Lessing History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Lessing family

The surname Lessing was first found in Norfolk where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Lessingham, held by a steward of the king who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.

Important Dates for the Lessing family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lessing research. Another 47 words (3 lines of text) covering the year 1452 is included under the topic Early Lessing History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Lessing Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Lessingham, Lesingham, Lesingam, Lissingham and many more.

Early Notables of the Lessing family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Lessing Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Lessing migration to the United States

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Lessing Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Leonard Lessing, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1753 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Lessing (post 1700)

  • Lawrence Lessing, American associate editor of Fortune Magazine
  • Doris May Lessing CH (1919-2013), Iranian-born, British novelist, poet, playwright, biographer and short story writer, recipient of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature
  • Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781), German man of letters
  • Edward Albert Lessing, British Liberal Party politician
  • Simon Lessing (b. 1971), British athlete who competes in triathlon

Citations

  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ 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)
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