Recorded as Lathwood and Leathwood, this is an English locational surname. It originates from a place probably called Lee Wood or similar, and meaning the 'fenced enclosure in a wood.' This is from the pre 7th century 'leah wudu'. However no such place has been positively identified as being the 'home' of this surname, although there is a district called Lee Woods near the city of Bristol, and a village called Leeswoods in the county of Flintshire, North Wales, although we have no positive proof that the name originates from either. Locational surnames by their very nature are usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original villages to live somewhere else. The easiest way to identify these strangers, being to call them by the name or assumed spelling of the name, of their former village. This surame is quite well recorded in the surviving church registers of the city of London from the 18th century. Examples include Elizabeth Lathwood who only had to shorten her name slightly when she married one William Wood, at the church of St Mary Magdalene, on May 4th 1736, and Martha Leathwood who married Daniel Bromfield at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on December 20th 1740.
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