Thomas Ledbetter, III

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Thomas Ledbetter, III

Also Known As: "Thomas Leadbeater"
Birthplace: County Durham, England (United Kingdom)
Death: 1655 (54-55)
Charles City, Charles , Virginia Colony
Place of Burial: Charles City County, Virginia
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Ledbetter, II and Mary Jane Ledbetter (Hopkins)
Husband of Mary Molissie Ledbetter
Father of Henry Dawson Ledbetter and Henry Dawson Ledbetter, Version 2 (Terrell Ledbetter)
Brother of Samuel Ledbetter

Managed by: Erin Ishimoticha
Last Updated:

About Thomas Ledbetter, III

The source below provides actual and concise early Ledbetter ancestry and family documents and history handed down to a living descendant named Terrell Ledbetter by his great aunt Lillie Mae Ledbetter, most of which has been validated as correct by the LDS (i.e. The tree had been built, corrected, and handed down over seven generations when she gave Terrell in 1990.


As written by James A. McClain in, the Ledbetter family home was in Durham County, Northumbria, England from after 1570 until Thomas immigrated in 1621. His family were French Hugenotes who had fled France some years before the Massacre of St. Bartholomew in 1572. A descendent of this family (in Seaham), William Leadbetter, had left Seaham for Ireland in early 1740’s and his wife, Mary Shackleton, published a short history of the family in 1744 where she said the family had fled from France and their historical family name was LeBete. The family located at Seaham, an old Viking fishing village on the North Atlantic Coast of Durham County. The family apparently was in England for only two generations before Thomas immigrated. In short, the long term ancestry of this family was northwest Europe and the short ancestrial surname was “Le Bete”, which translates to “beast.”


Thomas Ledbetter (1600-1655) was born in County Durham, England, according to the best research information available from numerous experienced genealogists. Birthdate of Thomas Ledbetter was upon 11 May 1600.

"Thomas Ledbetter, b. about 1600, perhaps near Durham in the northeast part of England near the coast, d. about 1655 in Charles City County, Virginia..." --Source: Ledbetters From Virginia, Book Authors: Roy C. Ledbetter, William R. Ledbetter, Justus R. Moll, James D. Tillman, Christian Albert Ledbetter, Publisher: Wilkinson Printing Company, Dallas, TX, USA, Publ: 1964, book page 17 (First Generation in America).

"Thomas Ledbetter Birth Date: May 11, 1600 Birth Place: County Durham, England Death Place: Charles City, Charles City County, Virginia" --Source: Thomas Ledbetter (1600-1655) Vital Info, Researcher Credit: Patsy (Mann) Holtz, Edit Contribution, 22 June 2015.

Diligent research of historical documents, such as, land-deed, census, electoral, military and vital records, wills and estate inventories, sexton and parish registers, cemetery surveys and ancient maps of Merry Old England, indeed may lead to exact locations within County Durham, northeastern England, of Ledbetter Family Ancestral Homes: Hallowed Birthplaces of Ledbetter Ancestors, including Thomas Ledbetter.

"Durham County, England, is the ancestral home of the Ledbetter family, and the first records that we find, located the family as living near Seaham Harbour." --Source: Ledbetters From Virginia, Ledbetter, Roy C., et al, 1964, book pg. 10 (Ledbetter Ancestral Home).

"The surname Leadbetter was first found in Durham, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D." --Source: Leadbetter Early Origins, House of Names, Swyrich Corp., 2017.

Term reference, "family seat", in the aforesaid quotation, was explained by House of Names with the following historical perspective: "A seat or family seat was a principal manor of a medieval lord, which was normally an elegant country mansion and usually denoted that the family held political and economic influences in the area. In some cases, the family seat was a manor house. This term is used throughout the Domesday Book, where it was rendered as the Latin word caput, and the term continues to be used throughout the British Isles today..." --Source: Family Seat Term Reference, House of Names, Swyrich Corp., 2017.

In the Worthy Quest for a Thomas Ledbetter Hallowed Birthplace in County Durham, England, military land navigation principles (landmark-compass map-plotting) proved beneficial.

Historical County Durham was a much larger geographic area than is Modern County Durham. Therefore, to hopefully find the Thomas Ledbetter Hallowed Birthplace, a wider search-area net needed to be cast, including territories not within County Durham modern-day boundaries.

Clock-wise listing follows of northeastern England villages and towns of Historical County Durham, designated as search-area perimeter markers: Gateshead (North), South Shields (NE), Sunderland (E), Seaham (E), Easington (E), Hartlepool (SE), Stockton-on-Tees (South), Darlington (South), Barnard Castle (SW), Wearhead (West), Shotley Bridge (NW).

Leadbeater (Ledbetter, Leadbetter, Leadbitter, etc.) home hamlets and villages, towns and cities, parishes and townships, districts and wards, etc., thus far documented within the triangular geographic perimeter of Historical County Durham, include (listed alphbetically): Auckland, Barnard Castle, Bishopwearmouth, Brancepeth, Brandon, Chester-le-Street, Consett, Darlington, Durham, Easington, Esh, Gateshead, Houghton-le-Spring, Leadgate, Seaham, Shotley Bridge, South Shields, Stirling, Stockton-on-Tees, Sunderland, Tom Law, Warden Law, Waskerly, and Westerton.

Noteworthy discoveries (20-21 March 2016) by bio-sketch author Dean Ledbetter, while researching ancient archival records of Historical County Durham, England, include the following entries:

1. Circa 1567-1570 A.D., Richard Leadbeater of Sunderland was listed upon the Membership Roll of Saint Michael's Church Parish Register, Bishopwearmounth, Easington Ward (near Seaham), County Durham, England. 2. In 1595 A.D., Ralph Leadbeater of Sunderland was buried in Saint Michael's Church Parish Cemetery, Bishopwearmouth, Easington Ward (near Seaham), County Durham, England. 3. Hearth Tax Roll (1666 A.D.) of County Durham, England, listed Rich. (Richard) Leadbetter residing in Bishopwearmouth, North Easington Ward (near Seaham). --Sources: 1. Membership Roll, St. Michael's Church Parish Register, Bishopwearmouth, Easington Ward, County Durham, England; 2. Sexton Record, St. Michael's Church Parish Register, Bishopwearmouth, Easington Ward, County Durham, England; 3. Hearth Tax Roll (1666), North Easington Ward, County Durham, England.

Ledbetter Family Ancestral Home location in County Durham, elsewhere in England, or in a larger sense, within the modern boundaries of Great Britain (United Kingdom), seems far from a settled question. Perhaps there is no single definitive answer.

Rather, a more reasonable and inclusive perspective would be to consider designating Ledbetter Family Ancestral Homes in several separate geographical locations (reflecting reality, as revealed by ancient historical records). Recognizing Ledbetter Family Ancestral Homes in various locations, therefore would represent separate original households and/or different branches of this noteworthy family (Ledbetter, Leadbetter, Leadbitter, Leadbeater, Leadbeatter, Ledebeter, Ledbetere, de Ledbetere, De Lebete, Le Lebete, Le Betre, etc.).

In 7 May 2017 family history research by Dean Ledbetter, this bio-sketch author, found tertiary sources that indicate an Anglo-Saxon origin of the Leadbeater occupational name: lead + beatere; literal meaning: "lead beater" or "one who beats lead".

Leadbeater metalworking occupation was akin to (and perhaps synonymous with) the demanding disciplines of blacksmith and armorer. Malleable metal lead could be fashioned by Leadbeaters to make totally lead products (example: lead roofing shingles).

Also, Leadbeaters could combine lead in various alloys with other metals (iron, tin, etc.), to manufacture a wide variety of useful products: swords, spear-tips, arrow-points, broad-axes, shields, body armor, chariot wheels, wagon hubs, wheel rims, pewter bowls, vases, drinking steins, cutlery (naming several examples).

The Anglo-Saxon Leadbeater occupational name existed among Anglo-Saxon Mercenary Warriors recruited to augment Roman Legions in Roman Britain, as early as 43 B.C. (Original Roman Invasion of Celtic Britain).

In the decades just prior to Christ's Holy Birth, family names were not then legally required of Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Celts nor any other subservient peoples in Roman Britain: whether conquered by, subject to, or allied with the Romans.

Use of family names often was practiced by Roman ruling aristocracy, but customarily, solo given names identified people of all lower social strata. Examples: Aulus Platius, Roman Military General, Roman Senator and First Roman Governor of Britannia; Julius Caesar, Roman Military General & Roman Emperor; Cassivellaunus, King of the Catuvellauni Tribe and Overall Celtic Briton Commander Opposing Julius Caesar's 2nd Invasion of Celtic Britain in 54 B.C.; Verica and Commius, Kings of the Atrebates Belgic-Gallic Tribe and temporal Roman Allies in Britannia.

Moreover, written records from Roman Britain and Anglo-Saxon Britain, of specific people using the Leadbeatere or Leadbeater name, as either an occupational title or even as a family name, have not survived the many intervening centuries into modern times.

Celtic Britain existed many centuries pre-43 B.C. From these original Celtic "Brythonic Tribes" or Celtic "Britons", were derived the names: Briton, Britain, Britannia, Great Britain, Brit, British, British Isles, etc.

Roman Britain (Britannia) endured from 43 B.C. to 410 A.D., nearly four full centuries. Roman Legions departed from Britannia in 410 A.D., because the contracting Roman Empire was threatened by Barbarian Invasion.

Anglo-Saxon Britain (442 to 1066 A.D.), generally dates from the First Anglo-Saxon Rebellion of 442 A.D. until the Norman Conquest of 1066 (including the climactic Battle of Hastings, 14 Oct. 1066).

Danish Vikings invaded Anglo=Saxon Britain in 865 A.D. After much battling, Danelaw Britain or Danish Britain (865-1066) coexisted by hard-won negotiated peace treaties beside Anglo-Saxon Britain, also until the Norman Conquest of 1066 A.D.

Norman Britain (1066-1485) includes royal reign periods of William the Conqueror and his immediate Royal Norman descendants (1066-1154 A.D.), plus the Plantagenet Dynasty of Normans (1154-1485 A.D.). In the early years of Norman Britain, surnames became a legal requirement for: taxation, identification, land ownership, proving ancestral (family pedigree) relationships, and heraldry (heraldic coat-of-arms entitlement).

While there likely were Anglo-Saxon ancient ancestors of modern Ledbetter or Leadbetter descendants, the first known written recorded usage of Ledbetter or Leadbetter (and variant spellings) as a family name in Britain, occurred soon after William the Conqueror's Norman Conquest in 1066 A.D.

Preserved in British National Archives are official government documents, originating with the King's Book or Great Book of Winchester (later known as "Domesday Book"), commissioned by William the Conqueror at Christmas 1085 A.D., the first nationwide census of Norman Britain, including only Heads-of-Households in 1086-1087 (within two decades after the Norman Conquest of Britain in 1066).

Other official British governmental documents, later covering a time period in excess of 500 years (one-half millennia, provide insight into Ledbetter or Leadbetter family residences in Merry Olde England, and, in a larger sense, all of Great Britain.

Example groups of British official government written records, documenting Leadbetter (& variant spelled) Family Names, included: Assize (Court) Rolls (1221 & 1256), Hundred Rolls (1279-1280 A.D.), Subsidy Rolls (1332 A.D.), Poll Tax Rolls (1379 & 1645), English Military Muster Rolls (1538 & 1627), Hearth Tax Rolls (1666).

The above-cited ancient British government records documented several of the subject surname heads-of-household for taxation, census, legal, and military purposes, with such variant spellings as: De Lebete, Le Ledbeter, de Ledebeter, Ledebatter, Leadbetter, Leadbeater, Ledbetter, etc.

Spanning a time period of about 445 years (1221-1666 A.D.), ancient official records of Britain listed many people of the subject surname (many variant spellings), such as, Leadbetter, Leadbitter, Leadbeater, Ledebatter, Ledebeter, Le Ledbeter, De Lebete, etc., living in Buckinghamshire (Bucks), Cheshire, Kensington (in London), Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk (East Anglia), Nottinghamshire, Rutlandshire, Sussex and Yorkshire.

Leadbetter and surname variants were especially noteworthy in historical documents of Anglo-Scottish border counties: Northumberland (Northumbria), Cumberland (Cumbria) and County Durham.

During Medieval Times, Scotland had a healthy share of Leadbetter (Leadbitter, Ledbetter, Ledbeter, etc.) surname representation in ancient official records (civil documents & church parish registers). Leadbetter and surname variants were frequently recorded southern Scotland border counties, in addition to the Edinburgh and Glasgow areas.

Relating to Ledbetter surnames listed in Norman Britain shires other than County Durham, the well-researched book, entitled, "Ledbetters from Virginia", has an entry of particular interest for Ledbetter Family History Buffs. Cited in this book was an often under-appreciated, but valuable historic original source: "Hundred Rolls of Early English Families".

"'Hundred Rolls of Early English Families', which is supposed to record those who came with or followed William the Conqueror into England, lists Gounild De Lebete as in Buckinghamshire (Bucks) in 1248." Note: Buckinghamshire (Bucks County) borders the northeastern outskirts of London, National Capital of Great Britain. --Sources: Ledbetters From Virginia, 1. Ledbetter, Roy C., et al, 1964, book pg. 9, (Ledbetter Landholders in Norman Britain); 2. Hundred Rolls of Early English Families, Landholder & Tenant Census of 1279-1280, Commissioned by Edward I ("Longshanks"), King of England, March 1279.

"Leadbetter Records", by author Jessie E. Ames, a book of authoritative family history research published in 1917 (World War I Era), mainly focuses upon Leadbetter colonists and descendants in New England, especially Massachusetts. "Leadbetter Records" book also contains a treasure trove of antiquarian family history, regarding Leadbetter Ancestors in England, Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and Normandy (Norman France).

Cited in "Leadbetter Records" was (formerly thought to be) the earliest discovered ancestor in Norman Britain, under any surname spelling of this family...

"In the Hundred Rolls of early English families, the earliest record of a Leadbetter is of Gounild De Lebete, who lived in Bucks (Buckingham) in 1248." --Source: Leadbetter Records, Author: Jessie E. Ames, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, WI, USA, 1917; book page 5.

Family History Discovery Notation! Family History Research by Dean Ledbetter, this bio-sketch author, upon 20 March 2016 discovered the name of Ingald Ledbater of Wales in ancient records of Norman Britain. In 1221 A.D., Ingald Ledbater of Wales testified as a witness in the Assize Court of Warwickshire. Thus, Ingald Ledbater of Wales is the earliest known person recorded in Britain to carry the subject surname under any variant spelling. --Source: Assize Court Rolls of Warwickshire (1221), Warwickshire, Norman Britain.

Family History Discovery Notation! Further Family History Research by Dean Ledbetter, this bio-sketch author, upon 9 May 2017 discovered Ricardus Ledebatter was documented by the Yorkshire Poll Tax Roll of 1379, as was Henry Leadbetter recorded in 1645, living in Yorkshire. --Sources: Poll Tax Rolls of Yorkshire (1379 & 1645), Yorkshire, England.

Drawing upon several sets of ancient records (including subsidy, land, and church), the "Leadbetter Records" book also identifies numerous men of the Leadbetter surname (including variant spellings), living in Medieval England...

"In the Subsidy Roll for Lancashire (dated 1332) occurs the names of Rog. Le Ledbeter, Robs. Le Ledbeter, and Henr. Le Ledbeter... "The earlier church records show the Leadbetters to have been unusually active in the affairs of the Church. Among them are Thomas Leadbetter, Vicar of Hinckley, time of Charles II; Rev. Jasper Leadbetter, Hexham Borough, recorded as the sixth of the Leadbetters of the order of St. Dominica; John Leadbetter, of Church Holme, 1576; (Rev.) Henry Leadbetter of Knowsley, Lancashire, 1582, and many others. "Ten Leadbetters or Leadbeaters are recorded in the Diocesan Registry of Chester 1572 to 1620. "Coming down to the time of the colonization of New England, the Leadbetters were found in Leicestershire, had been long in Kensington and Barkston, were in Rutlandshire, thirteen different boroughs in that county, also in London. "In Hinckley, 1620, there is recorded a Henry Leadbetter, and Ebenezer Ledbetter and John Ledbetter (his sons), besides others of this family." --Sources: 1. Leadbetter Records, Ames, Jessie E., 1917; book pages 5 & 8; 2. Subsidy Roll for Lancashire, Norman Britain, 1332 A.D.; 3. Order of Saint Dominica Member Registry, England, 1576 A.D.; 4. Diocesan Registry of Chester, Cheshire, England, 1572-1620 A.D.; 5. Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, Editor: James Marius Wilson, London, Published 1870-1872.

Explanatory Notes: 1. "time of Charles II" phrase, refers to English Royal Reign Period 1660-1685: Charles II, King of England. 2. Geographic/political map references: Barkston town is in Lincolnshire; Chester town is in Cheshire; Church Holme is in Nottinghamshire; Hexham borough is in Northumerland; Hinckley town is in Leicestershire; Kensington, a Royal Borough of London, recorded in Domesday Book (1086 A.D.) & original land grant of William the Conqueror: King William & Queen Mary at Christmas 1689 (6 Jan. 1689, Old Style Julian Calendar), chose Kensington as the English Royal Palace; in modern times, Kensington is the district of major European diplomatic embassies; Knowsley village & parish historically were in Lancashire, but later redesignated to newly-created Merseyside County (1974).

"The Leadbeaters or Leadbetters were represented in Leicestershire in the time of Charles II, by Thomas Leadbeter, the vicar of Hinckley. The name of Leadbetter was represented in Knossington and Barkston a century ago. Gounilde de Ledbete lived in Bucks in the 13th century." --Source: "Homes of Family Names of Great Britain", Book Author: H. Brougham Guppy, Publisher: Harbison & Sons, London, England, Great Britain, 1891, page 264.

Explanatory Notes: 1. Time period references: "in the time of Charles II" phrase, refers to royal reign period 1660-1685: Charles II, King of England; "in the 13th century" phrase, refers to the 1200s Anno Domino. 2. Geo-political map references: Barkston town is in Lincolnshire; Knossington is a village within St. Peter Knossington Parish in Leicestershire; "Bucks" is an abbreviated form of Buckinghamshire, which county borders the northeastern outskirts of London, National Capital of Great Britain..

"Ledbetters From Virginia" book highlights two additional Ledbetter Heads-of-Household in Yorkshire, during Ye Olden Times of Norman Britain...

"Richard Ledebatter and Robert Ledebeter resided in Yorkshire in 1379..." --Source: Ledbetters From Virginia, Ledbetter, Roy C., et al, book pg. 9, 1964 (Ledbetter Heads-of-Household in Norman Britain).

"Burke's 'Landed Gentry', Earwaker and other English authorities describe the Leadbetters even in those early days as an 'old Border family'". --Sources: 1. Leadbetter Records, Ames, Jessie E., 1917; book page 5. 2. Burke's Landed Gentry (A Genealogical & Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland), Author: Sir Bernard Burke, Publisher: Harrison Pall Mall, London, England, Great Britain, 1914.

Explanatory Notes: 1. For proper context, the "early days" phrase generally refers to Medieval England (1100s-1600s); the "Border" term refers to the Anglo-Scottish Border area of northern England and southern Scotland. 2. "Earwaker" cited above, who (among several) English authorities, described Leadbetters of Norman Britain as an "old Border family", was John Parsons Earwaker (1848-1895), Founder, Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, and an accomplished author in British historical matters. During his brief lifespan of 47 years, John Parsons Earwaker authored 8 books on British History and contributed numerous articles to the respected British chronicle, entitled, "Dictionary of National Biography".

The first page of the first chapter of a 21st Century book, entitled, "Ledbetters Revisited", provides this additional commentary, regarding a Ledbetter Family Home in England...

"Some say that the "family home" is in Durham Co., England. This may or may not be true. If one checks the IGI, there are many more Ledbetters in Yorkshire and Lancashire and several other nearby counties than in the Durham County (that have been entered in the record). This suggests that one should look first in those areas barring any substantive evidence." --Sources: a. "Ledbetters Revisited", Book Authors: Kenneth E. Haughton & Relf L. Huddleston, Publisher: K.E. Haughton, Los Gatos, CA, USA, 2000, Page 1; b. IGI (International Genealogical Index), Family History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. (Accessible also via Internet website:

Worthy quest for the birthplace of Thomas Ledbetter has a much deeper meaning, than a search for a parcel of real estate or physical house, however hallowed those places may be, where ancestral angel feet have trod. Central to this endeavor are an earnest desire and a deep yearning of heart, mind and soul, to learn Ledbetter Family Ancestral Roots and Ledbetter Family Heritage of Ye Olden Time.

This worthy quest for family history is the personal and moral fulfillment of the Promise of Hearts Turning, proclaimed by God through the Prophet Malachi, in the last verses of the last chapter of the last book of the Old Testament:

"5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the Prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." --Holy Scripture Reference: Malachi 4:5-6, (Promise of Hearts Turning), Old Testament, Holy Bible.


Thomas Ledbetter II (1586-1614) and Jane Ledbetter (1584-????) are purported to have been the parents of Thomas Ledbetter (1600-1655), according to some unsupported memorials and pedigrees. Furthermore, Birth, Marriage, Death, Burial and Name data for Thomas Ledbetter II and Jane Ledbetter, are as yet unproven. Marriage at age 13 and Fatherhood at age 14 for the supposed Thomas Ledbetter II was possible but unlikely, and against social norms, even in ancient times of shorter average lifespans.

In two website memorials recently created (2015) by a person unnamed: a Thomas Ledbetter II and a Jane Ledbetter (husband & wife) reportedly were buried in Saint Brandon Churchyard Cemetery, Brancepeth village, County Durham, England.

Without any reference or source citations, these particular website memorials provided birth and death specifics for the deceased: Thomas Ledbetter II (born: 1586; died: 1614); birthplace: West Sussex, England; Jane Ledbetter (born: 1584; died: unknown); birthplace: West Sussex, England.

QUALIFYING NOTATION: Trust but Verify! Aforesaid birth and burial info, I respectfully desire to believe but CANNOT verify. Reported burials of Thomas Ledbetter II and Jane Ledbetter at St. Brandon Churchyard Cemetery (near Brancepeth Castle) have NOT been verified by author Dean Ledbetter. Thus far, detailed and exhaustive research of Saint Brandon Anglican Church Sexton Records and Brancepeth Parish Civil Records, produced NO verifying info of ANY Ledbetter Burials: at this church NOR within this parish, during Late 1500s - Early 1600s timeframe. Perhaps, something was amiss in my records-search attention to detail. Certainly, much more research of historical documents will be necessary, to sift fact from fable...

Brancepeth is a quaint village, established way back in Ye Olden Times of Roman Britain (43 B.C.- 410 A.D.). Brancepeth village is located about 5 miles (8 kilometers) southwest of Durham, England, along a thoroughfare (Road A690 or Durham Road), which links Durham & Weardale. The most prominent landmarks in Brancepeth are two ancient buildings of significant historical value: Brancepeth Castle and Saint Brandon Anglican Church.

Brancepeth Castle (est. 700s A.D. by Anglo-Saxons; structure improved & enlarged by Normans 1099 A.D.; castle rebuilt in 1300s, renovated & enlarged in 1820s). Brancepeth Castle once upon a time... was owned by the English Royal Family, became a military hospital (World War I), and was regimental headquarters of the Durham Light Infantry Regiment, British Army (World War II & beyond: 1939-1962).

St. Brandon Church (est. 700s A.D. by Anglo-Saxons; structure improved & enlarged by Normans 1100 A.D.; 1998 devastating fire gutted chapel, but 16-year restoration project finished in 2014). For centuries, St. Brandon's was the Christian worship chapel of choice for English royalty and nobility; several also chose St. Brandon Churchyard Cemetery as their final place to rest in peace.

Was Brancepeth (either village or parish) or a nearby village, the place of residence of Thomas Ledbetter II and Jane Ledbetter? Was Brancepeth (either village or parish) or a nearby village, the place of birth for Thomas Ledbetter (1600-1655)? Possibly, is an answer to both questions, because of a recent new discovery...

26 Feb 2016 Update Notation: New Ledbetter Family History Discovery in Brancepeth Parish, County Durham, England!

A specific, geographical location of a "Leadbitter" Family Residence near Brandon village, in Brancepeth Parish, Durham, County Durham, England, was discovered by this memorial biographical sketch author (Dean Ledbetter) upon 26 Feb 2016. This also is nearby Esh Winning village, and though still very rural, is considered in the postal code of City of Durham, England. Anciently and currently known as, "Flass Hall", the estate house was owned by multiple generations of the "Leadbitter" Family (note variant spelling), during the Late 1700s to Early 1800s period.

First identified Leadbitter owner of Flass Hall was John Francis Leadbitter (born 1788 - died ????). Next, his only child (a son), christened in 1841 as Mathew Edward Leadbitter, inherited Flass Hall and surrounding estate. Coincidentally, Mathew Edward Leadbitter (born 1841- died 1917) was a British Army Lieutenant-Colonel (circa 1870), Commanding Officer of 4th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry Regiment, and was Justice of the Peace in County Durham, England. In later years, Mathew Edward Leadbitter styled his surname with hyphenation as, "Leadbitter-Smith".

Under various owners (including royalty & nobility), a residential structure of estate or manor status, has been at the location of Flass Hall, Brandon village, Brancepeth Parish, at least since 1576 A.D. Upon an ancient map of County Durham, England (map date: 1576), a home identified as, "Flass", was plotted. Known Leadbitter Family ownership of Flass Hall began in Late 1700s - Early 1800s period and extended well into the 20th Century (at least thru Circa 1920 or about 150-200 years).

Global Positioning System (GPS) Coordinates of Flass Hall, Leadbitter Family Estate House: 54.780068 N, -1.676543 W. Regular Map Coordinates, in degrees, minutes & seconds, are: 54°46'48.2" N + 1°40'35.5" W. --Source:


Seaham, a seaport landmark notable upon ancient maps, was a possible embarkation point of Thomas Ledbetter: launching his historic Early 1600s Coming to America Emigration Journey. Seaham village was the North Sea (German Ocean) harbor port in County Durham, nearest to the City of Durham, England, approximately 13 miles (20 kilometers) away.

Seaham was established as a seaport back in Viking Times, during the Norse (Viking) Era (800-1100 A.D.). Scarce remnants of the old Viking village now remain. Perhaps the most enduring testimonials to Seaham's Storied Nordic Heritage are: 1. Place name of Seaham; and 2. Word origins of sea + ham, which are derived from a blend of two terms from German and Norse languages: "see" or "sjo" (German & Norse terms for sea) and "ham" (abbreviation of Old Norse term "holme" for island).

In more modern times, Seaham Harbour, Easington District coastal town founded in 1842, was established nearby Seaham, the ancient Viking village. "Seaham Harbour" is the official town name, but sometimes is charted on 21st Century maps simply as, "Seaham".

"Durham County, England, is the ancestral home of the Ledbetter family, and the first records that we find, located the family as living near Seaham Harbour." --Source: Ledbetters From Virginia, Ledbetter, Roy C., et al, 1964, book pg. 10 (Ledbetter Ancestral Home).

Larger coastal port cities of Sunderland and Hartlepool are other possible ports of embarkation for Thomas Ledbetter, from whence his pivotal trans-oceanic emigration commenced, sailing from England to America (Early 1600s specific emigration date yet to be discovered).

"Burke's Landed Gentry is credited with stating that a Thomas Ledbetter was in Virginia in 1635..." --Sources: 1. Ledbetters From Virginia, Ledbetter, Roy C., et al, 1964, book pg. 17 (First Generation in Virginia) 2. Burke's Landed Gentry (A Genealogical & Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland), Author: Sir Bernard Burke, Publisher: Harrison Pall Mall, London, England, Great Britain, 1914.

Sadly, many British ship's manifests of the 1600s (17th Century) have been lost or destroyed, which recorded Immigration of British passengers into Early Colonial Virginia Tidewater ports.

Thus was lost a choice opportunity, to use maritime records to pinpoint specific "Coming to America" debarkation date from Britain and embarkation date in Virginia for Thomas Ledbetter, Mary Molissie (Thomas) Ledbetter and Henry Ledbetter (their only known son). This trio of a family unit, constitute the vanguard contingent: First Known Ledbetter Immigrants in the New World.


County Durham is situated in northeastern England (modern-day Great Britain or United Kingdom), its eastern periphery following the North Sea coastline. While not physically adjoining Scotland, County Durham is in such close proximity, as to be considered an England-Scotland Border County, along with 3 other northern England counties: Tyne & Wear, Northumberland, and Cumbria.

"Durham, a maritime county in the north-east of England, bounded on the N by Northumberland, on the E by the German Ocean, on the S by Yorkshire, and on the W by Westmorland and Cumberland. Its boundary line along the north is chiefly the rivers Derwent and Tyne, along the south the river Tees." --Source: The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales (1894-1895)

Way back in antiquity (43 B.C.-410 A.D.), border designation truly applied to this Northumberland area of Roman Britain (Britannia or Brittannie in Latin language). Hadrian's Roman Wall was constructed 122-128 A.D., defining for a time the northernmost border of Provincia Britannia and the entire Roman Empire. Modern-day County Durham has its northern county-line border along the south bank of River Tyne; Hadrian's Wall, remnant relic of antiquity, stretches east & west across mainland Britain, just north of River Tyne.


City of Durham, founded in 995 A.D., is the governmental county seat of County Durham and is located about 13 miles (20 kilometers) inland, westward from the North Sea coastline. City of Durham is situated about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Hadrian's Wall and about 80 miles (129 kilometers) south of the Scotland-England border. City of Durham is located on the northern edge of the large swath of northern England formerly known as, "Danelaw Britain", "Danish Britain" or more briefly, "Danelaw". The northern half of England was conquered by Danish Norsemen ("Great Heathen Army") in 865 A.D.; this conquered territory constituted Danelaw Britain. Danish Norsemen governed Danelaw Britain for about 2 centuries (865-1066 A.D.).

Danelaw Britain included Anglo-Saxon Northumbria (Northumberland) for a shorter period: about 13 years (865-878 A.D.), which timeframe was more than a century before the City of Durham was founded. King Alfred the Great's Anglo-Saxon Army Epic Victory at the Battle of Edington (Ethandun or Edendone) on or about 12 May 878 A.D., and the pivotal 878 A.D. Treaty of Wedcom, freed Northumbria from Danish military occupation, in addition to liberating Wessex from Danish invaders and partitioning Mercia.

Word origin of Durham, dur + ham, derives from a conjunction of two terms from Celtic and Norse languages: "dun" (Celtic term for hill fortress), and "ham" (abbreviation of Old Norse term "holme" for island). The foregoing root words are apt descriptions of the original village of Durham, which a fortress built upon a hill resembling an island. The original Nordic name of the village, "Dunholm", was phonetically similar to the Latin language translation of "Dunelm", which name was used by Roman Catholic Bishops.

"Dunholm" village name proved to be a work in progress. Conquering Normans (Nordic descendants blended with a French vanilla twist) altered Dunholm to "Duresme", Circa 1066 A.D., following William the Conqueror's Norman Army Victory at the decisive Battle of Hastings, upon 14 Oct 1066. The Year 1066 marked the era commencement of Norman Britain. Over the passage of time, Duresme and Dunholm names were merged and modified, evolving into a unified name: "Durham".

Noteworthy in Durham (city & county) and throughout northern England, are heavy influences of Scandinavian (especially Danish & Norman), Germanic-Scandinavian (Anglo-Saxon) and Celtic (especially Scottish), however the influence factors are categorized: historically, militarily, geographically, legally, architecturally, culturally, linguistically, demographically or genetically.

Thus, bearing in mind all the aforementioned heavy-influence factors, as particularly relating to the Ledbetter Family of County Durham, England, a racial-ethnic blend of northwestern European bloodlines should be considered for certain. Contributing ethnic groups to Ledbetter Family genetics likely would include: Scandinavian or Nordic (Danes, Normans, Swedes, Norwegians); Germanic or Teutonic (Angles, Saxons, Jutes); Celtic or Gaelic (Scots, Brigantes, Britons, Welsh, Irish); and Frankish or French (Norman French, Germanic Franks, Gallo-Romans).


A fair preponderance of genealogical evidence now available indicates that, Circa 1625-1630, Thomas Ledbetter married Mary Molissie Thomas in County Durham, England. Further genealogical research yet may yield some wedding date and marriage place specifics.

In Circa 1625-1635, Thomas Ledbetter and Mary Molissie (Thomas) Ledbetter happily were blessed with the birth of one known child, a son named Henry Ledbetter. Birthplace of Henry Ledbetter is surmised to have been in County Durham, England. However, his birthplace quite possibly was in America, at Bristol Parish, Charles City, Prince George County, Virginia. Further genealogical research yet may yield some birthdate and birthplace specifics.

Merely by educated guess, based upon the high birth rates (& high infant date rates) of Early 1600s Colonial Era, perhaps there were several children born of the marriage union of Thomas Ledbetter and Mary Molissie Thomas, births (& deaths) which occurred either in England or in America. However, the only identifiable surviving child of parents Thomas Ledbetter and Mary Molissie (Thomas) Ledbetter was a son, Henry Ledbetter (Born Ca. 1625-1635), a timeframe about 5 to 10 years after the Circa 1625-1630 English marriage of Thomas Ledbetter and Mary Molissie Thomas.


"The Ledbetter spelling was apparently first brought to America by Thomas Ledbetter from Durham. He arrived in Virginia around 1630. This family generally stayed in what was called Prince George county before migrating to the Pamplin area..." --Source: Select Leadbetter Surname Genealogy, Internet Website:, Accessed: 19 May 2017 by Dean Ledbetter.

Thomas Ledbetter and Mary Molissie (Thomas) Ledbetter, as a family unit, perhaps along with young babe Henry Ledbetter, emigrated from County Durham, England to Colonial Virginia via sailing ship in Circa 1630-1635. Thomas Ledbetter and family settled in Bristol Parish (now part of Petersburg), near Charles City, Prince George (now Charles City-County), Virginia.

"Burke's Landed Gentry is credited with stating that a Thomas Ledbetter was in Virginia in 1635..." --Sources: a. Ledbetters From Virginia, Book Authors: Roy C. Ledbetter, et al, Publisher: Wilkinson Printing Company, Dallas, TX, USA, Publishing Year: 1964, book page 17 (First Generation in Virginia); b. Burke's Landed Gentry (A Genealogical & Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland), Author: Sir Bernard Burke, Publisher: Harrison Pall Mall, London, England, 1914.

For Thomas Ledbetter to be recognized as a Man of Distinction, and member of the Landed Gentry in the Colonial Commonwealth by Year 1635 A.D., then it would stand to reason, he had established himself as a landowner and prospered by means of meritorious hard work, over a sufficient passage of time.

Since such achievement of prosperity and wealth is seldom swift, the requisite passage of time must have been several years, between the Thomas Ledbetter Britain-to-America emigration (County Durham to Colonial Virginia) and his attainment of "Landed Gentry" wealthy social status by 1635. Such circumstantial evidence would lend credence to claims of a Circa 1630 Thomas Ledbetter Immigrant Arrival in America (or perhaps even earlier in the previous decade of the 1620s).

Sir Bernard Burke, as a man, was noteworthy for integrity, trustworthiness, and attention to detail. In accordance with such a noble character, Sir Bernard Burke possessed sufficient credible evidence to certify the identity, presence, achievement, and social status of Thomas Ledbetter, to declare him as a member of the "Landed Gentry" living in Virginia in 1635.

This prominent publication, "Burke's Landed Gentry", was not privately published, and hidden under a bushel basket. Rather, "Burke's Landed Gentry" openly declared to Great Britain, the British Empire, America, and indeed, the whole world, the truth it documented.

Trust but Verify, and I shall. What a great boon it would be, to see and analyze the original source documents, which Sir Bernard Burke relied upon: to declare Thomas Ledbetter to be living in Virginia in 1635, as a member of the Landed Gentry. Perhaps, via more in-depth research, such documentary evidence will be discovered. Meanwhile, I think if Sir Bernard Burke would make such a positive, specific declaration regarding Thomas Ledbetter, then this source alone merits trust. To my satisfaction: he printed it, I trust him, and that settles it.

Late 1600s A.D. Colonial Virginia land records, now archived in the Virginia State Capital of Richmond, and recently discovered in 2015 & 2016 by this bio-sketch author, give some insight into the emigration timeframe of Thomas Ledbetter and family, from England to America. A 1668 Virginia Land Deed (transferring property title of 224 acres to Henry Ledbetter, south of the Appomattox River near Charles City, Prince George County, Virginia), records that 99 acres of the real estate transaction originally was a land grant to the (unspecified by name) father of Henry Ledbetter in 1638, awarded for importing two white females into the Virginia Colony.

This same 1668 Virginia Land Deed of Henry Ledbetter indicates that in Summer 1638, the father of Henry Ledbetter brought or sponsored two Caucasian females, named Margry Linsal and Mary House, from England to the Virginia Colony in America. Margry Linsal and Mary House were transported via sailing ship from the British Isles and imported into the English Colony of Virginia upon 4 August 1638. By virtue of importing these two white females into Colonial Virginia, the father of Henry Ledbetter (believed to be named Thomas Ledbetter) was awarded a land-grant total of 99 acres. --Source: Land Deeds, Prince George County, VA, Commonwealth of Virginia State Archives, Richmond, VA.

Although sought in diligent research, no ship's manifest has been discovered thus far, listing the names of Margry Linsal and Mary House, as importee immigrants to the Virginia Colony in 1638. Many English maritime passenger list have been lost or destroyed, for the Early 1600s of the British Colonial Era.

Yet and still, the 1668 Virginia Land Deed of Henry Ledbetter, legally transferring land title to his ownership, serves the additional purpose of factually recording the Margry Linsal and Mary House immigration event of 30 years earlier, upon 4 August 1638.

Drawing from the aforesaid land grant and immigration factual documentation, emphasis is placed upon Mary House, one of two white females imported upon 4 August 1638 to Virginia Colony from England by Thomas Ledbetter.

Is the Mary House named in the Colonial Virginia 1668 land record (immigration report of 4 August 1638), the same Mary House, whom Henry Ledbetter, son of Thomas Ledbetter, married in Circa 1649 (marriage year by some accounts)?

Answer in the affirmative (and very likely so), to the foregoing question, given the unique name, timeframe, same location, and prior relationship. Reasonable conclusion of such an immigration-and-marriage scenario, also would follow good genealogical research principles: 1. Identify by name; 2. Verify by date, location & relationship.

If indeed the Mary House imported by Thomas Ledbetter, and the Mary House married by Henry Ledbetter, prove to be the same woman, this would mean Thomas Ledbetter and wife, Mary (Molissie) Thomas Ledbetter, gained a considerable chunk of real estate AND a darling daughter-in-law, in fairly quick succession, during the Virginia Colonial Era!

Perhaps, just perhaps, aside from a legal requirement to document the historical land-grant of his father, an additional reason to specify the immigrant names (Margry Linsal & Mary House) and their Virginia Colony immigration date (4 Aug. 1638), was for Henry Ledbetter to record for posterity this significant family history event: Maiden Voyage Arrival in America of Mary House (future wife of Henry Ledbetter in 1638 retrospect and deceased wife of Henry Ledbetter in 1668 perspective).

Historical Note: Ledbetter Family colonial events (immigration, land-grant, marriage) successively occurred circa 1630-1651, which timeframe was during the early decades (and settlement location was in close proximity), unto the 1607 establishment of the Jamestown, Virginia, settlement (first successful English Colony upon Continental North America).


Bristol Parish and Charles City were some of the original English settlements in the Tidewater Coastal Region of Colonial Virginia. Thomas Ledbetter and wife Mary lived just upriver from Jamestown, within Bristol Parish, near Charles City, Charles County, Virginia, in the Appomattox River Valley: " that part south of the James and Appomattox Rivers, which became the northern part of Prince George County, Virginia." --Source: Ledbetters From Virginia, Author: Ledbetter, Roy C., Publisher: Wilkinson Printing Company, Dallas, TX, 1964, page 17 (First Generation in Virginia).

In more modern times, Bristol Parish, especially the immediate surrounding area of Brick (Blandford) Church, has been incorporated within the city limits of Petersburg, Prince George County, Virginia. Brick (Blandford) Church was the chosen Anglican (Episcopal) Church, where several Ledbetter Generations worshipped, as congregation members, during the 1600s & 1700s (17th & 18th centuries).

During the Virginia Colonial Era (1600s-1776) and American Revolutionary War Era (1776-1783), particular people did congregate in Brick Church of Bristol Parish. Some of the leading families of the Tidewater Region of Colonial Virginia worshipped in Brick Church (later named Blandford Episcopal Church).

In bygone days, Brick (Blandford) Anglican Church had at least one of America's Founding Fathers upon its Bristol Parish Register: Benjamin Harrison V (1726-1791). Benjamin Harrison, American Declaration of Independence Signer of 1776 fame, was a faithful parishioner of Brick Anglican Church, near Petersburg, Virginia.

This same Founding Father, Benjamin Harrison the 5th, was a Virginia Delegate of the 1st & 2nd American Continental Congress, U.S. Constitution Virginia Ratifying Convention member, and Virginia Governor (twice elected). Benjamin Harrison V was the famous father of William Henry Harrison (9th U.S. President: 1841 -died in office-), and great-grandfather of Benjamin Harrison (23rd U.S. President: Term of Office 1889-1893).

This having been said, Brick (Blandford) Anglican Church Records reveal several Ledbetter Family Members of the Thomas Ledbetter and Henry Ledbetter Ancestral Line, associated and worshipped in the same church as the Benjamin Harrison Family of Berkley Plantation.

Specifically, Richard Ledbetter, wife Johannah (Hannah) Ledbetter and their several children worshipped in Brick (Blandford) Anglican Church, Bristol Parish, Petersburg, Virginia during the 1730s-1750s, at the same time as did Benjamin Harrison V, one of America's Founding Fathers.

In the American Civil War Era, Brick Church (Blandford Episcopal Church) served as a military hospital for Confederate and Union wounded soldiers, especially amidst the Siege of Petersburg (1864-1865), and later was designated as a significant historic site (Virginia State and United States National).

In the 21st Century, historic Brick (Blandford) Episcopal Church still stands sentinel, with chapel spire rising to the sky. Now only used for weddings and special ceremonies, the antique chapel has been replaced by a newer chapel nearby, for Christian Worship Services.

Thomas Ledbetter (1600-1655) Biographical Sketch Memorial Tribute Author: Dean Ledbetter Created: 27 September 2013 Revised: 22 June & 22 December 2015, 3 & 16-28 February 2016, 1, 6-7, 10-11, 20-21, 28 March 2016, 6 April 2017, 10-11 & 18-19 May 2017 Copyright (C) 2013-2017 By Author: Dean Ledbetter All Copyright Law Provisions Reserved: American and International

He married Mary Molissie Thomas 1624 Durham England, their only son was Henry born 30 Jan 1625 England. They landed in America 4 Aug 1638 (ship name not known).

“Thomas Ledbetter II (1586-1614) and Jane Ledbetter (1584-????) are purported to have been the parents of Thomas Ledbetter (1600-1655), being Birth, Marriage, Death, Burial and Name data for Thomas Ledbetter II and Jane Ledbetter, are as yet unproven. Thomas married at age 13 and was a father at age 14.

In two website memorials, Thomas Ledbetter II and wife Jane Ledbetter are reportedly buried in Saint Brandon Churchyard Cemetery, Brancepeth Village, County Durham, England. The information in the site is as follows:

Thomas Ledbetter II (born: 1586; died: 1614); birthplace: West Sussex, England; Jane Ledbetter (born: 1584; died: unknown); birthplace: West Sussex, England."


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Thomas Ledbetter, III's Timeline

May 11, 1600
County Durham, England (United Kingdom)
January 30, 1625
Seaham, County Durham, England, United Kingdom
January 30, 1635
Charles City, Charles City County, Virginia, United States
Age 54
Charles City, Charles , Virginia Colony
Age 55
Burial location unknown, Charles City County, Virginia