Is your surname Leitch?

Research the Leitch family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Dr. Leitch

Birthplace: Scotland, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of James Reid Leitch and Agnes Alison Campbell
Husband of Private

Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About Dr. Leitch

Here is an old (forgotten) book, which is very interesting for anyone starting to research their family tree in the mid 18th century, with Scottish connections. : "The Memoirs of a Highland Lady", by Elizabeth Grant (b.1797,Edinburgh), the well known diarist, and daughter of Sir John Grant of Rothiemurchus. "Uncle Leitch" is John Leitch Esq. of Kilmardinny, and Aunt Leitch is "Elizabeth Ironside".

An update regarding the early research of the Leche family in and around Colchester, will be posted on the profile page of James Reid Leitch, next profile up on the Leitch tree. The Leitch,Leche,Leckie,Leach,Leech project has also been created for researching the ancient ancestors.

The Leche shield is taken from the shield in Sir John Leche’s 14th century house in Chester,England. The shield of arms shows a hand holding a single snake. This symbol was taken from the Ancient Greek symbol of medicine and healing “The rod of Escelpius”.

Profiles used. [1]

"As deadly bacteria grow ever more resistant to modern antibiotics, some researchers have turned to ancient medical manuscripts for clues. And it looks like a medieval salve dating back 1,000 years might succeed where many modern antibiotics are starting to fail.The 'ancientbiotic', as the researchers are calling it, was found in one of the earliest known medical textbooks from medieval England, known as Bald's Leechbook." [British Library,Public Domain]

The Anglo Saxon name, Leitch, is of great antiquity, and the origin of this particular spelling (Lietch -> Leitch), is fairly unique to Scotland from the early 16th century. The old naming was Leche, and (due to phonetic spelling) = (Leke = Leckie), is Scottish in origin and ( Leech = Leach), tends to be of English origin. There are a few other variants, Litch,Lich... This does not include the surname Lake, which is of a different origin.

From the old Anglo Saxon, laece to leche, 'doctor' or 'surgeon'. The medicus regis is often mentioned in old charters. Leche or Leech is originally an old 1st century name for a physician, with DNA analysis showing a close match to 'Leich' in Southern Germany, or le leche in Belgium. The family name, may originally be Lesch," from Germany, was altered to its present French pronunciation in the years that elapsed after the emigrants from Cologne lived in Avranches, Normandy, (before the Norman Invasion of England). The Teutonic "Lesch euphoniously became the Gallic Leche. YDNA testing of the Lesch families will confirm this relationship.

Leche, first found in Colchester, then later in Cheshire, (Deva Victrix c. 70 A.D.), Norfolk, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. The Annelida, the "leech", is an early "medical technology" named after the medical practitioners of that time. An example of a medieval compendium of medical advice can be found in one 1000 year old Laeceboc [Leche book] held in the British Library.[2] .

What is thought to be the largest Roman Amphitheatre in Britain was excavated in Chester , dating back to the first century, originally a simple structure built by Legio II Adiutrix during their brief posting in Chester in the late 70’s.

Deva Victrix, or simply Deva, was a legionary fortress and town in the Roman province of Britannia, on the site of the modern city of Chester.[1]. According to the 1st and 2nd century geographer Ptolemy, Deva was in the lands of the Cornovii.[4] Their land bordered that of the Brigantes in the north and the Ordovices in the west and included parts of what is now Cheshire, Shropshire, and north Wales.

The fortress was built by the Legio II Adiutrix in the AD 70s, as the Roman army advanced north against the Brigantes, and rebuilt completely over the next few decades by the Legio XX Valeria Victrix. ("Rescuer Second Legion"), was a legion of the Imperial Roman army founded in AD 70 by the emperor Vespasian (r. 69-79), originally composed of Roman navy marines of the classis Ravennatis.

There are still records of II Adiutrix [4] in the Rhine border in the beginning of the 4th century. [Legio prima adiutrix ("Rescuer First Legion"), was a legion of the Imperial Roman army founded in AD 68, possibly by Galba when he rebelled against emperor Nero (r. 54-68). The last record mentioning the Adiutrix is in 344, when it was stationed at Brigetio (modern Szöny), in the Roman province of Pannonia. The emblem of the legion was a capricorn, used along with the winged horse Pegasus, on the helmets.[ the symbol used by I Adiutrix legionaries was a dolphin.]

In the early 3rd century the fortress was again rebuilt.

The legion probably remained at the fortress until the late 4th or early 5th century, upon which it fell into disuse. This was before the Norman Conquest, and the arrival of Duke William of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

The ancient spelling was "le leche (pronounced Leckie , Lekky" or le Lekkie" in old Scots , due to the old phonetic spelling)

The Leckie (Leche) family in Scotland lived on the Island of Bute from a very early date, and moved from the island in the 14th century, to the Stirling and Edinburgh areas, after the marriage of Moira Leitch, to Robert II. The town of Leckie (near Gargunnock) still exists today. The Leche (Leckie) then spread to North and the south of Ireland.

Bute was an independent kingdom, probably know as "Bot" in the Viking period, and at one time,owned by the Royal Stewarts, until the Act of Union, which made it part of the UK on May 1st 1707.

A large number of the early Leach families, especially in New England, Virginia and Pennsylvania, are direct descendants of the Leches' of Carden in Cheshire.

One of the early references is to a Henry Leche (pronounced Leech ), in relation to David de Bruys, King David II, (Rot. Scotland., p.724,797). He is later referred to in a 'safe conduct' by Edward III of England in 1348 as "Hector medicus David de Bruys", or head Physician to David.

King David was captured at Neville’s Cross, to the west of Durham, England, by John Coupeland on 17 October 1346. The culmination of a Scottish invasion of northern England. The battle ended with the rout of the Scots, and the capture of their king, David II of Scotland,and his liberation was then negotiated. Davids home was at Dundonald Castle in the town of Dundonald, Ayrshire. The ruins of the castle are maintained by Historic Scotland, and can be visited.

This is the most probable connection to Moire Leche:

(Moira le Leche) born c. 1316 in Eggleston - Durham, (or the earlier spelling; Mora Leche), who was the wife of Robert Stewart II of Scotland. Moira lived with Robert at Dundonald castle, Ayrshire, and is buried in Paisley Abbey.

Robert Stewart, was not yet, the first Royal Stewart, and Moire died some 15 years before he became the first monarch of the house of Stewart in 1371.

Leitch is a sept of the MacDonald clan, and the Leckies had close connections to Rob Roy McGregor.

A reference to William Leche , Burgess of Aberdeen, 1362 (REA., i, P. 105,106), or to Robert Leche, seneschal to the Earl of March and Moray, 1367 (RMS., i, 265).......

There was an old family of doctors, of this name (Leich/Leitch), living in Menteith, Perthshire, in the sixteenth century, who gave their name to Leitchtown in Perthshire, Scotland (now called Blairhoyle / Port of Menteith today). The family then spread to Stirlingshire/Perthshire, and the name is recorded as Lekkie/Leckie//Lekie (Leche), and other variants (Leich/Leiche....).

This is the 'Leitchtown' mentioned in the book "The Scottish Antiquary, or, Northern Notes and Queries", in relation to (latterly) the Grahams of Leitchtown, and the Earl of Menteith.

The Scottish Antiquary, or, Northern Notes and Queries; Coverage: 1890-1903 (Vols. 5-17), published by: Edinburgh University Press

The name changed from le Leche, in Anglo Saxon times, to "Leckie" 14th-16th century in Scotland, then "Leitch" from the mid-16th century onward.

The Leitch name is found in the Isle of Bute, Scottish Borders, Dumfries, and then in Edinburgh from the mid 16th century, where it spread to Moray, Inverness, and as far north as Caithness. The name is also found with different spelling in and around Cumberland, Cumbria, and Berwick-upon-Tweed, around the early 16th century.

The Lecky's of Stirling (Scotland) also had property in Northern Ireland, County Derry, and in some cases, the spelling changed slightly to "Lackey". William Lecky (b. 1682) lived in Ballingarry and his family were raised there. Robert Leckie (b.1649) was in Coleraine, Ballylane, County Wexford, and others in county Carlow.

The Lecky's from Ballingarry were also in County Carlow at this time, and with the union to the Hartpole family, spread to County Dublin. (William Edward Hartpole Lecky, OM, FBA ). Born at Newtown Park, near Dublin, he was the eldest son of John Hartpole Lecky Esq., a landowner.

He was educated at Kingstown, Armagh, at Cheltenham College, and at Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated BA in 1859 and MA in 1863.

The Lecky Chair of History at Trinity College, Dublin, was endowed by his widow in 1913. In 1978, part of the college's humanities library complex was named in his honour.

Learned Societies and other activities Lecky was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1891

The GENETIC trail and time-line:

This Y-DNA haplotype is concluded to have first arisen around 2500BCE in Samaria. The ancient MT-DNA converges on a single woman in Europe. Current Y-DNA analysis shows a strong correlation with Southern Germany (Ulm), Avranches (Normandy), Colchester, Cornwall, Cheshire, Shropshire, also Virginia ( many early Leitch settlers), Philadelphia, Kentucky, USA, and Ontario,Canada as a result of recent migration.

The Leitch family were among the early settlers in Massachusetts (Leach), Virginia, Maryland and Kentucky. Andrew Leitch of Kilmardinny was an early founder of Anne Arundel County, MD, his brother David an early founder of Campbell County, KY, and a third brother James Leitch, an early settler and Merchant in Charlottesville, VA.

  • The DYS390 signature is quite unusual, and shows a strong correlation in this geography.

The SNP trail shows the migration path from Cologne -> Normandy (Avranches, near the great medieval library) -> Earls Colne (40m from Colchester) -> Chester -> Edinburgh.

The DNA evidence supports they lived in Earls Colne in the first century (near the old Roman Capital), and were practising medicine here at this time.

URUK: Unlike Egypt, which coalesced into a single kingdom, the city states of Sumer remained independent from each other. Uruk was the largest and most important of the Sumerian cities around 3000BCE. The city had between 50,000-1000,000 residents, making it the largest city in the ancient world, at this time. Around 2800BCE "The early dynastic period of Sumer", more and more cities appeared, the landscape became congested, resulting in friction between neighbouring states. This situation often boiled over into open warfare.

c. 2500BCE This is the time of Giglamesh, the 5th king of Uruk, who reigned over the city.

Eannatum was the king of the city state of Lagash c. 2500BCE (after Gilgamesh), and conquered all of Sumer. After Eannatums' death, Lagash was overthrown by Lugal-Zaga-si of Uruk.

The genetic research is continuing.

The closest Y-DNA match is with Bartholomew. Please contact me through e-mail on Geni, if any private Y-DNA or MTDNA correlation would be helpful.

The Leitch/Leach project on is a good place to start for extending the genetic research into the family tree.

Picture: Eannatum, The king of the city of Lagash c.2500BCE, Samaria. see also the "Warka Head" - The lady of Uruk.

[1] All the profiles created under this name are validated by the paper BMD records, held by the UK government, or historical text available and published. The records are consistent with geographical locations, historical dates, and with other family trees openly pub, written at York or Worcester.

[2] Bald's Laeceboc (Bald's Leechbook), Ink and pigments on vellum. Shelfmark: Harley MS 55, Item number: f.1r written at York or Worcester c.1000 a.d. Includes ancient medical texts passed on from Roman and Arab sources.

[4] Wikipedia