This interesting surname is Anglo-Scottish, from the pre 7th century Old English word 'laece'. Recorded in several forms including Lacheman, Leachman, Lecheman, Lescheman, Leishman, Lishman, Lissaman, and others, the name means 'leech-man', and as such described a person who was a doctor or at least practised as such, and used leeches in his curing process. The name originates in England, but from medieval times has been more widespread in Scotland, and particularly around the town of Falkirk. There it is said, '...the name occurs with a frequency bewildering to the record searcher'. The earliest recording is to be found early in the Curia Regis rolls of the county of Yorkshire, England, when Adam Lacheman was recorded in the year 1210. The name first appeared in Scottish records in the mid 15th century with that of William Leischman or Leisman, the prior of Fogo, in the years 1465-1470, and John Leishman who was "bailie and custumar" of the city of Stirling, in 1559 -1560. James Leischmanis was a "dochter" in Lanarkshire in 1644, while six of the name are recorded in the commissariot record of Dunblane from 1554. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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