The key Question: Is the Clan Leask of Pict, Frisian, Briton, Saxon, Danish, Orcadian, Norman, Viking or some other origin. The Y-DNA study indicates the answer for the most of the Leask’s tested so far is that the family’s origin is either Frisian, Anglo-Saxon or Danish and the tested Leasks are likely to have originated in either Friesland or Jutland. Therefore information about the claimed ties to the Danes would be very useful.
- According to Madam Leask, Eric Laesk of Orkney was by repute Crown Chamberlain to his kinsman the King of Denmark. According to Sir Brian Chalmers Leask during 1460 – 1470 William de Lask acted as Crown Chamberlain for the King of Denmark, and was the stated as a decedent of the Danish Royal Line. Today Laesk, Lask and Leask are names found in Denmark. When did Erick live? How was Eric Laesk and how was William de Lask related to the Danish Royal line, if they really were?
Leask place names on maps of Slains Parish, Aberdeenshire include: Leask, Knapsleask, Byreleask, Nether Leask Mains of Leask, Moss Leask, Mill of Leask, Milton of Leask and Home Farm of Leask, now known as Home Farm of Pitlurg. Other Leask place names appearing on documents but not now on maps we have seen are: Broganleask, Overleask, Inlaisk, Laskereske or Lafkerefk, Leaskgoroune. Accepted Spellings of the name Leask are: Leysk, Laysk, Lask, Leisk, Leisk, Liesk, Lisk, Lesk Lesh and possibly: Laesk in Orkney and Denmark. Y-DNA testing has shown those tested with the surname Leask, Leisk, Lisk and Lusk have a common ancestor. The surnames names de Laysk, de Lask and de Lesk have been used in documents referring to various members of the Clan Leask. David II, son of Robert the Bruce, granted a Charter of Confirmation for the lands of Leskgoroune (or Leskgaronne) to William Lesk, dated 1341×1346.(Note: This William Leask is believed to be the first known Clan Chief of the Leasks in Slains Parish, Aberdeenshire.) When did the Leasks first arrive in Aberdeenshire Orkney and Shetland and where did they come from?
There is a town in Poland known as Lask in Polish and Lusk in Russian. Lask is said to be connected to the famous Laski Family though there is no documentation to support the claim. This needs to be explored and the results documented.
In France, perhaps there is a connection to the Lesque Family, Counts of Boulogne-though that has not been explored and the results documented.
The Clan Leask has been linked to the history of the dominate Clans in the areas where they have lived. The clans include: Comyn, Sinclair, and Hay and possibly Buchan. They seem to have been in conflict with the Clan Gordon. The Leask’s are reputed to have lived in Aberdeen, Slains Parish-Aberdeenshire, Orkney and Shetland. Key to understanding the Leasks and their relationship with their neighbors the Celts, Dalriadan Scots, Picts, Saxons, Danish, Normans, Saxons and others is understanding: when and under what circumstances the Leasks first settled in the Parish of Slains, Aberdeenshire, Orkney, and Shetland. What was and the nature of the Leask relationship to these people and the Clans found where the Leasks lived?
In Kirkwall (Kirkwaw), Orkney on April 23, 1391 Thomas de Laysak (Lask), a knight (believed to be the second Leask clan chief), among others, witnessed a charter that transfers lands in Auchdale and Newberg to David Sinclair from Henry St. Clair, who became Earl of Orkney in 1379 when King Haakon VI granted the Orcadian Earldom to William Sinclair’s son Henry Sinclair (St. Clair). (Note: In an email conversation Nevin Sinclair said he believes the reason so many people signed the 1391 document is that the gathering was to plan Prince Henry’s trip to America. Some claim Thomas joined Prince Henry on his voyage to the new world with about 300 of Prince Henry’s men in 12 ships. Nevin Sinclair claims he believes Thomas transferred from Aberdeen to Orkney to accompany Prince Henry to the new world. Sir Brian Chalmers Leask said he believes both Prince Henry and Sir Thomas de Lask were Knights Templar and they were both were on a crusade.) Can any of this be documented? When and why did the Leasks go to Orkney and what was their relationship with Earl Henry Sinclair? Did they go on a crusade together? Were they Knights Templar?
In 1391 a Thomas de Lask (or Laysk), a knight, (believed by some to be the second known Leask Clan Chief) witnessed a charter by Henry St. Clair. Some claim a Thomas de Lask joined Prince Henry on his voyage to the new world with 200 of Prince Henry’s men in 12 ships. Nevin Sinclair claims Thomas transferred from Aberdeen to Orkney to accompany Prince Henry to the new world. Nevin believes the reason so many important people signed the document was because they had gathered to plan Prince Henry’s trip to the new world. Others dispute the existence of such a trip. That such a trip took place is disputed by others. What evidence exists to determine the truth and if such a trip took place were the Leasks really involved?
The Leask’s in Shetland are believed to have descended from Richard de Lask. Richard was the oldest son of William de Lask. William was the oldest son James or Jamis de Lask known also as Jamis of Orkney. Jamis of Lask (also referred to as James of Cragy by Sir Brian Chalmers Leask) may have married Prince Henry’s grand daughter according to Nevin Sinclair). James of Orkney was the second son of Thomas of Leskgaronne, Aberdeenshire second known chief of the Clan Leask (also know as Thomas de Lask and Thomas de Laysk in various documents)