This unusual and rare surname is a variant of Le Batteur, which is of French Huguenot origin, and is from an occupational name for a thresher, or possibly a drummer. The name is derived from the French "batteur", a thresher, a drummer. During the mid to late 17th Century thousands of French Huguenots fled to England, and other countries, to escape religious persecution on the continent, especially after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis X1V in 1685. However many Flemish Huguenots fled to England at the end of the 16th Century; the Lea le Batteur recorded below was probably from a Flemish Huguenot family. The modern surname can be found as Le Batteur, Lebet(t)er, Leebetter, Leabeater and Le Betre. Among the sample recordings in Lincolnshire are the marriage of Mary Leebetter and Thomas Lyod on December 23rd 1840 at Pinchveck, and the christening of Robert son of William Anne Leebetter, on May 21st 1849 at Gosberton. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Lea le Batteur (christening), which was dated October 25th, 1590, Walloon or Strangers Church, Canterbury, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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