Recorded in Britain as Lebare, Lebear, Lebeer, and Leber, this interesting surname is probably In Britain, of German-Huguenot 17th century origins. However spelt, it would seem to derive from the medieval German word "leber", an occupational nickname for a butcher. The word "leber" means liver, and is very much associated with the famous sausage "leberwurst". It is as "Leber" that we find the first recordings both in Germany and England. The period of the Huguenots (1530 - 1750) is usually associated with France, since at the time France was the most Catholic country on the continent, and the one most opposed to the spread of protestantism as signified by the Huguenots. However this was not always the case, many of the German principalities took an equally dim view of the new religious movement, and killed or expelled, their practising citizens. These usually fled to either The Netherlands or England. Early British examples of the surname recording taken from authentic church registers of the period include Joseph Leber, who married Susan Sanson at the famous church of St Mary-le-Bone, London, on September 9th 1675, and Stephen Lebear, who married Anne Cooly, at St Pauls church, Covent Garden, London, on October 8th 1710. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Wolfelin Leber, in the rolls and charters of the city of Stuttgart, Germany, during the reign of Emperor Charles 1V, of the Holy Roman (German) Empire, 1347 - 1378.
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