Recorded in several forms including Lefree, Lefroy and apparently the transposed Leavry, this is an English surname but almost certainly one of French origins. It seems to have been first recorded in any form in the surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London during the reign of King William 111rd, known to history as William of Orange. This was when Judeth (as spelt), the daughter of David Lefree, was christened at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on December 5th 1694. This recording was taken was at the height of the Huguenot Protestant persecution in France by the, at least half mad, King Louis X1V, the famous Sun King (1643 - 1715). As a result of the persecution, some fifty thousand skilled artisans left France and came to Britain. Here they helped to form the backbone of the Industrial Revolution, which for two centuries gave this country the lead in world affairs. However this mass influx of people overwhelmed the primitive immigration facilities of the day, and this coupled with both a foreign language (French) and the already limited level of education where few people could so much as write their name, ensured the development of many "sounds like" recordings in the surviving registers. This we believe to be one of them. Certainly there is no such name is Lefree or even Lefroy in the French registers, or the later Leavry, although it is also possible that the name however spelt could be a transposed form of Leavy or Levy.
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