Leek Coat of Arms
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Which coat of arms or "family crest" is mine?
Choose the design you like best, just your ancestors did when they painted these symbols on the shields they carried into battle and displayed in their homes. These coats of arms are real, historical works of art/culture dating back as far as 1100AD. Most of these designs were compiled and documented by genealogists and heraldists in large books published in the nineteenth century. These arms were owned by individuals who bore your surname, and were passed down through the generations from father to son, earning the monicker "family crest".
Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Leek Name
Origins of Leek:
This name has two possible origins. The first origin being habitational from Leak in the North Riding of Yorkshire, Leake in Lincolnshire and Nottingham or Leek in Staffordshire. All these regions called from the Olde Norse components “loekr” which means a “stream of water.” The name was frequently given to a person living in any of the above areas, or to a resident by a pool or lake. Similar spellings of the name were de Leke (1273), de Leek (1290) and Leeke (1595). One, John son of Arthur Leake was christened in St. Peter’s parish, Cornhill, London in circa 1595. The name may also be a metonymic professional name for a producer or retailer of leeks, acquiring from the Olde English before l7th Century.
More common variations are: Leeke, Leeky, Leeck, Lewek, Leeka, Laeek, Leyek, Leeak, Leeki, Lieek.
The surname Leek first appeared in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire or Nottinghamshire which all have names of churches like Leake. For some of the first recordings of the family, we must look to Lincolnshire where the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 record contains as John de Lek, Roger de Leke and Teobald de Lek as all residing in that division at that time. Willie’s Lyke-Wake is a Child Ballad, one of 305 classic ballads from England and Scotland, and recorded in the 1904 Houghton Mifflin edition. Lyke-Wake Dirge is a classical English song that is considered to have originated in the Yorkshire.
The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Walter de Lek, dated about 1202, in the “Assize Court Rolls of Lincolnshire.” It was during the time of King John, who was known to be the “Lackland,” dated 1199-1216. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England. Surnames all over the country began to develop, with unique and shocking spelling varietions of the original one.
Many of the people with surname Leek had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Leek settled in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 17th and 18th. Some of the people with the name Leek who settled in the United States in the 17th century included Edward Leek, who arrived in Barbados in 1679. Aaron Leek, at the age of 21, settled in Barbados in 1682.
The following century saw more Leek surnames arrive. Some of the people with the name Leek who settled in the United States in the 18th century included Johannis Leek, who landed in New York in 1715-1716. John Leek at the age of 17, landed in Virginia in 1773. John Leek, who arrived in Virginia in 1773.
Some of the people with the surname Leek who settled in Australia in the 19th century included Elizabeth Leek at the age of 16, who was a worker, landed in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship “Prince Regent.” Elizabeth Leek at the age of 16, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship “Prince Regent” in 1851. Ann Leek at the age of 50, landed in Nelson aboard the ship “Phoebe Dunbar” in 1841.
Some of the people with the surname Leek who settled in New Zealand in the 19th century included Ann Leek at the age of 50, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship “Phoebe Dunbar” in 1850. Christopher Leek, Mary Leek, George Leek and Frank Leek, all arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “88 British King” in 1884.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Leek: United States 3,523; England 1,957; Australia 401; Canada 259; Wales 260; Germany 134; Netherlands 598; Estonia 153; Kenya 314, Sweden 435.
Andy Leek (born 1964), is an English singer.
Gene Leek (born 1936), is an American player in baseball.
Geoff Leek (1932–2008), was an Australian rules football player.
John de Leche or de Leek was a famous priest of Dublin.
Ken Leek (1935–2007), was a Welsh football player.
Miranda Leek (born 1993), is an American head.
Peter Leek (born 1988), is an Australian Paralympic swimmer.
Ralph Leek is an American player in football.
Stephen Leek (born 1959), is an Australian writer, conductor, professor and announcer.
Leek Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Leek blazon are the saltire, annulet, lion and fleur-de-lis. The two main tinctures (colors) are sable and argent.
Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 1A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 2Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 3The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35.
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) 4Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 5A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.
The saltire is one the major ordinaries, large charges that occupy the whole of the field 6A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Saltire. Arguably one of the best uses of this device is that of the St. Andrews Cross, a white saltire on a blue background found on the Scottish flag. The saltire is obviously closely related to the Cross, and Wade in his work on Heraldic Symbology suggests additionally that it alludes to “Resolution”, whilst Guillim, an even more ancient writer, somewhat fancifully argues that it is awarded to those who have succesfully scaled the walls of towns! 7A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P63
For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 8A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146xz`, and the annulet is a good example, being a circular ring of any colour. They also appear interlaced or one within the other, both of which are very pleasing additions. Wade believes that these were one of the symbols of ancient pilgrims. 9The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P19
The art of heraldry would be significantly poorer if we were without the lion in all its forms. Most general works on Heraldry devote at least one chapter solely to this magnificent creature and its multifarious depictions 10A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P172 11Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 63 12Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P140. Some of the earliest known examples of heraldry, dating right back to the knighting of Geoffrey of Anjou in 1127, where he is shown with six such beasts upon his shield 13A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P45 .The great authority on heraldic symbology, Wade, points out the high place that the lion holds in heraldry, “as the emblem of deathless courage” 14The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P60, a sentiment echoed equally today.