Recorded in various forms including Leadston, Leadstone and Ledstone, this is an English locational surname. it almost certainly originates from the villages of Ledsham in Yorkshire and Cheshire, or from Ledstone in the County of Devon, in the South Hams region, or Ledston, in the West Riding of Yorkshire near Pontefract. These villages were first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 in the spelling of ' Ledesham and Ledistona'. The translation in all cases is almost certainly nothing to do with the metal 'lead', but is a dialectal development of the Olde English pre 7th century 'hyrldre', meaning the elder tree, hence the place (ham or tun) by the elder trees. Some research dictionaries suggest that the patronymic surname of 'Ledson' is the same surname as Le(a)dston(e), but this almost certainly not the case. 'Ledson' as a surname, is a development of the Olde English personal name 'Leoda' plus the later 'son'. However there are no straight lines with surnames, and given the erratic spelling standards over the many centuries, and the extremely 'thick' local accents, it is perhaps surprising that names are not more corrupted! In this case early examples of the surname recording taken from authentic surviving rolls, charters and church registers include: Nigel de Ledesham of Yorkshire in the year 1219, John Ledstone, a witness at the church of St. Saviour's, Dartmouth, on January 12th 1666, and George Leadstone, the son of Samuel Leadstone, christened at South Tawton, Devon, on December 16th 1712.
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