Leyster History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The present generation of the Leyster family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived in Leicester, in Leicestershire. Leicester is the capital of the county and its name is derived from the Old English element ceaster, which meant "Roman town." [1]

Early Origins of the Leyster family

The surname Leyster was first found in Cheshire at Leycester, more commonly known as Leicester, a city now in the unitary authority area in the East Midlands. The first record of the place name was found in the early 10th century as "Ligera ceater" but by the Domesday Book of 1086 the place name had evolved to Ledecestre. [2]

Literally the place name means "Roman town of the people called Ligore," having derived from the Tribal name + the Old English word "ceater." [1] As far as the surname is concerned, the family are "descended from Sir Nicholas Leycester, who acquired the manor of Nether-Tabley in marriage, and died in 1295." [3]

But another source notes that Hugo de Legrecestra was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Leicestershire in 1130, followed by Nicholas de Leycester who was listed in the Assize Rolls for Cheshire in 1287. [4]

And another source notes that the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list what is probably the first instance of the name as Robert de Lestre. [5]

Yorkshire was home to an early branch of the family: Richard de Laycestre in 1305; Henry Lycester in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls in 1381; William Leycetter in 1480; and Henry Lasisture in 1503. [4]

Early History of the Leyster family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leyster research. Another 133 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1586, 1604, 1605, 1620, 1614, 1678, 1588, 1647, 1642, 1678, 1643, 1684, 1674, 1742, 1715, 1727, 1705, 1706, 1762, 1827, 1762, 1732 and 1770 are included under the topic Early Leyster History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Leyster Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Leyster include Leycester, Leicester, Leister, Lester and others.

Early Notables of the Leyster family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Peter Leycester (Leicester), 1st Baronet (1614-1678), an English antiquarian and historian, supporter of the Royalist side in the Civil War. He was born at Nether Tabley, near Knutsford, Cheshire, England, the eldest son of Peter Leycester (1588-1647) and Elizabeth Mainwaring. In 1642 he married Elizabeth Gerard, the third daughter of Gilbert, 2nd Baron Gerard. They had three sons and three daughters. He died at his home in 1678 and was buried at Great Budworth, Cheshire. He was succeeded in the baronetage by...
Another 90 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leyster Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Leyster family to Ireland

Some of the Leyster family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Leyster migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Leyster were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Leyster Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Henrich Leyster, who arrived in New York, NY in 1782 [6]


The Leyster 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: Pro rege et patria
Motto Translation: For King and country.


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  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)


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