This most interesting and curious surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from the manor of Levishagh in the parish of Buxton in Norfolk. The placename is composed of the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Leofric" (Middle English "Lefric"), composed of the elements "leof", dear, beloved and "-ric", power, and the Olde English "sceaga", a small wood, shaw, hence, "Leofric's small wood". During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often used their former village name as a means of identification, resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. Henry de Leveshagh is mentioned in the Feet of Fines of Norfolk in 1260, while William de Leveshaye is recorded in 1292 in Edward 1's Book of Pleas for Norfolk. Recordings from Somerset Church Registers include the marriage of Mary Leversha and Abraham Matthews on June 2nd 1789, at Stogursey, and the marriage of Joan Leversha and William Stockham on April 6th 1790, at Kilton with Lilstock. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Halfred de Leveshagh, which was dated 1200, in the "Feet of Fines of Norfolk", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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