This curious surname is of combined Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from Latterbarrow in the Furness district of North Lancashire, on the west side of Windermere. The component elements of the name are the Old Norse "latr", lair of a wild animal, and the Olde English pre 7th Century "bearu", grove, wood; hence, "lair by the wood". Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Regional and dialectal differences subsequently produced several variations on the original spelling of the name which, in the modern idiom, is found as Leatherbarrow, Letherborrow, Litherborough and Letherbury. In 1582, one Anthony Leatherbarrow, of Aughton, was noted in the Wills Records of Cheshire, and on December 2nd 1593, Walter Leatherbarrow and Elizabeth Maudsley were married at Aughton by Ormskirk, Lancashire. Cicely Leatherbarrow of Wigan, Lancashire, was entered in the Cheshire Wills Records in 1618, and on January 15th 1683, the marriage of Agnes Leatherbarrow to John Upton took place at St. James', Duke's Place, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Leatherbarrow, which was dated January 2nd 1542, christened at Aughton by Ormskirk, Lancashire, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1542. 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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