lord Ashburton" departing 13th September 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 1st November 1847 but she died on board [8]
  • Miss. Margaret Leslie, aged 3 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Lord Ashburton" departing 13th September 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 1st November 1847 but she died on board [8]
  • Mr. Thomas Leslie, aged 12 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Lord Ashburton" departing 13th September 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 1st November 1847 but he died on board [8]
  • William Leslie, who landed in Victoria, British Columbia in 1862

Leslie migration to Australia

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

Leslie Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • George Leslie, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Donald Leslie, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Tomatin" in 1840 [10]
  • Christina Leslie, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Tomatin" in 1840 [10]
  • Robert Leslie, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Tomatin" in 1840 [10]
  • John Leslie, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1849 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Leslie 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:

Leslie Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mary Leslie, aged 17, a servant, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Olympus" in 1841
  • Miss Mary Leslie, (b. 1823), aged 17, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Olympus" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 20th April 1841 [12]
  • Robert Leslie, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1842
  • Robert Leslie, aged 22, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duchess of Argyle" in 1842
  • Agnes Leslie, aged 21, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duchess of Argyle" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Leslie (post 1700)

  • Captain Sir John Norman Ide Leslie (b. 1916), 4th Baronet American-born, Irish peer
  • Joan Leslie (1925-2015), stage name of Joan Agnes Theresa Sadie Brodel, an American actress, best known for her roles in High Sierra, Sergeant York and Yankee Doodle Dandy
  • Frank Leslie (1821-1880), English-born, American engraver and publisher
  • Bethel Leslie (1929-1999), American theatre, film, and television actress and a screenwriter
  • Fred Weldon Leslie (b. 1951), American scientist, NASA payload specialist on the NASA STS-73 Space Shuttle mission
  • Lisa Leslie (b. 1972), American basketball player
  • Felix Leslie, American politician, Delegate to Florida State Constitutional Convention from Jackson County, 1865 [13]
  • Clyde C. Leslie, American Republican politician, Chair of Webster County Republican Party, 1961-63 [13]
  • Charles P. Leslie, American politician, Delegate to South Carolina State Constitutional Convention from Barnwell County, 1868 [13]
  • Charles P. Leslie, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Kings County 7th District, 1863 [13]
  • ... (Another 38 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Leslie family

RMS Titanic
  • Lucy Noël Martha Leslie, aged 27, Canadian First Class passenger from Vancouver, British Columbia who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat 8 [14]

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Citations

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. ^ Sims, Clifford Stanley The Origin and Signification of Scottish Surnames. 1862. Print.
  4. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. 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. ^ 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)
  7. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  8. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 84)
  9. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1826 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1826
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) TOMATIN 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840Tomatin.htm
  11. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) "MADAWASKA" 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Madawaska.htm
  12. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  13. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 3) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  14. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
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