HISTORY OF THE LEAF NAME (Source www.surnamedb.com)

Recorded in several spellings including Leaf, Leafe, Leefe, Life, Liff, Leif, Leaves and Leavis, this is usually an English surname. It has several possible origins.

The first is derived from the Old English pre 7th century word "leof", meaning dear or beloved, and as such was an early baptismal name. Later in the Middle Ages it was also used as an affectionate nickname similar to Dear or Darling, which in themselves became relatively popular surnames.

Secondly it may have been a topographical nickname for a forester or woodman, one who lived in a "leafy" area, as in the recording of one Robert Intheleaves, in the London charters of the 14th Century.

Thirdly it may be a short form of the early Swedish ornamental names such as Lovberg meaning leaf hill, Lovdahl, leaf valley, or Lovquist, leaf twig.

The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godwin Lief. This was dated 1198, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Norfolk, during the reign of King Richard 1st of England, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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.

The Leaf family including Brimner

Small numbers by a name refer to personal number in listing eg JOHN HENRY 2 LEAF ~ see 2.


1.~ ~ ~ ALFRED LEAF was born on 19 February 1849 and was the son of ROBERT LEAF and ELIZA ELIZABETH HUDSON. Alfred was a Carpenter. He married ELIZABETH BRIMNER (nee MACKIE) on 8 October 1885 in Auckland, New Zealand. Elizabeth was born on 26 May 1856 in Franklin, Tasmania. Her first husband ALEXANDER SPENCER BRIMNER had died in 1875 leaving her with two small children and expecting a third.

> Refer to the BRIMNER family for more information about the family of Alexander and children of Alexander and Elizabeth.


*              ROBERT WILLIAM LEAF, born 7 October 1886. Robert was a Private with 2nd Battalion Auckland Regiment NZEF during World War One. He died on 1 August 1917 in Paschendale, France. Robert was buried at Messines Ridge (NZ) Memorial in Mesen, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. (Refer to my Roll of Honour for more information)

*              GEORGE VALENTINE LEAF, 14 February 1888 in Matakohe, Northland, New Zealand. George married EMILY ISABELLA KIRK in 1915. He died on 4 April 1976.

*              ALFRED CHARLES LEAF, born 27 November 1889 in Matakohe, Northland, New Zealand. Alfred married PHYLLIS DOROTHY GRICE in 1917. He died 10 November 1972.

*               ANN ELIZA LEAF, born 11 April 1891. Ann married FRANK ASTTEY GILLOTT in 1913. She died on 27 March 1959.

*              JOHN HENRY 2 LEAF, born 5 February 1893.

*              TOIN HUDSON LEAF, born 13 October 1894; died 30 June 1929.

*              NORMAN FREDERICK BRUCE LEAF, born 30 June 1896. Norman married LEILA MAY FLOWER in 1923. He died on 3 July 1978.

Alfred died on 15 September 1919 and Elizabeth died on 28 January 1939. They were both buried at Matakohe Cemetery in Matakohe, Northland.


2.~ ~ ~ JOHN HENRY LEAF (ALFRED) was born 5 February 1893 and was the forth son of ALFRED LEAF and ELIZABETH MACKIE. John married EMILY MINNIE NEEMS in 1922. Emily was born on 7 September 1900

Children of JOHN LEAF and EMILY NEEMS were:

*              THOMAS ALFRED LEAF, born 13 March 1924; died 17 July 1983.

*              JAMES ROBERT LEAF, born 11 October 1926; died 27 January 1942.

*              FRANCIS JOY LEAF, born 8 December 1929; died 15 June 2003.

*               SHIRLEY TOIN LEAF, who married BRIAN HAROLD FLOWER.

John died on 7 June 1956 and Emily died 8 June 1974.

Please note that in keeping to genealogy publishing protocol I have not included information about later generations including living persons.
If you have a family connection please contact me for further information.

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