Show ContentsLever History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The lineage of the name Lever begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes in Britain. It is a result of when they lived in the township of Great Lever in Lancashire as well as in Little Lever the chapelry in the parish of Bolton in Lancashire. The Lever family were industrialists and millers, perhaps giving rise to the modern city of Liverpool, from their own Leaver's Port.

Early Origins of the Lever family

The surname Lever was first found in Lancashire at Little Lever, now a large village in the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton in Greater Manchester. Great Lever, a township nearby "was long held by the family of Lever, but in the 6th year of Edward IV., Sir Rauff Assheton, Knt., sued out a 'write of right of warde' against Roger Lever, for the recovery of the manor, and obtained judgment against him at the assizes of Lancaster. Lever, however, with a number of dependants of his name, and a large concourse of persons, many of whom had been outlawed, riotously broke into Lancaster Castle, and carried off the record of recovery. Sir Rauff complaining of this outrage to the two houses of parliament, they ordained that the copy of the record which was annexed to his petition should be of the same force and efficacy as the original; and the justices thereupon ordered execution to issue, and reinstated him in the possession, which, notwithstanding, was not undisturbed until some time after. " 1

The village's name was derived from the Old English word "laefre," which means "place where the rushes grow." 2 The first listing of the place name was found in 1212 when it was listed as Parua Lefre. 2 Nearby is Darcy Lever which was the ancestral home of the D'Arcy family since 1590.

Early History of the Lever family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lever research. Another 86 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1521, 1551, 1553 and 1577 are included under the topic Early Lever History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Lever Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Lever has undergone many spelling variations, including Lever, Leaver, Leyver and others.

Early Notables of the Lever family

Distinguished members of the family include

  • Thomas Lever (Leaver, Leiver) (1521-1577), an English Protestant reformer and Marian exile, one of the founders of the Puritan tendency in the Church of England...

Lever Ranking

In the United States, the name Lever is the 13,472nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 3

United States Lever migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Lever were among those contributors:

Lever Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Ashton Lever and James Lever, who settled in Maryland in 1775
Lever Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Adam, James, John, Lawrence, and William Lever, who all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860

Australia Lever migration to Australia +

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

Lever Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Lever, English convict who was convicted in Warwick, Warwickshire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Augusta Jessie" on 10th August 1838, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 4
  • Mr. James Lever, English convict who was convicted in Liverpool, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Belgravia" on 4th April 1866, arriving in Western Australia 5

New Zealand Lever 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:

Lever Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Lever, who arrived in Canterbury aboard the ship "Hastings" in 1856

Contemporary Notables of the name Lever (post 1700) +

  • Henry Work Lever (1883-1980), American sportsperson and educator, 8th head coach of the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs in 1911
  • Richard Hayley Lever (1875-1958), Australian-born, American painter, etcher, lecturer and art teacher
  • Lafayette "Fat" Lever (b. 1960), retired American professional NBA basketball player, gold medalist at the 1979 FIBA U19 World Championship
  • Asbury Francis "Frank" Lever (1875-1940), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from South Carolina (1901-1919)
  • Peter Lever (b. 1940), former English cricketer, brother of Colin Lever
  • Mark Lever (b. 1970), English former professional footballer who played from 1988 to 2004
  • Laurie Lever (b. 1947), English-born, Australian equestrian at the 2008 Summer Olympics when he was 60 years old, making him the oldest member of Australia's 2008 team
  • John Orrell Lever (1824-1897), English shipping owner and politician, Member of Parliament for Galway Borough (1859-1865) and from (1880-1885)
  • Sir Samuel Hardman Lever KCB (1869-1947), 1st Baronet, nicknamed "Sammie," an English accountant and civil servant, Financial Secretary to the Treasury (1916-1921)
  • Eddie Lever, English manager of the football club Portsmouth F.C. from 1952-1958
  • ... (Another 20 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Stanley R Lever (b. 1919), English Stoker 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Wimborne, Dorset, England, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking 6

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. Convict Records of Australia. Retrieved 23rd August 2020 from
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th September 2020). Retrieved from
  6. H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from on Facebook