Leadbetter Surname Genealogy

surname Leadbetter derives from the Old English ledbetere or “lead beater,”
meaning a worker in lead. Early mentions of the name are a Walter
Ledbeter recorded in the Assize Court Rolls of Northumberland in 1256
and a Roger Ledebeter assessed at Coverham Abbey in north Yorkshire in
and Ledbetter
are the main spelling variants, Leadbetter in
England and Ledbetter in America. Ledbetter (or more commonly
Lidbetter) is an old Sussex surname. Leadbeater appears to be
Huguenot in origin, from the Huguenot name Le Betre.

Resources on

Leadbetter Ancestry

The Leadbetters were said to be an old Border family. There were
Leadbetters at Warden near Hexham in Northumberland from the 16th
century and probably from an earlier time. They were recorded as
Catholics and non-jurors. Their spelling was later Leadbitter.

Leadbetters in Lancashire are traced in Frank Leadbetter’s 1992 book The Leadbetter Papers in his line
back to Hamlet and Margaret Leadbetter in Elizabethan times.
Knowsley on Merseyside was the home of the Rev. Henry Leadbetter in the
late 16th century and of the astronomer Charles Leadbetter in the
18th. Later Leadbetters were recorded at Meols on the Wirral
peninsula and as fishermen in Fleetwood.
The largest number of
Leadbetters in England during the 19th and 20th centuries has been in

Sussex Ledbetter
(or more commonly Lidbetter) is an old Sussex surname, having
been traced there back to the marriage of a Simon Ledbeter in
1405. The name cropped up
in the 18th century at North Stoke, Nuthurst, and Pulborough, and at
where they were long-established and prosperous farmers.

Scotland. The Leadbetter
name was also to be found north of the border, particularly in and
around Edinburgh. John Leadbetter, born in these parts, made his
name first as a linen merchant and then as a railway promoter in
Glasgow during the first half of the 19th century. Thomas
Leadbetter was a noted local Edinburgh architect in the late 19th

America. The
American spelling has been both Leadbetter and Ledbetter but is now
invariably Ledbetter.

New England A
New England line (traced by J.E. Ames in his 1917 book Leadbetter Records) began
with.Henry Leadbetter marrying in Dorchester, Massachusetts in
A grandson, the curiously named Increase Leadbetter, moved to
Vinalhaven, Maine a hundred or so years later and his family has
remained in and
around there.

The Ledbetter spelling was apparently first brought to America by
Ledbetter from Durham. He arrived in Virginia around 1630.
This family generally stayed in what was called Prince George county
migrating to the Pamplin area in the early 1800’s. Captain George
Ledbetter moved onto North Carolina after the Revolutionary War.

Ledbetters in the South
The Ledbetter name spread across the South. Many are traced in
Roy Ledbetter’s 1964 book Ledbetters
from Virginia:

  • Richard Ledbetter settled in Rutherford
    county, North Carolina in the 1770’s. A Revolutionary War
    veteran, he died in Georgia in 1841 at the grand old age of a hundred
    and three.
  • Daniel Ledbetter, born in Georgia in 1825, moved onto
    Tennessee and North Carolina.
  • two Ledbetter brothers, William and
    Thomas, left Tennessee for Arkansas in 1850.

The storied blues singer Huddie Ledbetter probably
inherited his surname as a slave.

. Hamilton
and Jane Ledbetter moved from Tennessee in 1840 and settled in Fayette
county, Texas. Their son Hamilton was a prominent lawyer there
and the
town of Ledbetter in Fayette county was named after him.

The Rev. Arthur
Ledbetter, a Baptist minister, made the same journey in 1848,
finally arriving in Dallas county after some tragic deaths in his

“The family had reached the east fork
of the Trinity river and were within a few miles of their destination
when several members of the family contracted smallpox. His wife
Elizabeth, two of their daughters, a brother-in-law, and a
grand-daughter soon perished. They were buried in unmarked graves
on the banks of the river.”

Arthur established four Baptist churches in Dallas county and the
Ledbetters settled in Dallas
. Peahull Ledbetter was
Commissioner of Dallas County from 1916 to 1933 and was responsible for
building the first highway loop around Dallas. Ledbetter Drive in
Dallas was named after him.

Leadbetter Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Select Leadbetter Names

was an 18th century English writer on astronomy and
Bud Ledbetter, born in
Arkansas, was a gun-slinging lawman of the Old West.
Huddie Ledbetter, known as
Leadbelly, was an iconic American blues and folk singer, known both for
his songs and for his virtuosity on the 12 string guitar.
David Leadbetter from Sussex,
widely regarded as the father of the modern golf swing, is coach to
many of the world’s leading golfers.

Select Leadbetters

  • 3,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Lancashire)
  • 6,000 in America (most numerous
    in Texas)
  • 1,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada).



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