The distinguished surname Letch emerged among the industrious people of Flanders
, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish
and English nations, many Flemish
migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name
. The manner in which hereditary surnames
arose is interesting. Local
surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Flemish
surnames of this type frequently are prefixed by de la
or de le,
which mean of the
or from the.
The Letch family originally lived in the settlement of Lashmars Hall in the county of Sussex
or in a moor called Lechmere in the parish of Lechlade in Gloucestershire
. The surname Letch belongs to the category of habitation
names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
Early Origins of the Letch family
The surname Letch was first found in Worcestershire
where they held a family seat
as Lords of the Manor of Hanley. "A family of great antiquity, said to have migrated from the Low Countries, and to have received a grant of land called 'Lechmere's Field,' in Hanley, from William the Conqueror." CITATION[CLOSE]
Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
He was granted the Castle of Hanley which is now only traced by the castle moat. Adam de Lechmere succeeded from the first settler who arrived from the Lech, a tributary of the Rhine which departs from the main river at Wyke and running westward, falls into the Maes before Rotterdam in Holland. The castle was reduced during the 18th century, and the family settled at Lechmere's Place.
Early History of the Letch family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Letch research.Another 269 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1290, 1727, 1613, 1701, 1675 and 1727 are included under the topic Early Letch History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Letch Spelling Variations
surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations
. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish
settlers in England
, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish
names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Lachmere, Letchmere, Lechmere, Lechmear and many more.
Early Notables of the Letch family (pre 1700)
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Letch Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Letch family to the New World and Oceana
Study of Passenger and Immigration lists has revealed that among early immigrants bearing the Letch surname were:
Letch Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Alexander Letch, aged 33, who landed in New York in 1849 CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
The Letch 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: Christus pelicano
Motto Translation: Christ is like the pelican.