Perhaps surprisingly this name has at least three possible origins. The first is as a diminutive development of the Norman "Levre" and was a nickname given either to a "fleet footed" runner or to one who hunted the hare professionally. The second possible origin is old English pre 9th Century and is habitational for one who lived at the "Laefer" an area thickly overgrown with rushes or leeks. The third possibility is also of old English origin and is one of the many developed forms of the popular baptismal compound "Leof-Raed", which translates literally as "beloved counsel" and appears in the 1086 Domesday Book as "Levret of Winton" (Hampshire). Other recordings showing the surname and it's developments include Peter Leverot in the Court Rolls of Essex in 1224 and Elizabeth Leverett who was christened at St. Margarets, Westminster on June 17th 1541. An interesting recording is that of John Leverett who was sworn in as Governor of Massachusetts, America, on September 26th 1681 in the reign of King Charles 11 of England, 1651 - 1685. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Luuered, which was dated 1221, in the "Rolls of Ely Abbey", Suffolk, England, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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.