The Leslie name has been around since 1067 with the arrival of a Hungarian nobleman by the name of Bartholomew. Some say he was a descendant of Attila the Hun - now wouldn’t that be cool.
He was an aide and confidant to King Malcolm III of Scotland, which I’m sure gave him many privileges. On one occasion he was escorting the Queen, when the belt he was using to secure her to his horse gave way. Grabbing her by the hand he told her to “Grip Fast”, this remains the family motto. In order to prevent a reoccurrence of this near tragedy, he added an additional two buckles to the belt as can be seen in the coat of arms.
Argent, on a bend azure, three buckles or, with a double treasure flory counterflory gules
A griffin's head couped
The surname Leslie is local in origin, deriving from the name of the place where its original bearer once lived. in this case, the surname is derived from the Lands of Leslie which are located in Garioch, Aberdeenshire. Thus, the surname Leslie signifies "one who comes from Leslie". This place name is derived from Lesslyn, in turn derived from a combination of the two Scots Gaelic words, "Leas - celyn", which signify "court" or "holly garden". There are in fact several places in Scotland which bear the name Leslie however, the majority of Scottish Leslies trace their ancestry to the barony of Leslie in the Garioch. Circa 1171 - 1199 Earl David, the brother of William the Lion of Scotland, granted the lands of Lesslyn (Leslie) in the Garioch to Malcolm, the son of Bartholf who was a Fleming. It is said that the Scottish family of Leslie, who hold the earldom of Rothes, trace their ancestry to the above mentioned Malcolm. The family was closely associated with the Scottish Royal House. George Leslie was created the Earl of Rothes in 1457.
One of the earliest records of the surname in Scotland is that of one Robert de Leslie, a priest in the church of Slains in 1272, and one Norman of Lesley who was the hostage for the king of Scotland in 1425. The surname has been borne by many notable people, including Alexander Leslie (1580-1661), the first Earl of Leven. David Leslie was a Scottish General whose nephew, John Leslie (1527-1596), was an advisor to Mary Queen of Scots. The latter was a member of the Balquhains branch of the Leslies who remained Catholic after the Reformation and who supported the Stuarts Cause.