This unusual and interesting name has three possible origins, the first of which is Anglo-Saxon and is a locational surname from either of the two places so called in West Yorkshire near Keighley and in North Yorkshire. Both places share the same meaning and derivation, which is from a river name meaning "shining, bright, sparkling", derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "leoma", in Middle English "leeming". The second origin is from a personal name, in Olde English "Leofman" in Middle English "Lefman", meaning "dear, beloved man", from "leof" and "mann".The third origin is from a nickname for a lover or sweetheart with the same elements as above but used of both sexes. Elizabeth Leeming was christened at St. Bartholomew the Great in London in October 1630. A Coat of Arms granted to the family of county York has the blazon of an ermine field thereon a cross patonce azure. The crest being a griffin passant azure. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Stephen Leming, which was dated 1273, The Oxfordshire Hundred Rolls, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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