This interesting and unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is locational from an unidentified place, thought to have been in Yorkshire. The name is derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "leah", a wood, pasture, and "rod", a clearing, thus "a clearing in the wood". Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The modern surname can be found as Learoyd, Learoid, Learoyde, Leyrroyd and Leeroyd. Among the sample recordings in Yorkshire are the christenings of Michaell Learoyd on February 28th 1585 at Halifax, and of John Learoyd on July 25th 1591, also at Halifax. The marriage of John Learoyd and Jane Turner was recorded on December 28th 1664 at St. Andrew's, Keighley, in Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alicia Legh-rode, which was dated 1379, in the "Poll Tax Returns of the West Riding of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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