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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Lever family come from? What is the English Lever family crest and coat of arms? When did the Lever family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Lever family history?

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. According to history the Lever family were industrialists and millers, perhaps giving rise to the modern city of Liverpool, from their own Leaver's Port.

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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.

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lever research. Another 171 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1521, 1577, 1551 and 1553 are included under the topic Early Lever History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 67 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Lever Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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 arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860

Lever Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • John Lever arrived in Canterbury aboard the ship "Hastings" in 1856

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  • Asbury Francis "Frank" Lever (1875-1940), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from South Carolina (1901-1919)
  • Lafayette "Fat" Lever (b. 1960), retired American professional NBA basketball player, gold medalist at the 1979 FIBA U19 World Championship
  • Richard Hayley Lever (1875-1958), Australian-born, American painter, etcher, lecturer and art teacher
  • Henry Work Lever (1883-1980), American sportsperson and educator, 8th head coach of the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs in 1911
  • William Hesketh Lever (1851-1925), English Industrialist and colonialist, created 1st Viscount Leverhulme, he and his brother James Darcy Lever (1854-1910) founded the famed Lever Brothers in 1885
  • Sir Christopher Lever, English historian and author of natural history books
  • Jeremy Lever QC, English Lawyer, professor of Law at Oxford, knighted in 2002
  • John Kenneth Lever MBE (b. 1949), English former cricketer, PCA Player of the Year in 1978 and 1979
  • Sir Ashton Lever FRS (1729-1788), English collector of seashells, live animals; his collection was opened to the public in 1766 in Manchester
  • Sir James Darcy Lever, English politician, High Sheriff of Lancashire in 1735, father of Sir Ashton Lever

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  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)

Other References

  1. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  3. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  4. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  6. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  11. ...

The Lever Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Lever 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 13 April 2015 at 10:55.

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