Recorded as Leask and Leisk, this is a Scottish surname. It is locational from a place now called Pitlurg, in the parish of Slains, Aberdeen. The translation is uncertain, but may derive from the pre 7th Century word "laecc", meaning a stream flowing through boggy land, and "-eg", an island. The placename was first recorded as "Lask" in 1380, and Henry de Laske witnessed a grant by King Robert 111rd of Scotland to the Black friars of Perth in 1405, whilst Umfra Laysk was granted land called Brinthous in Aberdeenshire in 1461. People of this name migrated to the Orkneys in the Middle Ages, and James of Lask is recorded there as the Lawman in 1438. William Leask (1812 - 1884) was a dissenter, who edited the Christian World and wrote works on moral issues. A coat of arms granted to the family has a black shield charged with a fesse between three mullets in chief and as many mascles in base silver. The Motto "Virtute cresco", translates as "I grow by virtue". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Lask. He was the bailie of the barony of Fyndon in 1390, according to the history of the shires of Aberdeen and Banff, Scotland, during the reign of King Robert 11 of Scotland, 1371 - 1390. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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