The Legges were the first family I began researching some twenty years ago. I knew my grandfather Horace Herbert was born in Leatherhead, Surrey in 1908, so I expected the family roots to be firmly planted in the Surrey countryside.
Oh how wrong I was! While many of my other families did remain in the same area for many generations my Legge ancestors moved quite frequently.
Following the ancestor paper trail
With the help of BMDs, parish registers, census returns, historical directories, military records and wills, I followed the family back in time from Leatherhead to the small town of Broseley on the banks of the river Severn.
Stops along the trail included the cathedral cities of Canterbury, Oxford, and Gloucester and the spa towns of Leamington and Cheltenham.
There were also overseas trips along the way as three of my ancestors joined the military services.
It was quite a journey!
My earliest ancestors were pipemakers in Broseley and Gloucester, while later generations became Whitesmiths.
Variants of the Legge Surname
While I use my families current spelling of “Legge” on this site, my early ancestors were recorded under a number of different variants including:
Leg – Legg – Leeg – Llegg – Lagge – Leggs
Origins of the Legge Surname
There are a number of theories on the origins of the Legge Surname including these found on the internet surname database.
Medieval nickname derived from the word “legg” and probably used to describe someone with long legs or who was a fast runner
Viking – an old Norse personal name derived from the name “Leggr” and probably used to describe someone with long legs or who was a fast runner
Anglo-Saxon variant of the name “Leigh” which was derived from the word “leah” meaning the person lived in a clearing in a wood.
The Viking connection is interesting given my Dad’s 3% Norwegian ethnicity DNA result!